I can’t believe we’re done with 2017. I can still clearly remember how I exactly welcomed 2017- running for my life, catching a 1:30am flight from Taipei back to Manila last January 1 (It was my fault as I watched the Taipei 101 fireworks display when I clearly knew I had a flight to catch hehe. It was worth it though! Truly a once in a lifetime experience.)
2017 has been a year full of opportunities, growth, and learning. Some of the highlights in my life this year include: Finally finding an exercise I am able to sustain and do regularly (hello Ride Rev), getting my first promotion (not counting my graduation from the trainee program), keeping closely in touch with good friends, reconnecting with old ones, and last but definitely not the least, going on the most number of #SingTravels in a year.
I feel so blessed and thankful that I was able to both work and play hard last year (to those wondering and have been asking me on Instagram, I still have a lot of leaves left- that’s because I always book trips on long weekends or sandwich them in between holidays hehe) . 11 trips abroad– that’s the most number I’ve had since birth! May it be a new or an old country- each and every trip last 2017’s memorable in its own way.
February 2017- TAIWAN
After witnessing the Lantern Festival in Thailand last November 2016, I wanted to see how Taiwan does it as well. When I got the confirmation that Taiwan will do their festival on the 2nd week of February, I immediately booked my ticket for a quick weekend trip. Since it was not a long weekend, my trip literally was just for 2 days- primarily for the lantern parade but luckily, we were also able to book bungee jumping slots on the same weekend. I think this has got to be my shortest trip abroad ever! Nonetheless, it felt super eventful still cause of these 2 crazy activities we did.
March 2017- ICELAND
Where do I even begin? This trip feels surreal- sometimes, I still doubt if this trip really ever happened (until I start scrolling through our Iceland photos and assure myself that yup, it really did happen.) You see, seeing Aurora Borealis has been part of my bucketlist since I was young. However, I know that going to Iceland is super expensive and since I fund all my trips by myself since I started working 2.5 years ago, I always think that this trip will perhaps happen when I reach my 40s. Luckily, one of my friends (slash teammate and officemate), Jia, found a super cheap ticket one random day (28,000+ Pesos for round trip), and the rest is history! This was actually the only new country I’ve been to this 2017 but it’s enough because Iceland’s super memorable in SO many ways. From DIY-ing our own itinerary (yup, this will help save you a lot), to driving through Iceland’s crazy weather (one minute it’s sunny, then the next it’s snowing, then the next it’s windy, then stormy- there were actually a lot of times we thought we would die along the road HAHA), to glacier hiking- each and every single second in this island was so precious. You know what made it more memorable? Traveling with some of my best friends- the #Fridæcroö (Kate, Reisha, Jia, Bea, and Alex) . I’m so lucky to have a job that I love but I feel luckier to have met people in the workplace that are more than workmates to me- they’re my SISTERS!
April 2017- HONG KONG
Hong Kong has always been my second home since my mom was born there and I have been going there at least once a year since I was born. Whenever I want to treat myself with good food, no brainer- Hong Kong is always the way to go. Happy to be able to eat and discover good food during this trip.
May 2017- JAPAN
This trip was my first international training for work. I got to learn and understand makeup in a deeper sense (I work in Maybelline, just in case you’re wondering). Work was a bit hectic during this time cause I was preparing for the Fit Me Foundation line launch back then but I still super enjoyed this trip for many reasons- (1) insightful training; (2) the setting was perfect (Japan + good weather); (3) got to meet, interact, and become friends with amazing colleagues from different parts of Asia; (4) good food; (5) good company.
June 2017- KOREA
This was one of those impulse seat sale purchases but no regrets cause this trip turned out to be one of a kind. Reisha joined me for this trip last minute and I’m glad she was so easy to convince (I randomly asked her to book and she agreed right away without any hesitations btw.) Busan is so different from Seoul- it’s like the Penang to Kuala Lumpur of Malaysia and Chiang Mai to Bangkok of Thailand. It’s chiller but has its own charm as well. Little did I know this would be my last solo trip with Reisha (for now) as she moved to New York a month later to pursue her design dreams… you go girl!
August 2017- TAIWAN
I can never get tired of Taiwan. As I have always said, Taipei is definitely my comfort zone. Whenever I feel the need to relax or clear my mind, I feel the safest and at peace in Taipei.
August 2017- SINGAPORE
It was my first time to book a trip out of love (wow, big words HAHA). Seriously though, I booked this trip to visit one of my closest friends, Kate, who recently got expatriated to Singapore (so proud of her!!!) It was all about catching up, eating good food, and having the best coffee with my Ortigas Buddy (huhu super miss seeing her almost everyday here in PH.)
October 2017- THAILAND
This was my first time to be sent out internationally for a work meeting. It was a great experience meeting and working with sales colleagues from different South Asian countries! Of course, Bangkok, being a city full of best restaurants, I took the opportunity to try out some of the top restaurants in town.
October 2017- TAIWAN
My 3rd and last trip to Taiwan for the year. I initially wanted to chill in Taipei but fought off my laziness and decided to explore the Taichung area. Ate in Le Moût Restaurant and was finally able to tick off all the Asia’s Best Restaurants in Taiwan (Raw, Le Moût, and Mume.)
November 2017- HONG KONG
I’ve been wanting to do a listicle (article in a bullet format) of the best restaurants in Hong Kong but I’ve been missing a few restos + photos. This trip sealed the deal as I was able to tick off all my pending to do items (Article’s been published! You may read it HERE) . Plus, it was a much needed quick break from all the Gigi Hadid Collection launch preps I was doing that time.
December 2017- JAPAN
Our end year trip with the whole family is something I always look forward to every year. Yes, I travel alone or with friends all throughout the year but it’s still different when you’re with family. This is also one of those rare times when we get to spend quality time together. We get so busy with school, work, and everything in between all year long and it is only during this time of the year that we really get to pause, rest for a while, and enjoy each other’s company. Oh! What made this trip even more special? My sister got engaged to her long-time boyfriend. I can’t believe my sister’s getting married soon 😮 What a way to end the year!
Here’s to bidding 2017 goodbye and welcoming 2018 with a happy heart. Cheers to more travels and adventure this 2018 🙂