HELLO AGAIN! First of all, I’m Elaine, a Philippine local who is based in Manila and doing my regular job as an Occupational Health Nurse. I occasionally travel, but desiring to do it more.
When did you start traveling?
Last year, was my first ever out of the country vacation, then I started this year with a solo trip to Bali, and followed by Hong-Kong then saved a little and went to Singapore. Then I might go to Thailand on December.
I regret not doing it earlier but what else can I do, we can’t bring back the years that have passed, so I’m glad that I’m finally doing it now 🙂
It makes me happy, the sense of adventure and unfamiliarity gives me calmness. I do love my job, but this is something that gives me higher level of happiness. Maybe, some people won’t understand it but I don’t give a flying f anymore. I think that’s the reason I started doing solo trip. Read more about it here.
How do you do it?
I didn’t come from a western country nor getting big amount as a Nurse in Manila, but my friends always ask me how can I afford all these trips, especially in just a year:
Save Money– I do save cause I don’t have a credit card. I choose the things that I buy, I rarely go to the mall now compared to how I shop before, I spend less on unnecessary things.
I prioritize and spend less on unimportant things
Work hard, play harder– I do extra work, and recently, I start doing guest writing, but been doing extra shifts when I need to save up for a trip.
Go after cheap plane fares– I would normally book my flight as early as 3 months before the trip which saves me tons of money. Furthermore, we have an airline here named Cebu Pacific that would always offer promo fares and the travel period would be a month or two from the day you booked it. Good thing about this is I am able to prepare monetarily and have the right amount of time for hotel hunting and formulating a sick detailed itinerary.
Accommodation Hunt– there’s a reason why I used the term hunt, cause you really need to think about the hotel you would stay in, from the location, to the facilities, and most importantly, the price. I would often use Airbnb, I have the app on my phone as well, download the app and set the currency, customize the price range as to how much is your budget, study the actual hotel/hostel, read the reviews just on the bottom of each hotel profile and feel free to message the host for clarifications.
Travel like a local and not like a foreign. There’s a big difference. Take the train as much as possible, exercise and walk, search for free activities that you might enjoy, and eat local.
Favourite Spots and Places?
Philippines– Pandan Island, Palawan
Malaysia– Petaling and Sunway Lagoon
Hong-Kong– Victoria Harbour and Lantau Island
Bali– Bali is special to me and would always remain as my favourite because I did my first ever solo trip in this island and it didn’t fail me. Read more here.
Singapore– Marina Bay area, Little India and Universal Studios
Is solo traveling safe?
Depends on the country or city, not every place is safe, specially for women. I would study online reviews and I’ll ask people. The thing that I don’t do when I am outside the country are staying out late, drinking and partying.
Where do you want to go next?
Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives
It was one gloomy Monday morning when I was strolling at the mall and heard a Christmas song playing in the background, I swiftly realized that we are heading closer and closer to 2017. And that’s when I had to look back on the things I have done this year.
I launched 2016 preparing for a five-day trip to Bali and it wasn’t a bad idea at all. What could top a solo trip to a never visited country on the first week of the initial month. I was so eager to just flip this year over and not make it the same as those that have passed by. I was convincing myself that there’s no way I won’t fly out and see something distinct. And it was fulfilling, I still get that small kick in my xyphoid process whenever I look back on how my Balinese escape turned out to be. I was able to do it alone and was courageous enough to unlock that level I’ve always been eager to pass through.
Hong Kong happened and then Singapore. Few local trips were also booked.
A lot happened in my personal life, consecutive bad news arrived at the later part of this year but again, looking back, it was a great year because of traveling ❤️