This is the first of hopefully many more traveler portraits on ESCapology. As mentioned before, I want to use the blog as a platform to introduce successful and inspiring travelers and share their story with you. The series will start with Ralf from Holland whose travel blog I accidently stumbled upon while browsing the interwebs. He is a very inspirational character not only because of his very special way to finance his travels but also because of his impressive travel experience and his very own approach to traveling. So without further ado, please meet Ralf … Continue reading
All we had was a crinkled hand drawn paper map from the motorbike rental shop in Coron. Our destination, a remote beach close to Barangay Marcilla, was marked with an X and what appeared to be like an easy ten minute drive, turned out into a never ending odyssey. An odyssey which took us along winding, steep and rocky tracks and curve after curve farther away from the safe haven of Coron. With gas running low and no more people crossing our paths, we seemed lost in the middle of nowhere… Continue reading
Some people prefer the life in the big city and some people prefer the relaxed life in the countryside and the province. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and the same goes for these two when traveling. As I have wandered across Southeast Asia but also during previous journeys, I visited not only off the beaten track destinations but also major metropolitan cities. A lot of people tend to not like them and are happy to leave them rather sooner than later. The call of beaches, palm trees, high mountains and picturesque villages is just too intriguing. However, I think to really get an understanding of a country, its culture and its people, you should see both. City and countryside, both very distinct, very different and both offering totally different aspects of traveling. But both representing their country in their own unique way.
During my year-long journey all across Southeast Asia, I became a big advocate and fan of traveling by motorbike. I probably rode a bike at least once in every country I visited and every single time it made for a unique and unforgettable experience. I did several multi-day tours as well as numerous one day excursions. It is about the feeling of total freedom, of really immersing yourself in the scenery around you, about the sun warming your face, a cool breeze blowing through your hair and all those kind people you meet on the road. Personally I think it is one of the best ways to really explore a place and I can recommend everyone to at least give it a try. Here is why I think so: Continue reading
Traveling alone can be a scary thing. It forces you out of your comfort zone and throws a bouquet of challenges at you. I recently received a lot of feedback from people who were thinking about traveling solo, but still seemed a bit hesitant. The thought of being all by yourself, maybe even in a total unknown environment, is sure a daunting one. From an early age on I traveled by myself – sometimes by choice and sometimes because I simply couldn’t find a travel partner. But leaving aside the reasons, traveling solo can be extremely rewarding and it’s something I would always do again. In this post I want to share a few thoughts which I have learnt along the way but also talk about the cons which one shouldn’t forget about. Spiced with a few tips, it might persuade one or the other of you to make the leap and give traveling solo a try.
Recently people have been asking me about the costs of my three months journey across the Philippines. A little poll on my Facebook Page also showed that there seems to be quite an interest in this topic. And because I never went much into detail in terms of budget and numbers, I would like to give you all a rough overview about what I spent and how I calculated beforehand. First of all it needs to be mentioned that this is very personal and might change a lot depending on how you like to travel individually and what kind of things you are after when on a holiday. Of course, if you are after luxury and maximum comfort, then you will end up spending more than someone who is more a backpacker kind of traveler. The activities you do while on holiday can also make a big difference. Diving can be expensive and so can longer guided tours for example. All of these factors make budgeting for such a trip in the Philippines a very subjective matter, but let’s start with some of my own numbers: Continue reading
Yesterday I received a huge amount of kind feedback, messages and Likes by Filipinos from at home and abroad. It is unbelievable and I never thought that this would take off as it did. The article I shared here with all of you was just my humble way of saying thank you and giving back a little. Yesterday was also my birthday and you all gave me the best present ever. Thank you all so much. Support like that really keeps me motivated and going. Maraming Salamat my Filipino Friends.
At the same time I found myself unable to reply to the comments you posted as they number more than 600 by now. That is unbelievable and I would really like to thank each and everyone of you for it. I usually reply to each comment individually because I think of it as respect for the people who take their time reading my posts – people like you. I want to apologize that I am not able to do it this time. Be assured that I value your support a lot and that I won’t ever forget. If you have any urgent inquiries, get in touch via Facebook as it seems to be better manageable for me at this time.
Thank you guys! You rock!
It’s been a quiet some time now since I have traveled the Philippines but I never got to write my final roundup. Recently thinking about it, I wasn’t even sure if I should write it at all since it has been so long ago already. But giving it a second thought, I just had to do it. In the end it was the country where I spent the longest time (three months), the country where I found new friends, fellow travelers and locals alike, the country of many adventures and the country with probably the friendliest people I have met. No, not writing this final roundup wouldn’t do this beautiful country and its people justice. A country that has it all and that is probably my favorite country after all. Continue reading
One of my two entries at the 2014 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Traveler Photo Contest got nominated as editor’s pick of the week. I didn’t even know about it until Sree, one of my blog readers who is also participating, told me about it. So it was quiet a surprise and a very pleasant one. The image is the Khmer Boxer during a fight in Phnom Penh. This time I edited it in black and white which I actually like a lot better than than the color version. You can find the contest and my epicture here.
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Traveling for almost one whole year is a long time and as you can imagine, a lot of things happened. Good and bad, exciting and frightening, exhilarating and touching, a lot of highlights and some lowlights but all of them all so memorable and I wouldn’t want to miss any of them. I often get asked what my favorite country was or the best thing I have done. That of course is very hard to answer because every experience and every encounter was special in its very own way. But there are a few things that stand out a little more than others and those I want to share with you in a short and entertaining way. Continue reading