Tag

Travel

Browsing

Work. Save. Invest. Travel. Travel. Travel.

If you are a Generation Y as they called us, then you would understand what I am going to talk about. Millennials like myself are often judged as non-practical or a happy go lucky guy who doesn’t have priorities in life. But, wait, what did you say?

BEFORE:

They know my name. But they don’t know my story.

Millennial

I grew up with Filipino parents and had lived in a war-torn city in the southern Philippines. In the early 1990’s, life can be more literal hunger games when the Asian crisis hit the Philippines. Although my father was an active soldier that time, life was simple but terrible to deal with. We traveled to a different place to another, towns to cities, from happy to drama staged type neighbors, and a bunch of families issues. That was tiring. I eventually get tired.

I saw a lot of turmoils and unprecedented events that you will never imagine. My Uncles and Aunts were hard workers, they had sent my cousins to good schools, bought new school uniforms twice a year, shoes and other extravagant things that became possessions. Years later, security was not secured- but lessons learned.

I remember, the day when all of my cousins were sharing horror stories at my grandma’s house.

My granny asked me.

Mio Apo, cosa bo quiere keda grande?” (My grandson, what do you want to be when you grow up?)

“To travel around the world!” I answered.

I felt embarrassed to be different. Embarrassment because they laughed and teased me for that crazy answer they thought it was.

20 years later, that moment still in my mind no matter how I want to forget. We grew up differently and our family became huge, relationships changed and hardly communicate each other.

A reality that we can’t change. Because change is the only constant in this world.

My father decided to take us to his hometown so we can be reunited with our family after years of no contact. It was a new environment again, new language and culture. New adjustments and life. A life that taught me a lot of realizations and words to celebrate my existence as a Millennial. But then again, I struggled identity crisis. Pretended to be fine and happy. That was the time when I decided to break stereotypes and rules what other people wanted me to do. My parents were not perfect to support me, however, I was lucky to have them in my life. I just want them to be happy for me- that’s all.

3 years ago, my mother freaked out when she knew that I flew away from home to discover this amazing world and do what makes me happy.

“Mom, I don’t need a luxury house and pay bills the entire life. I still do remember your words for me, and it is happening now”.

Travel became my passion and a cure to possible regrets 30 years from now.

NOW:

Who are the Millennials?

 

Now, let us get deeper about being a Millennial. If you were born between 1977 to 2000, the makeup of 21% purchases, willing to purchase a product that supports a cause like me, loves to brand a love, active on social media like Facebook, and great content creators, we are the Millennials.
When I was in Europe, I have seen a lot of Millennials traveling within the continent and even farther during Springbreak or just a short vacation. We shared different stories but one in common “Travel”.

Yeah, while you see the “YOLO” post of my fellow Millennials, or even just glancing at Instagram, older generations or people who don’t understand us will shake your damn head.

 

As a travel influencer, when I started travelwithhafiz.com, social media has become more intense. Facebook is still my

favorite community when it comes to reaching my fans about my travel story with authentic experiences.

Travel experience plus social media is like twins but it can be stressful at times. Travel is my priority and social media is the bridge to bring out authentic experiences.

We, Millennials are becoming more open-minded about new experiences and hoping that we can go beyond just “likes”.

 

Okay, let us talk about travel snobbery. Whether you like it or not- it definitely exists. It is a term that I wish I could not hear my entire life until I will be buried 6 feet under. But, I don’t think it can be avoided, and it will never be. It is a subjective thing that evolved years and years before I started my career as a travel blogger.

It is all rampant and can be seen everywhere, and we definitely don’t want to admit – we are a travel snob sometimes.

It was never ending the debate of travelers versus tourists. When a backpacker is way better than a luxury traveler, comparing them as well traveled than you are is where the real definition of travel snob begins. I have great respect for those who traveled a lot of countries, stayed longer, and went further remote, I am not against with that. But devaluing others is another thing. Yes, travel snob aims to elevate or highlight their travel experiences over yours.

Travel Snobbery

Yes, hate is a strong word but as someone travels a lot, I hate travel snobs.
Here is my say. There is no right or wrong way to travel. You can be whatever you want on your travel, be that luxury traveler in the Bahamas, a digital nomad traveler, or you just want to be a normal vacationer.

My advice is simple, be what you want on your travel and no one can dictate you.

My life is exposed in travel, I live abroad, I go vacation whenever I want, and when I am not traveling, I write about travel. Oh yeah, I am fortunate to have that privilege where I was able to learn different cultures, meet people who became the most valued contact on my lists, in my own way of travel.
I don’t travel fast, I just don’t. I still do have a corporate job and I admire those who take a leap for freedom and now celebrating the life as a traveler turned bloggers. We all have a different way of showing the world that we are the influencers and the catalyst of change.

 

If I will take a month travel to Morocco, and saves a lot of money or not spending my money at all because of sponsorships, can I be a superior? That is what we call “The spending snob” type.

To be honest, I was this “The popular destination snob” when I was a teen. I felt “superior” than anyone else because I chose to go way off the beaten track and sticking to my destination list of “best places to travel before 20”.

That being said, I was a travel snob that time. I hate to admit it but I was.

 

Pre-Travel Anxiety

While writing this article, I am widely awake at 2 am having thoughts of my upcoming travel to Europe and Central Asia. Did I pack my things? Inform my credit card company? Travel gadgets? Insurance? So many and I was lost!

I end up in biting my nails or sleeping on my bed.

Welcome to the world of anxiety!

I hate to experience that again. Whether you are traveling first time with your family and friends or even a solo, a pre-trip anxiety will lead us to uncomfortable feeling that makes us doubt even the pros. Believe me, it was so embarrassing to know that doubts are creeping in while you already have your flight ticket and hotel accommodation ready. Thinking of some threats or dangers on the road and people that you will meet. These are just some of the things that usually hold us to travel and you just realized that you just unsure why you booked a ticket- a round trip ticket to Pakistan. Boom!

What a wonderful world. #georgia #mestia #svaneti #travelwithhafiz #photo #insta

A post shared by Travel with Hafiz (@travelwithhafiz) on

 

 

If you will let your doubts control you, then you will become a person of doubts.

However, if you know how to defense this anxiety, you can definitely manage it without the help of others.

 

1. Set a good plan for your emergency contacts, health care, emails

I admit, I hate to deal with this. Setting up a plan before your travel can help you minimize the stress that you will get. When I started to travel solo, I don’t even plan my travel as long as I have a ticket and accommodation booked, then I thought I am good to go. Medical emergencies, while you are on travel is crucial.

If you are traveling to a country where you are not sure of the safety, I would advise that you need to inform the nearest embassy or consulate through email. So whatever happen, they will know.

 

2. Don’t over plan your travel

Not all travel plan needs to be written on a paper. You may not know the situation once you reach your destination. Every detailed trip will cause you more nervous.

So, go with the flow. Having a strict list of the plan will lead you to over thinking. The knowledge that you have about the place through research will help you more. Come on, you need excitement, not uncomfortably.

In life, the only constant is change. #travel #followforfollow #travelwithhafiz #blog #photographer

A post shared by Travel with Hafiz (@travelwithhafiz) on

 

 

3. Embrace your limitations

While we are still human and anxiety is uncontrollable but can cope with, knowing your limits and accepting it will decrease worries. Even you accept of having a lack of limits, plan ahead of time and done with your research about a destination can still give you anxiety.

 

4. Don’t rush

Travel is not a competition to rush. I mean it is not an amazing race show that you need to rush everything without learning the things you can do in your destination. Just feel free more anxiety free and be positive. I like to feel myself in a place where I can call home instead. I learn a lot when I was in Barcelona where I walked the narrow street full of restaurants trying to look for something but I was not. On that experience, I familiarized the street the next time around.

 

5. Take care of yourself

Having a routine exercise will help you to have a good mental health. Have enough sleep, keeping a balanced diet, and staying hydrated at times are important factors.

I used to hate carrying a bottle of water but I realized it is a must thing to do.

The shipwrecked. #travelbloggers #instagram #instago #instarepost #ships #photography #nomadapp_co

A post shared by Travel with Hafiz (@travelwithhafiz) on

6. Create a playlist of music that will make you happy and relax

The only purpose why you need a music to your travel is to make your mind relax and diverted through a playlist of music.

You need to distract your mind from anxiety and music can at least help you to divert that feeling. I always had the best music downloads to my mobile phone whenever I travel.

There is no specific songs or music you need however having the music that you like will make everything right. Imagine you are in a plane al the way to your dream destination and suddenly you feel alone. I hate that moment!

Whoa! in 365 days only once or twice a year Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is experiencing rain. Yallah habibi! #jeddah #ksa #rain

A post shared by Travel with Hafiz (@travelwithhafiz) on

7. Remember there is a reason for everything

If you wonder why it happens to you, you are not alone. Accept the fact that it is normal to have this feeling but the question is how to cope with it. Forcing yourself to be out of anxiety right away will cause you more stress. Just think about your destination, and if ever you will cancel it, someday you will still dream that destination. That is awful yeah!

I am writing this article at 2 am but this may be the best thing I have done so far. Why? Because I was trying to hide it when anxiety comes in. I don’t want to talk about it to my friends and family. I was afraid of being tagged as not a good traveler enough and etc.

I know, people would understand me because they experience this too. As a travel blogger, anxiety is a serious issue that every traveler needs to cope with it.

 

What are your pre-travel tips? Feel free to comment below.

 

travellocal

We always think of safety when we are travel abroad. We often hear travel warnings and cautions from our peers and families that travel is not safe.

Media always scares us about the negative news and the worst is they let us feel not to go for your dream to travel our amazing world. In some cases, these are true but even in our own backyard we are not safe. In my experience, research is one easiest thing that you should do. Remember, you need to know the places that you are going to. Be a traveler, not a tourist.

In this article, I am going to share how to travel your dream destination whether you are a neophyte blogger or a tourist.

I grew up in a country where tourism is  common, tourists are flocking to great beaches. But is travel safe? We cannot control the situation but we can avoid it if you follow these important factors when travelling the first time or looking for your next destination.

Alhamdulillah Spending Iftar. #iftar #ramadan #ramadankareem #buffet #ramadan2016 #muslim

A post shared by Travel with Hafiz (@travelwithhafiz) on

1 Do a research

Research before you go. Knowing the place you are about to stay, the pros and cons, and alternatives  you need to do if you get into trouble. Google Map is one way to do it, research the address on Google Maps. Use the street view so you will have an idea what is the place look like.

Find out the foods that are common through online websites. Talk to your friends who have been there and

2. Dress properly

When you dress properly you are putting yourself to safety for various reasons. Remember that people sometimes judge you in your dress and they can easily categorize you they way how you dress. I am not a fashionista but when you travel, you are giving an idea that you are a traveler the way you dress and become a target.

ATM. Holy Friday #masjid #jummah #architecture #mosque #jeddah

A post shared by Travel with Hafiz (@travelwithhafiz) on

3. Keep Language Phrases

Learn basic words when English is not the first language. You need to learn key phrases and master it. Phrases like the apology, please, and asking directions are some of the basic phases that you need to know. Based on my experience, it can help a lot when communicating with the locals and they feel happy at least you are trying to speak their language.

 

4. Be Respectful and Kind

When you are away, you will learn their traditions but you need to respect them. You are visiting out of your home and understand the reason why they do out of your traditions and life. Living in a place where your family is away will give you a sense of independent. If you will encounter some issues with the places or directions locals can help you a lot. Travelling abroad can be fruitful while you are building a friendship with them. If you are respecting the local tradition, taste and look you can expect a good treatment.

5. Stay in a house not a hotel 

Well, I tried a couple of hotel stays but it is just so boring to do that always. I was stuck in an itinerary without learning the culture of the locals. If you’re staying in a luxurious hotel accommodation, you are definitely in a tourist zone. If you heard about Couchsurfing, it will be a great option to stay but make sure that the host is a verified one. Be attentive to everything and avoid to get involved in drugs. I recommend using Airbnb  rental  and Perjero too when finding a cheap accommodation.

A view from Saudi Arabia's Al Baha city. #saudi #saudiarabia #city #instagram #instamood #photo

A post shared by Travel with Hafiz (@travelwithhafiz) on

6. Don’t wear jewelry

Like what I have said above, aside from wearing the proper dress, you may also get in trouble if you are wearing jewelry. A simple watch and purse with your limited cash are enough while exploring the place you want to go. If you are living with a local host, make sure that your jewelry is put on a safe locker. I never experience getting robbed while living with a local friend however

 

7. Use your senses when taking a public transportation

Taking a public transportation can save you money but you need to be an observant. Obviously, it is a budget way to get from one place to another. Make sure to check your things whether you are in bus or train where people bump and rush each other.

ATM: The oldest market in Arab world. #market #history #shop #instadaily #pengengpaki #turkey

A post shared by Travel with Hafiz (@travelwithhafiz) on

 

 

popular-travel-destinations-1

Travel blogging has made me more efficient than ever as a person aside from the places that I traveled.

You want to start your own but don’t know how to start? This detailed and honest guide will give you how to start a travel blog.

I often asked about how to start a travel blog. Alright. I Know. But travel blogging isn’t an overnight success. I spent huge sweat and sleepless nights to set my blog on the right track.

After a year of perseverance from trial and error, it made me realize that setting a travel blog is not easy.

How To Start A Travel Blog

 

Let me start by saying that travel blogging is a serious job. I am not a full-time travel blogger but to set up a blog needs determination not just because of money. The words travel and blog are two important topics you need to understand and how these words will have an impact on your chosen path as a travel blogger.

I started blogging by signing up WordPress-a free hosting website that everybody loves. Companies like CNN, BBC, Time Inc., Sony Music, TechCrunch and other notable singers like Beyonce are using WordPress.

Now, take note that WordPress.com is different from WordPress.Org, make sure to choose WordPress.com so you can host your own website unlike with .org you need to download a software and install it on your own server. WordPress.com is totally free!

1. Choose a killer domain name

What I mean is your brand name. What kind of travel blogger are you? How do you want people will remember you? Are you a nomad traveler? Johny The Explorer? You need to choose your own domain name that is easy to remember.

You don’t need to use your complete name to be your domain. You can add a word that best describes you as a travel blogger like “Nomadic Mathew” or ‘Wander John”. Remember Dora The Explorer?

Travel With Hafiz is a long term brand name. You can definitely sense that Hafiz is my name and travel is connected with it.

2. Get hosted

Hosting is easy. You need to host your website to keep it running in the World Wide Web. So which hosting will you need?

 

I chose Bluehost for years now. I always recommend this company to my co-bloggers and to new as well. They have excellent customer service support and their plans are reasonable

By clicking get started now on its front page you can start to host your website:

 

 

Next is you need to choose a plan that suits you. If you are serious about blogging, I recommend choosing the Plus plan which the most popular on Bluehost.

 

 

 

Choose your domain name and click submit

 

 

Fill in your information and choose a package you want. I suggest a 36 month plus price to get savings of more than 50% if you click here

 

 

One you are done paying the amount, you will get an email about your hosting details. No what?

Now you have successfully registered a hosting service to your domain name, all you need to do is to install WordPress from your Bluehost account. Click Install Website next to your Website Manager icon. Don’t freak out with other icons. Don’t be a trigger happy by now.

 

 

You will be redirected to installation process where you need to log in your details of your WordPress account. Just follow the instructions ask and you are good.

You will see a URL like “http://www.yourblog.com/wp-admin :

3. Learn the WordPress

All you need to do now is to navigate your WordPress admin. Learn the basic and getting intimidated is just normal. Having a Bluehost as your hosting company means you will no longer have a www.yourblog.wordpress.com but instead www.yourblog.com

Now, you will have a full control of your website as follows:

  • You can sell advertising on your website
  • You can choose professional theme and custom plugins
  • You can install Google Analytics

It wasn’t hard to do, it may take some time to be used to it

4. Install important plugins

I am not good at tweaking, however, choosing the right plugins can be more exciting. I used the following plugins to my WordPress:

  • WordPress SEO– helps optimize your content to Google
  • Social share buttons– enables to share your content to social media
  • Akismet– protects your site from spammers

 

5. Build your social media 

Creating your social media presence is a must. Every day we tend to check our social media accounts and these are addictive. Make sure to promote your article through social media buttons or you can schedule a post.

Remember that you are building your online authority so create all or some social media accounts to connect with your fans.

6. Start writing an article

Now you can start writing an impressive content from your travel. I usually write at least 3 times a month or more. My goal is to write 3 new articles every month at start. You need to be consistent on your blog post as what I said above it is not easy however with the right approach you can definitely do it.

It will take a long time at least 1 year based on my experience and needs a lot of work. You need to update your blog, learn from the expert by watching videos on Youtube and other meetups of travel bloggers.

blog

 

Nice one! Congratulations on being a travel blogger!

 

 

Note that affiliate links are used on this post. If you purchase any products recommended, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  By purchasing items on this affiliate links, you’ll help the ongoing expenses and fund my travel.

 

 

 

Travel heal heart

After two days marks my two-year travelling solo.

And I am completely free.

August of 2014 was a nightmare. My friends know that I didn’t have any problems but that was a fake gesture.

I can’t stay like that.

I can’t fool myself anymore.

Who says that I can’t be a broken hearted? I gave all of my life to her, I was stupid.

I had a positive mental attitude. I had a lot of hopes with our relationship.

I felt every pain stuck in my heart and mind.

My heart told me that I love her, but her words were not the same.

We were immature saying words each time was over, and then we found ourselves running into circles. We hung up and turned off the mobile phones, and then switched on after a few minutes.

I was in a coma by my own heart. Then she just called me and say sorry. She cheated on me.

“Is this what you call love?” The first question I asked.

“I can’t live without you, how did you do this to me?” I also don’t know why I told her that.

Maybe because I love her so much that time.

Six years in a relationship is not a joke.

I walked down the street of Makati city and my tears fell.

C’mon, why this shit happened to me. I want to run away if I will have a chance to do.

So I did.

 

Two years later, I found myself a forgiving person not because I want to forget her but because I realized that life is precious and we bleed because we are alive. Right?

Thank God.

Although I ran from that problem while trying to escape from a depression. It opened my eyes to a better world and became a motivated guy.

I want to have a life again.

13923826_1044697358979501_4661609584224127803_o

 

IT is Okay Not To Be Okay

While we can’t control the feeling, we can definitely control how we think on the situation.

It is okay not to be okay. Shit happens, so be it.

Cry if you want to cry. Remember, crying doesn’t mean you are weak.

Damn. It is easy to say. But you are not really fine.

What do you want to do?

Grab him or her and you both will fly to the moon?

All is well. Put God in the center of everything.

 

TAKE A DEEP BREATH

Breath. A word that is easy to say but the hardest thing to do. Try to gain your normal breathing despite what happened. Go nearby places for now and gain your energy.

I don’t cry so hard, tears fell and can barely breathing.

 

11200581_883060185124585_3873749006705187269_n

 

MAKE A SPACE FROM YOUR PAST

I blocked her on Facebook and stopped sending messages. We may have a different situation.

Some can save their relationship but some cannot. It may depend on the reason but for me I call it QUITS.

It is over.

Creating a space means you will be in the process of healing. How will expect to heal the pain if you are following her or him on Instagram?

Secretly reading his or her post on Facebook? Damn.

You don’t want to see him or her on social media spending her or his new love with hilarious hashtags:

#MyNewHubby

#ForgetYou

#MoveOn

..or #Happy…and you are not!

I travel a thousand miles from my country and I started to appreciate our world. I got a chance to connect what was broken by valuing myself instead of getting a stressful life.

 

Once you have space, your pain will heal at the right time.

13599912_10206463472888825_4843578137130866775_n

 

DIVERT YOUR MIND TO SOMETHING FRUITFUL

Once you created a space, there will be a necessity of diversion. I was in a country where no one knows me  and what I had been through. I worked and enjoyed my time on writing the travel experiences that I had.

The world has become my home. I traveled different places and met extraordinary people.

My mind was diverted to the experiences that I want to do.

I was contented.

 

TRAVEL BECAME MY NEW LOVE LIFE

Travelling miles away from your place and eventually you are strong enough to meet the past and say ” Thank You” for giving you the lesson to live your life.

Awesome.

Trust me, you will not stop travelling. I did not realize that I am finally healed.

I did not forget her but I forgive her.

I finally found someone while travelling the world.

Time will heal everything through travel.

Do you have unique stories? Let me know your thoughts below.

 

 

Bolivia

 

I am into cheap places to  travel and saving money as much as I can is definitely my goal.

I have no objection with spending as long as it helps you, however spending too much and living in expensive places that don’t fit your budget can give you disaster.

I have trimmed down the list of places to travel that won’t break your budget for the first time so you can have in mind for your future plans:

 

14 Belgrade, Serbia

Serbia

Following the war of the 1990’s Belgrade is struggling to attract tourist. But if you end up of visiting, your wallet will be your best friend. backpackers are started to consider Belgrade as one of the cheapest places to visit.

 

13 Manila, Philippines

Cheap places

I could not agree more. I miss the busy streets and the diverse culture of the capital. From the oldest settlers to Spanish era, this city will take you to different corners of history.

 

 

12 Krakow, Poland

Poland

Located in southern Poland, the second largest and oldest city in the country. Budget travelers in Europe choose Krakow as one of the best and cheapest destinations to count

 

 

11. Yangoon, Myanmar

Myanmar

I am constantly asked about my budget in Myanmar. It does depend on you as a type of traveler but Yangoon is definitely cheap based on my experience.

 

 

10. Agra, India

India

Oh no, it is definitely cheap. When I was in India for work, this city represents accessibility. You can definitely book a cheap and decent hotel there. And the food! love it!

 

9. Jakarta, Indonesia

jakarta

Oh well, a huge capital on the northwest coast of the island Java. Imagine the cost of living in Jakarta is 54.72 % lower than in New York!

 

8 . Colombo, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Yes, Ceylon! Colombo is a city of mesmerizing . And the cost of living is cheap. Although one of the underrated cities in the world and tourism is still struggling, Colombo is a choice of simple living

 

7. Sofia, Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Yes, Sofia. Sofia is often overlooked by tourist but not for travelers. It is a youthful city, largely modern and while its old east meets atmosphere according to Lonely Planet is still much evident- a scattering onion- domed churches, ottoman mosque, and monuments shares the skyline.

 

 

6. Cairo, Egypt

EGYPT

Cairo is one of those cities where people with money can splurge but people on budget can get more than they need

 

 

5. Bucharest, Romania

Romania

One of Europe’s cheapest cities. Forget Amsterdam, Bucharest is Europe’s top destination. For foodies, Bucharest is equally appetizing that suits your budget

 

 

4. Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok

One of the reasons why people move to Thailand is because it’s cheap and damn awesome! And housing is affordable.

 

 

3 Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Cambodia

Phnom Penh is a city where food, hotels, and places to are pretty cheap.

 

 

2 Quito, Ecuador

ecuador

Travelling to The Andes especially Quito city is a priceless experience. It’s simple but magnificent picturesque captures the heart of every budget travelers.

1. Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnam

Hanoi is the gateway to northern Vietnam. Foods and travel are always fun, the accessibility of living here is not a problem. Although you will get to see a lot of temples and old architectures, Hanoi is getting popular for western travelers.

 

When traveling to these places, always remember that no countries on earth that are perfect. However, the experience that you will get will stay forever.

 

 

travel

When I left The Philippines two years ago, I had so many realizations that made me think until now. Without a doubt, and tried to do what I love ever since had a great impact on myself and answered my questions of what I really want to be. What is really my passion? Ughh, that is too awful to know.

I started a travel blog, I am a blogger. I own a phone and I take photos so I am a photographer. In the past years, when you say, photographer, it only focuses on the people who went to school. I love the fact that nowadays, you can be a photographer if you have a phone- you don’t need to go to school and religiously study it.

yourself matters social media
The Red Sea in Saud Arabia

Don’t pretend to be someone. Don’t try to be something you are not.

This freak me out when I see someone posting online with beautiful places especially Instagram that they did this and that. Well, maybe this is their marketing strategy and I absolutely respect them. But, where is the story behind that? It doesn’t count how many mountain you hike or likes you get. It is YOU that matters.

I felt guilty of doing these things before so who am I to judge them that they are being fake, right?

Social medias are powerful tools to stay connected to strangers. When I began to be active on Facebook, I even received chats from Afghanistan and Iraq from fans using the Arabic language. Knowing that you inspire them without hiding yourself from who you are- that was priceless.

 

13473803_1640604112932451_2049522043_n
Red Sea

I am a writer. I own a blog so I write. Writing my own experience from a two-month vacation in Spain is totally fine. Who the hell are they to judge what I write? Don’t get me wrong, my blog seems to be unique while I am writing this.

I am a collector of memories NOT things.

We are living in great content creators, And that’s perfectly awesome!

Being YOU is important. Are you fine with pretending someone and living in a fake  for your entire life? Life is too short to pretend someone. If you want to change the world then you must change yourself.

I don’t need to mention that everyone is copying each other trying to do the same. But, it was painful to see them. Well, life is full of fake and authenticity. It is YOU who can decide which one you will follow. the truth of the matter is, accepting the reality hurts us and fake tend to give us relaxation. I hate to say this but it is true. Oops.

13493010_1640604309599098_400641159_n

As an expat blogger, I feel the same way that people experience here in Saudi Arabia. Being away from your loved ones sometimes get me sick. Not to the extent that I am homesick but you have the feeling to escape from a country which has a 50 degree Celsius of temperature. And that is the reality that I need to accept.

I rather ask for  more experiences whether good or bad or perhaps fewer troubles rather than copying someone and be a copy cat for my whole life. I rather use Couchsurfing and do a good deed because I can’t afford to buy a hotel than staying in a luxury one and tomorrow will be your end.

 

13473726_1640604226265773_548646128_n

 

Life doesn’t always have dark and the sunshine. After the rainbow, there is a rain. So be yourself and challenge this world to be real.

Many people are not completely happy with the lives they are living in their home country. The government might be doing something they disagree with, they might have difficulty finding the right job or they are simply not happy with the social climate in the country. Therefore, it is no wonder that many eventually become expatriates, meaning they move from their home country to find a new home. Their intention might be to stay in the new home temporarily or permanently. There are even those who prefer moving from one country to another on a regular basis. This article is about what expat travelers can expect when moving somewhere and what expectations they’d better not have in mind in order to avoid disappointment.

 

I wander If I could travel the world. El viaje gratis”

First of all, there is a big difference between living somewhere permanently and staying there on a vacation only for a few weeks. There’s a handful of good reasons for that. One is that the whole purpose of going on a vacation is to not have to think, it is to let your mind wander for a certain period of time, let go of stress and duties. Our focus at that time is on making sure that we visit all the places that are worth visiting in the in the country or city we are staying in and that we taste all the fantastic foods that are a part of the regional culture.

However, when we intend to stay somewhere permanently and become expatriates, we should keep in mind that we are not going to live in a utopia. We might make a decision to stay permanently in the country that we originally only thought of as the destination for our vacation. The difference in living standards between the country we originate from and the one we intend to stay in will likely not be that huge, especially if the two countries are similarly economically developed. Also, there are certain things that you are going to have to do regardless of where you live. You are still going to need to do the shopping, pay the bills, pick up after the dog, do the housework, go to work, etc. You will also have legal obligations, which naturally arise whenever you move somewhere new, such as paying taxes, taking care of your healthcare insurance costs, etc. Now there might be certain things that you might welcome in the new country such as the fact that it has access to the sea, or that there are many more sunny days in the year than in the place where you used to live in

Travel is my soul. It makes me happy while I can inspire others.”

 

When traveling frequently as an expat, it is a good idea to get a travel insurance for there are things that might go wrong on the trip and you’d better be prepared for them. For example, you might suddenly become ill or injured and in that case, you will need professional medical help. A related insurance plan might cover treatment in a hospital plus all the medicines and physiotherapy to help you get well again. Also, somebody might steal something that is very important to you and there are also insurance plans which cover accidental damage or theft of your property.

 

When traveling, it is also a good idea to use a service which allows you to save money due to lower travel costs. One such service is Booking.com which lets you specify the from and to destinations, as well as the time of the departure. It also lets you book a hotel at a favorable price and specify the number of rooms, and the number of adults and children whom you are going to stay in the hotel with.

I am an expat and I am hungry for more

Overall, when traveling as an expat, use your common sense when selecting your travel destinations and do not expect wonders if you do not want to be disappointed. Every country has problems, no matter how large an economy it is, how well they treat travelers, or how developed their infrastructure is.

 




Two years ago I decided to leave my country hoping for a better opportunity working abroad. I am one of the expatriates all over the world seeking for greener pastures. Yes, you heard it right however that is the mindset of some Filipinos- to provide our family’s needs and that is true.

I got a good job in Philippines, I worked with some of the biggest Business Process Outsourcing as a Trainer in Spanish account. But then something is missing and I am not happy. Something is missing and I felt incomplete. I was lucky to have those jobs but I can’t be like that. I know, I need to do something. But I need to work to sustain my daily needs, I need to support my parents in any way. But I love to travel.

Can I be an expat and do travel at the same time? I took a decision and leave my corporate life in my home country. I  still have a corporate life however I travel. How? that is the question that I would like you to know.

IMPROVE MY LANGUAGE SKILLS

Since I am fluent in Spanish, I want to improve my Arabic language skills by using it everyday. This is one of the perks of being an expat. A simple ” Merhaba” in Arabic for “Welcome” can be rewarding. One of the less tangible expatriate benefits is the fact that a simple assignment or responsibility will improve some skills you might need in workplace. For example, I often learn a new language and perhaps I even become fluent in it. I remember meeting my friend Mohammad from Lebanon here in the city of Jeddah who also speaks Spanish but his mother tongue is Arabic. We talked about anything but in Spanish language.

My bestfriend Khawar who is from Pakistan speaks Urdu. Although we speaks English sometimes but I started to remember some Urdu words including his local dialect which is Hindko. Hindko is the local dialect commonly used in Northern Pakistan. Imagine how these skills can help you communicate with others.

THRIVING FINANCIALLY WHILE TRAVEL

 I got a good chance to received one of those coveted expat contracts when I choose Saudi Arabia in which my particular skill set is in high demand. However, what I can advice is that if you are not set on a certain country yet you need to do a research. Living in Saudi Arabia is not easy- I mean it. However it doesn’t hinders me to pursue what I love to do. My first 6 months were difficult. I need to adjust with the cultures, people, and I learned to extend my patience. Saudi Arabia is a great country to explore. I will write in my next blog on how I save money while travelling here in Saudi as an expat.

Moving to Saudi Arabia was an incredible culture shock. Having been accustomed to an open way of life in the Philippines and Spain, I just don’t know what to think before. Well, aside from the restrictions, I had wonderful experiences.

 

DIVERSITY

Growing up in a small town, I thought that diversity meant that kids from other town and kids in our own town attended my school in equal numbers. My world now has expanded beyond anything from my small town in mind could have thought years ago. I have made friends with people from all corners of the globe, from countries I never been.

 

GOOD COMPENSATION

I know most of the expats will agree that working in Saudi Arabia means you will be earning a good salary. Money and money. Having a reasonable cost of living here is good. I would prefer living in a country where I can save money than I can do whatever I want but with no funds on my wallet or bank account. The reason why I am here is to save money while having a good salary from my employer.

You’ll find that each year’s savings working in Saudi Arabia equals five years working elsewhere.

Although, I will be limited in someways and my boundaries was tested.

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Without Boundaries

How globalization and technology advancements have helped connect the world

 

When we think of travel, we think often to the constrictions of our own country. According to a recent CNN report, only 30% of Americans have a passport. Eastern countries have a lot more travel among citizens primarily due to the railway system connecting various countries. Regardless of which country you reside in, travel does not have to be limited. Globalization and technology advancements have made it possible to travel without boundaries.

How has globalization helped travel?

Globalization relies upon the differences in political, economic, and cultural differences merging so that a more unified consciousness with mankind can be achieved. Though social and mobile media, the world has seen the cultural lines disappear as more and more people embrace the theologies, practices, and languages of other countries. And though the term globalization has only been really been coined in the past two decades, the theory has been around since Plato. Where it relates to travel is this: as the world becomes more intertwined with other cultures it become less and less diversified and “new”. To explain: in times pass a person would travel to a foreign country and would be a tourist of that country unknowing of the language, the culture, or the places in which to visit. This left the tourist with a sense of vulnerability.

However, in today’s globalized society travel blogs, information sites showing the best places to visit such as booking.com and tripadvisor.com and travel guide magazine Perjero.com have made the tourism less of a tourist and more a traveler (they have become apter to enjoy the tip rather learning and seeking as you go)

 

How has technology helped to make traveling without boundaries possible? 

Yes. That is why I run this travel blog to inspire people that travel has no borders. With the integration of apps into our everyday lives, the technology and the information available to the traveler has made my travel more ideal. Granted, a person usually has a bit lower of a knowledge base than that of a native, but with the use of apps, blogs. GPS, translators(Google Translate an example) and smart UX interfaces, the traveler is more equipped to” fit in” than to appear as a tourist on holiday. Yet, it is not just apps which have helped the industry. Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube( let us not forget Pinterest) have allowed persons of various cultures to connect PRIOR o visit a country. This in truth allows for the person who is planning to visit a country to get a crash course in culture, prime places to visit and the do’s and do not’s of that culture.

So why there has not been more foreign travel? 

In my observation, two myths have played a tremendous role in the stifling of foreign travel. The first is that the foreign travel is not safe. This is large to blame on the media and other social outlets. Yet, when looking at traveling and security, the technology of securing personal information is heightened, airport and cruise have been optimized to run more effectively, and hotel and resorts have implemented new strategies to their clientele such as fingerprint scanning.

The second myth is that traveling abroad is expensive. I would venture to say that this is more deterrent than that of the first point. However, if you look at the rates of travel on travel blog sites and those offered by local airlines, you will see that the cost to fly is about as expensive as the cost to fill up your car, stay in a few hotels to get your destination( when food, gas, and lodging are factored in) and then to book an actual hotel. In some cases, the cost even less.

Do you have any thoughts about this article? Feel free to comment below.

Alright, let me share about one place in The Philippines I traveled 2 months before I left the country. This place is a Spanish inspired resort in the Island of Luzon 4 to 5 hours travel from the capital Manila by car or air conditioned bus.

This travel is one of the unforgettable memories of my life tried to escape the busy streets of Makati city- The New York of the Philippines where I worked as Spanish Trainer in a BPO company.  The plan started when I knew that I will be leaving the country in few weeks time after I received notifications from my employer that I should prepare packing up my things for departure. I contacted my long time friend Ria who is also a my schoolmate during my high school years.

The plan took after an ambushed preparations with other friends. We drove to the place like strangers but a smile on our faces. We rented a cheap house  that costed Php 3000 or 300 Saudi Riyals for one night, bought some Sea foods and other soda drinks. We arrived at 2:30 in the afternoon with excitement and it was like we are attending a Hollywood party. We went to the resort and paid reasonable entrance fees. We toured by a local guide that speaks Tagalog(national language) inside the resort with different Spanish houses.

I love camera. I love taking pictures and complimenting each others pictures with different angle when I am with my friend Ria. Seriously, we are in common when it comes to this, LOL. She is working abroad as an expat too! but not in KSA.

Along with happy moments I spent with them, I wished that time “I will definitely go back to this place”.

I was not home sick. I believe travel is a vast experience. A travel that I can still remember no matter where I am.

Me and my friends during the visit in The Philippines
Me and my friends during the visit in The Philippines
Inside the resort
Inside the resort
Me at the traditional Filipino house
Me at the traditional Filipino house