Travel Round-Up: 12 Travel Highlights for 2012Monday, December 24, 2012Ryan Mach
12 for '12If my massive desire for travel were a symptom for some serious addiction, then 2012 would have been the year when I have become a complete junkie. Travel junkie, that is. The burning passion to be always on the road, the insatiable craving to go someplace, the irrepressible yearning to take off - they've gone very persistent this year. I had no choice but to cave in. This travel addiction isn't a sickness but at some point, it felt like one. The only cure was to simply travel; there was no other way around it.
But where has this wanderlust taken me? Were those travels worth every penny, time and effort? Did they make me a better person?
In a literal sense, this wanderlust has led me see and experience several destinations, some of which I've already been to before. Eye-opening experiences and life-changing realizations make every centavo, time and energy well-spent (I had no problem with time and energy, it's the money part that was a huge bump). I can't say for sure that these travels have made me a better person but they have let me see things with clarity and view life in a different perspective.
2012 was a year with so many firsts. It was my first time to travel solo, first time to climb a mountain and first time to go back to the same destination within the same year. It's also the year when I met friends who share the same passion as mine (traveling, what else?) both in the real and virtual world. Last year I made a list of my travel experiences, and in keeping with the tradition, I created this travel-round up, which is basically another list of travels I have embarked on for the past 12 months.
1. DUMAGUETE, NEGROS ORIENTAL
Beer for one (Hayahay Restaurant)
2. PICO DE LORO, CAVITE
Feeling like a king of the world
My fascination with mountains officially started with my Pico de Loro climb. Prior to this climb, I was what you can call a mountain virgin. The devirginization was both sweet and harsh but altogether unforgettable. The muscle sore, the fatigue, the blisters - they're nothing when compared to the feeling I experienced on top of the mountain. Took my breath away, quite literally.
3. MT. PINATUBO, ZAMBALES
4. CARAMOAN PENINSULA, CAMARINES SUR
Matukad Island, not very postcard-worthy on rainy days
5. CARABAO ISLAND, ROMBLON
Unspoiled beach in Nausa, one of the few barrios in San Jose
| Tablas Fun Resort | Buenavista Beach | Local Circumcision | Travel Guide: Carabao Island | Carabao Island - Romblon's Jewel | Looc Sanctuary | Aglicay Beach |
6. PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN
Beautiful karsk formation
| Iwahig Firefly Watching | Sabang | Underground River | Ugong Rock | Ugong Zipline | Itoy's | Kalui | Honda Bay |
7. LEGAZPI, ALBAY
The majestic Mayon Volcano
My solo trip in Dumaguete played a huge part in bolstering my self-confidence to travel alone. Six months after that liberating experience, I challenged myself again to do another solo travel. This time at a destination much closer to Manila: Legazpi City in Albay. But there was a big damper - storm was brewing in the south which reduced my trip to holing up inside my hotel room. A supposed one-day stay in Legazpi was extended because of the flight cancellation caused by a weather disturbance.
8. BORACAY, AKLANBoracay isn't a good place to travel alone, it's meant to be experienced with friends or families. A one-day stay on an island known for its white sand beaches and insane parties was enough to have a good glimpse of the island life.
9. TARAK RIDGE, BATAAN
Camping under the rain
10. SAN JOSE, TARLACkayaked our way down crazy rapids aboard a rubber boat that tossed and upturned by currents. Equally worthy of note was the breathtaking view of meandering rivers and undulating plains of Tarlac. The adventure continued long after the end of the kayak tour, when we lost our way in a dark, vast field.
11. SAN JUAN, LA UNION
Basti of Wolfgang
12. CARAMOAN PENINSULA, CAMARINES SUR
| Caramoan Lucky 13 | Cotivas Island | Sabitang-Laya | Matukad Island | Lahos | Hunongan Cove | Umang Cave | St. Michael | CWC | Biggs Diner |
Here's a cheesy video-cum-picture-slide of my travels for 2012.