A Taste of Autumn

AutumnI had a grand time in South Korea. It was my first time to experience autumn and it was amazing!!! Sure, the weather could be nasty at times but what the heck. It was all part of the fun! 🙂

I’m still in the process of filtering out the pictures that I took during my 4-day vacation there. I promise to be back with more snapshots and words. Annyeong haseyo!

Of Travels and Budgets

Today, I had dinner with my friend, Val, who just came back from his vacation in South Korea. I enjoyed looking through his pictures and listening to his stories and experiences in the country. I am pretty much stoked! In less than a week, I’ll be freezing my ass off  1600 miles away from here and experience my first autumn or winter, whichever is the case.

One of the most important discussion that we had, of course, was the budget. Whenever I travel, I see to it that I don’t get too hyped up with the place that I lose control of my expenses. I know that there’s this ongoing YOLO fever and “never convert because you’ll never be able to buy anything!” thing going on in the travelling world, but I believe the opposite. In times of travel, it is still best to be frugal. I always convert not only because I’m a cheapskate but also because I want to make sure that I get the most out of everything. I mean why buy something that you’re not really in love with? Why stuff yourself with expensive food that’s not really worth it? Pardon me, but I believe in the magic of cheap thrills. And cultural immersion, of course.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not particularly uptight about these things. If the price is right and the thing is really worth the spending, why not?

Anyway, he told me that 20K PHP is enough for 5 days. This is a big whoop considering that I’ve been saving 30 – 40k for our trip. I don’t fully believe that this is possible for me (Sorry, Val! Haha!) but I can take it as a challenge. No harm in trying, right?

Speaking of another tight-budget getaway is our weekend trip to Pampanga. Christian’s friend, Chinee, invited us to her provincial house for their housewarming and some post-bday celebrations. For this, I’d like to do a 2K PHP-challenge. My friend, Maryann, originally challenged me to do the 1K PHP-challenge saying she did that before in one of her Laguna trips and she survived. But I don’t think I can do that in my case given the more expensive gas, toll fees, and food and booze share. So yeah, I increased it to 2K PHP.

This, actually, came up because Maryann and I were discussing our itinerary for the SK trip and I told her that I have another trip to spend on. She told me about her Laguna budget-challenge and I bit into it.

So there goes. Wish me luck! Lots of it! 😀

30-Ft Under

I did it! I’ve gone scuba diving with Christian in Lemlunay Diving Resort in Saranggani. This happened during our Gen San vacation last May. This 5-day vacation is currently on top of my favorite out-of-town trips for this year. One, because it’s my first solo trip with Christian and meeting his extended family has been wonderful. And two, I’ve done so many things that I wouldn’t have done in my waking hours here in Manila.

It was scary since it was my first time and I really don’t know how to swim. But it’s true what they say — being underwater for several feet is just surreal.  After a minute or two of heavily breathing through my scuba gear, I was able to relax and enjoy it more. I wasn’t able to contain my excitement when I saw the interesting species underwater. I was pointing here and there and my instructor was kind and game enough to take me where I wanted to go. I had fun playing around with the clown fishes thinking that they were Nemo’s relatives. There was also this sea anemone-looking plant that I loved. It was so velvety to the touch I wanted to pluck one and take it home with me. 😀

The only downside was the crew’s underwater camera is not working properly so we weren’t able to take some pictures. But I, still, am thankful because I was able to concentrate more on exploring  the diverse marine life that Saranggani has to offer. In my next dive, I will make sure to bring one and concentrate then on capturing the amazing view from down under.

Based on my instructor’s diver’s watch, I was able to go at around 32 feet underwater but Christian prolly has been around 40-ft or more. I will try to act braver next time and maybe do the flip-from-the-boat thing (if you know what I mean).