Wednesday, 26 August 2015

TRAVEL: FIRST(s) IMPRESSIONS - the Philippines!

I did it. It finally happened and it has been the best month of my life so far. This whole summer has been a bunch of "first" experiences that have been both thrilling and exhiliarating. Since this summer started I have managed to go from flying on zero planes to flying on eight planes and it's safe to say that I have fallen in love with flying. Travelling itself, I have fallen in love with especially when I am discovering a whole new country with my incredible family by my side.

My first long haul flight was great and ran smoothly however if they didn't have movies to watch on the mini tv's I have no idea what would I do with my life for 11 hours. I did download a few books onto my Kindle Fire from my reading list however my head gets funny when I read while on any mode of transport.
Another thing I discovered was that I have a weird phobia of peeing on a plane. Maybe it's me wondering were it goes or the fact that when you walk down the aisle every knows you're just about to do your business or what, I just can't physically do it. There's something so uncomfortable that I find with the whole process. But bladder issues aside I love flying. I love looking at the country below us imagining what people are doing in their little houses just living life and here I am above them, flying away from them to another distant land. Flying through clouds, amongst storms, above places I have yet to discover.

My first time meeting my family involved many hugs and much laughter exchanged between us. It was mixed with thankfulness, rememberance, gratefulness and an overwhelming sense of love and I wouldn't have exchanged it for anything. Over the month that we were there for that love grew even more and I felt so accepted, loved and cherished.

My first time paragliding, helmet diving, driving a buggy, going on a cable car, snorkelling, swimming in a clear ocean at Boracay. Breathtaking, just breathtaking and worth every second. If you have the money to do so - do it, leave your fear and your minds worst thoughts and do it. For me, I wasn't a strong swimmer at all but I chose to do it because when was I ever going to get this opportunity again? It was a gateway to the most amazing views that I would ever lay my eyes upon and I would never change any of it for the world.

My first time people watching in the Philippines. I could just drive around Manila for the rest of my life. The people, the streets, they come alive with an abundance of different characters, different lives and a mingling of multiple generations. You won't ever get bored.

My first time on filipino transport. Tricycles are my favourite mode of transport in the Philippines, it offers a new kind of experience to viewing the country. From the ground you get a different perspective, I had the view of the cats and dogs that would roam the streets. Plus it is a very cheap way to get to places. We didn't go on many jeepneys because we had cars and drivers to get us around places, we did however use one for Zoobic Safari to feed tigers which was amazing.

My first time trying filipino street food. TURON IS LYF. It is basically a banana fritter and it was a magical experience. My tastebuds were thankful. Banana-cue is a wonderful invention, over there anything on a stick that was barbecued was amazing.

My first time taking Videoke/Karaoke seriously. Over there karaoke isn't necessarily an activity that you do when you're drunk at the pub on a Friday night. It's something you do when you hang out with your friends and family and you can choose whether or not to do it for fun or take it seriously. The majority go for the latter and I'm totally okay with that.
My family have amazing voices within them but the beauty of it is is the fact that it doesn't even occur to them, they sing because they love it. They are amazing because they were blessed and have passion for it and there's something about that raw and natural product of just singing because you want to have fun that I was in awe of.

My first time being taught tagalog by my cousins, Jenny, Allysa and tita Ning. I was so grateful that they took time to speak english to me. They didn't have to although it was hard for us to communicate but they did it.. They did it despite it not being their first language. When they speak it they refer to the pain of speaking another language as making their "nose bleed" and I thought it was time for them to teach me tagalog. My cousins are brilliant teachers of the language, despite being 13 and 18 and I am forever grateful for those few lessons because it enabled me to discern a few of the words that everyone spoke.

So as you see listed here are my many firsts during my trip to the Philippines. My first impressions involved all ranges of emotion at different times. Sometimes I would be rendered speechless other times I would be shocked, amazed and even fearful at times. The Philippines brought out another side to myself, it helped on my journey of finding myself and changed my hopes for the future. After seeing my family it made me rethink my life, the problems that I thought that I had compared to them and how much of a big deal the majority of what I worry about isn't anymore. It changed my perspective on many things and I can proudly say that it indeed is "MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES".

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