5 Things I’ve Learned On My First Year of Travelling

5 Things I’ve Learned On My First Year of Travelling

I chanced upon this note that I have written last year. This was my way of celebrating my first year of discovering the world and working on the road at the same time.

The following are the highlights of my 2013 and what made it special.

  1. I managed to push myself in the unknown. Being on the same company for almost 5 years, resigning wasn’t easy. More than financial reason, the fear of the unknown was killing me. Questions like ‘what I’m gonna do?’, ‘what if things don’t work out?’, ‘what if I failed?’, ‘what if I’m being delusional?’ were just some of the questions I used as arguments for myself. But I have proven that unless you take the courage to change your life, don’t expect your dreams to unfold before your eyes with doing nothing.


Taken at the butterfly farm in Chiang Mai.

“I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on earth. Then I ask myself the same question.”- Harun Yahoo

  1. Did things I always wanted to do. I have always wanted to hug and pet a tiger. Go to a place alone where I know no one. Be a Sherlock Holmes or Samantha Brown for a day. Do things I don’t usually do back home. Learn new cultures. So I did my first backpacking trip between Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia after I resigned followed by more backpacking trips on the following months. I did hug a tiger in Chiang Mai, I went to Cambodia where I didn’t know a single soul, played Samantha Brown where I booked myself in a VIP hotel suite, be that (feeling) VIP traveller and discovered the secrets of the vast, mysterious and jaw-dropping temples in Siem Reap ala Sherlock Holmes. Visited a zoo for the first time in Chiang Mai, slept with total strangers in a hostel in Bangkok (nope, I didn’t have sex with them. For those who don’t know what a hostel is – it’s a dormitory type of accommodation where people rent a bed instead of room so yeah, you’ll ‘sleep’ with strangers), tried to live like a local in Thailand and experienced my first culture shock in Malaysia.


Tiger Kingdom, Chiang Mai/ June 2013

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

  1. Learned new skills. Since my new work schedule allows me to have more time on my hands, I have enough time to learn new skills. I’ve learned new language this year. I studied (short courses) copy editing, python programming (I almost finished it until I got bored :P) and currently working in a writing course using an online platform created by Ivy League schools. Working my way up to become the first Yogini in my hometown (heh) and hopefully my web design and photography will improve someday.


Tam Coc, Hoa Lu, Vietnam/ Sept 2014

Quote to ponder: “Ding, ang bato.”  Just kidding. Here’s the real one :p

     “Don’t be content by just beating others expectations, beat your own expectations as well. And you should expect nothing less but to win.”  – Beau M. Jackson

4. Did things that really matters in life. Spending more time with family beats the satisfaction that comes with your accomplishments at work. And so being more active with charity work this year and making little contributions.

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 12.09.03 AM

True Manila Feeding Program. San Andres Bukid, Manila.

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” – Albert Einstein

  1. And lastly, just simply appreciate and living the life. My recent travels taught me a lot of things that otherwise I won’t learn anywhere else. I won’t enumerate them anymore because I’m already sleepy haha. But here’s the last quote to ponder.


Elephant Nature Park, Mae Teng, Northern Thailand

“Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably. And never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile.” ― Mark Twain

Safe Travels Everyone!

Well, I hope you enjoy this post. If you like what you read and want to get real updates, please like my Facebook Page or follow me on Twitter.

The Backpacking Executive,




  1. Henry
    November 24, 2014 / 2:22 pm

    Finally! Well written thoughts brat! Proud of you.

  2. Kit
    February 3, 2015 / 3:33 am

    “I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on earth. Then I ask myself the same question.”- Harun Yahoo

    >>> Asking myself the same question! write more!

  3. Christine Rogador
    February 3, 2015 / 11:42 am

    Thanks Kit! You’ll soon have that courage to fly somewhere 😉

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