New Student IDs for the BES Kids

BES Kids Fundraiser PhilippinesA road traffic accident is what started it all. This is a story of poverty, natural disaster and how people can make a difference to make this world a better place. During my 3-months trip all across the Philippines, I spent a good amount of time in the picturesque seaside town of Gubat in Bicol. As nice as Gubat, one of the best surf spots in the Philippines, is, there is always light and shadows. At the beginning of this year, one of my good friends in town, Glenda Esperida, had informed me about the desolate condition the local school, Bonifacio Elementary School (BES), was in at that time. And the reason she herself found out about this was a terrible tricycle accident. Read more »

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How to best save for Travel

Save money for travelLet’s face it! It doesn’t matter where we go or how cheap we travel, traveling will always cost money. Nothing is for free in this world and traveling is sure neither. Having said that, I get a lot of comments from people saying they would love to travel but just can’t afford it. But even with expenses you can’t cut, a lower income or facing an unfavorable exchange rate, you can still save money. It just requires determination, commitment and an adjustment of lifestyle and you will find yourself on your way to adventure quicker than you might have ever imagined. With the help of the ESCapology Facebook Tribe, I compiled some easy and creative ways to cut expenses, make some extra money and build up a travel budget. How to best save for travel – let’s get you traveling!   Read more »

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Into the Wild – Bear Watching in Tofino

bear watching in tofino

It was early and just like a heavy blankets, thick layers of fog were still covering the rugged coastline as we set off for an adventure. An adventure into the wilderness of the Canadian Westcoast. My friends Alex and Steve from Los Angeles had come for a visit and together we were on a quest to see some of the region’s true locals, the coastal Black Bears. After a quick breakfast with coffee and donuts, it was time to head down to Meares Landing, our departure point and headquarters of tour company Remote Passages. What started with rather little expectations, turned out to be a fascinating trip into the wild. Read more »

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Slow Travel – 6 Tips and Tricks

Tips for slow travel

In my last article I revealed why I am a big advocate of slow travel and what its benefits are. The point is that travel shouldn’t be a race or competition to see the most places. So many other aspects of our modern lives are like that already, hectic, rushed and competitive, so why continue during our precious time off? Instead we should savor our travel time, take in all in of those new impressions with all of our senses and make room for relaxation, inspiration and cultural exchange. It’s about taking more back home than just a photograph. But how do you actually do it, you might wonder. Well, there are a few simple tips that will help you to drop it down a gear and make the most of your trip. Read more »

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Slow Travel or why Less is More

Slow TravelIf you have only limited time to travel, and that is probably the case for most of us out there, we have to decide if we want to travel fast or if we want to travel slowly. Especially if you have your annual leave coming up, spending the majority of your precious paid vacation days, the temptation to cram your itinerary and see as much possible is great. I can relate to this concept as I have been there myself. But I argue that less is more and that travelling slowly will actually make for a much more intense trip, longer lasting and profound memories and an overall better travel experience. Read more »

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Interview with world famous travel photographer Réhahn

Interview Réhahn Photographer

He has been published in National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler and Marie Claire, selling fine art prints worth 10,000 USD and staging international exhibitions around the world. Within just three years, travel photographer Réhahn Croquevielle, simply known as Réhahn to most, has risen to the topmost levels of photography. Réhahn, 36 years old and from Normandie, France is probably best known for his documental portraits of the vanishing cultures in Vietnam which he now calls his home. On his motorbike, Réhahn has explored the furthermost corners of the country, bringing back colorful images which found their way into his best-selling book “Vietnam. Mosaic of Contrasts”. But besides being an established photographer and intrepid traveler, Réhahn is also a keen entrepreneur. In my recent interview I was able to ask him about all three aspects of his life and how it is all connected. Read more »

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Along the Vegetable Highway. A Motorbike Adventure across Cebu

Cebu Vegetable Highway article

Cebu, the famous gateway to the Visayas and to most known because of its booming capital city, its touristic hotspot Mactan Island or the seductive beaches of Bantayan and Malapascua. But definitely not the first address that comes to mind when thinking of a motorbike adventure off the beaten track. As I had planned to go to Cebu anyway, I did some research on possible motorbike tours and came across a route not well documented – the so called Vegetable Highway. It seemed a bit mysterious, something not a lot of people have done, something new and hence just what I like. It all took off from there and with the help of some Cebu expats and more research, I was able to design a trip itinerary which seemed promising: A 4-day tour which would take me across the island’s mountain range, along the coast, down the secluded Vegetable Highway, and finally to Moalboal for some scuba diving with the famous sardine storm. Born from just a fleeting idea, this motorbike adventure quickly turned out to be one of the best tours I did in Southeast Asia. Read more »

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ESCapology Travel Meet-Up – New Friends and a Night to remember

Escapology meet-up manilaIt’s was on my mind for quite some time and I knew I would eventually do it. Getting to know the people behind all the avatars, the profile pictures and the anonymus nicknames. Taking the blog from the virtual world to the real world and finally creating an opportunity to personally meet and thank the people who have been supporting me during this incredible journey. A meet-up with my readers and followers – that was the idea. And since I was about to head over to the Philippines, Manila just had to be the place. What started out as an idealistic idea, soon turned out to be a tough challenge to make it really happen. Especially since my trip finally came together on a very short notice, hence not leaving much time to get it all on the right track. But with the help of some amazing friends and all of the great people that came out that night, we made it. And what eventually came out of it, exceeded my hopes and expectations by far. It was for sure a night to remember. Read more »

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Maia’s Beach Resort – Bantayan’s little Garden of Eden

Maia's Beach Resort Bantayan

The road is rocky and bumpy, taking me deeper and deeper inside the island of Bantayan. Small patches of rice, coconut trees, some badly bent by the recent typhoon, and scattered settlements pass by slowly as we rumble along. I’m on my way to Maia’s Beach Resorts, my home away from home for my brief stay on this Filipino gem.  Bantayan Island itself is already a little paradise but what a lot of people don’t know, is that it has its very own little Garden of Eden. On the way East, towards Bantayan town, tucked away from the crowds of Santa Fé and embedded in a lush green oasis, you will find a place so enchanted, so beautiful and designed with so much love for detail that it comes as a big surprise. That Garden of Eden is Maia’s and as I finally arrive, I instantly know that the little journey was well worth it. Welcome to Bantayan’s own little Garden of Eden, welcome to Maia’s Beach Resort.
Read more »

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Bantayan Island – Facets of a mosaic paradise

Bantayan title image escapology

Finally! Finally Bantayan! A place I could not visit during my three months journey across the Philippines but which I always longed to see. The beckoning stories of a magical and authentic island getaway still rang in my ears as I received the invitation to join some of Cebu’s finest bloggers and writers for a tour of this Filipino gem. It would be a jam-packed itinerary, a mix of sightseeing, couch sessions with local politicians and officials, networking and a also charitable work. However, what I found during this eventful journey was a place not only impressing by its sheer beauty and its authentic charm but also by being a perfect example of the renowned Filipino resiliency. Bantayan, a mosaic paradise.  Read more »

Categories: Inspiration, The Philippines | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments