Don't be Shy to Explore Around

Monday, July 29, 2013

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My first Scuba Diving Experience for a First-time Solo Traveler


You might be asking why I went on scuba diving alone?  I would be the first to say that I find contentment on being alone.  I do spend most of my time in solitude and I find deep joy spending time by myself.  I have the weirdest and funniest thoughts that I would just burst out in laughter in the room out of the blue.  This is just another day in the house.  Everyone who lives with me wouldn't be surprised at all, all though there are times that their curiosity would get the best of them and would ask what's the fuss was about.   I would just smile widely, shrug and turn my head side to side.  Not telling them that some wonderful memories of the past just came rushing down at me.  Tickles down my spine.  Butterflies in my stomach.  Those were the times.  That or some fantasy I would have thought would be lovely to do... and so another dream would be formed.  So yes. I don't mind spending my time alone.  I entertain myself in the silliest of ways.  

But traveling, and doing things for the first time alone?  Well that seemed to be a different ballgame.  I've been a believer that doing things for the first time is best experienced with a friend, a family member or a partner.  Nothing really beats being in the moment and having to talk about it with someone close to you.  A solo traveler, for the best part would smile, nod to fellow travelers who traveled in groups, agree with them, and then after that brief interaction, you are back to your alone-ness... Just a sad, awful scene to behold.  This brings me back to Perhentian.  A number of tourists stepped out of the boat, and ended up chit chattering.  For what seemed like a pack of friends, had gradually dissipated in 3's in 2's in 4's... until one guy was now alone.  In the realization that they were off to their own destinations, he was now left alone and feeling the awkwardness of it, he then checked his map to see where he will be going.  That left me feeling heart broken for him.  In a paradise like Perhentian, who would want to be alone?  It's like having to walk in a park full of lovers on a valentine's day.  By then, I knew I wouldn't want to be in his shoes.

So why travel solo?

Well I didn't realize that up until I realized that at one point in my life, I would have to walk his ways.  There would come a time that my friends would be too busy with work, family and what nots in life, and you, a single free-spirited individual would have to be forced to do things by yourself.

That my friends explained why I had to do scuba diving alone.


Me finding Nemo... yet again.  This hide and seek business is getting old.
I've been meaning to do it for the longest time, and I've been beating myself up every time I have to postpone it until I had enough of all the delays and took the matter in my own hands.  I will do it, I didn't care if I had to do it alone.  I will do it.

And I was more than happy that I did.

Here are the things that happened.  

1.  Snorkelled alone 10 meters away from the boat, on a 15meter deep water.  Underneath me was a myriad of coral reefs in the most varied display I've ever seen, and in my mind a song of 'Little Mermaid', swimming  on the surface feeling like a floating beautiful creature of the sea. 

2.  Free diving my friends.  This one I had to get assistance from kuya.  I couldn't get myself to go deeper into the water.  So what kuya did was he dived deeper until he could grab the nearest and sturdiest coral reef he could find, anchored himself well, reached high up to grab my hand, like some clip of a movie, he reached out for me, and once our hands locked, he pulled me in deeper until I was able to grab hold of the coral reef beneath and was able to touch the soft sea anemones right beside it.  I had to immediately swim back up to have a shot of oxygen back to my throbbing lungs.  Exhausted but at least I kinda did it, thanks to kuya.  Now that wasn't really free diving, I know, but that wasn't bad at all for a first timer like me.

3.  Did a balancing act on top of a high rising coral reef to get some rest from swimming and to just have a good view of the marine life teeming below.

4.  Scuba diving.  As much as I don't want to disturb the environment below, our guide seem to want us to touch this, touch that, hold this hold that, which was really fine, but I couldn't help chipping away some coral reefs, so that's why I didn't bother really touching everything I see.  It was really fascinating though to see and feel different textures and figures of corals, star fishes, sea anemones, sea cucumbers to name a few.

5.  Learning how to socialize again.  This part was the biggest breakthrough for me.  At first, I tried my hardest to be ok being alone.  Every time I tell people in the scuba center that I came in alone, they just naturally gleam at me as if I was this fascinating creature.  Although I know that I am one, but it's really surreal that you see them reacting to the fineness that is me.  OK enough with my narcissism there.  I totally was feeling desperate to make friends because I refused to be that lonely traveler you see just sitting at the far side of boat, either looking far away in the sea, trapped in deep thoughts, or the one who was listening to every body else's discussion pretending to be interested.   The treasure of every solo traveler is another solo traveler.  If you see one, then that is a prospect friend.  Fortunately, I was able to find one earlier on in the scuba diving center.  A korean guy in his 30's.  We had the most interesting discussion and I had a blast talking about random things with him.  We were saved from that pitiful glances of other travelers, because we weren't the lonely loosers, we in fact, were the chattiest in the group.  So there you go.  I never thought I was a social freak.  But there I was, ms. friendly in the boat.  And I loved every second of it.

What I've learned from this?

God I never thought traveling solo would be really interesting.  I was listening more, absorbing more, smiling more than I was traveling with a companion.  Life couldn't get any better yeah?

This whole experience all summed up to what our scuba guide said... before plunging in the water he advised us to just relax and enjoy life.  And that is something we usually forget. Good thing I'm blessed to have been reminded again.

While pondering on my experience, I realized that the fear of traveling alone doesn't always mean the fear of actual danger, instead it's the fear and anxiety you get when being strapped in the roller coaster just seconds before you go shooting up in the air.  That palpitations means that you should emotionally prepare yourself because wherever you are heading to is going to blow your mind, expand your horizons, and open your consciousness to some awareness that you haven't even open your eyes to.

And that my friend, will change your life forever.

Alfalfa has risen ya'll.

Thank you kuya and thank God for solo travel adventures.  

I'm definitely looking forward for more to come.





Publisher: Shy - Monday, July 29, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

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30 Magical Points in Palawan

1. Like in Vigan, Puerto princesa's locals mostly go around town in tricycles.




2. Street lights, water systems and good road are lacking especially ones away from the city.  Going for a night trip to El Nido from Puerto Princesa? Then you'll know what I'm talking about.

3. No wonder Nemo's hard to find.  Sooo small. Smaller than you think it is.



4.  Fact: El Nido will take your breath away.



5.  It's Lord of the Rings fan days again.

6.  I once thought I wouldn't dare swim with fishes.  But there I was, feeling like being surrounded by cute preschoolers.  I wanted to hug them all! haha


7.  Don't know how to swim?  Don't worry, if you got your big goggles with you then that would double as floaters.  Believe me it's like having floaters on your head without looking like a wuss.  The next best thing to underwater camera.

8. The underwater camera.  The best thing you'll ever have in the beach. The picture explains why.



9.  Stick to the resto you KNOW serves good food.  Don't wallow and get curious to check on others.  There wouldn't be a rave online for no reason.  Save yourself the time, money and from disappointments.  Go eat good food.




10.  The road to adventure is squishy and green.  Makes you want to think what you did wrong for you to be forced to walk through all these goo!  



Publisher: Shy - Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

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Explore the Majesty of El Nido

If you have been following my blog for awhile now, you know that I've written about Palawan and how it topped my places to go in the Philippines.  Well, let me just direct you specifically to El Nido, because it is where most of the magic is.  Now I haven't had much pictures on the islands because I was too happy to just immersed myself in paradise, trying to sink my teeth real deep in the experience of just being alive.

Good thing my fellow travelers have done the documentation so you could see just how much of a heaven El Nido is.


Here is a map of El Nido's Island hopping tours:



Before going any further, let me take it upon myself to make your experience better.  This post is best enjoyed with this played on the background.


You are about to witness Philippine's finest islands, one of the best islands in the world.

With great Filipina pride, I introduce to you

El Nido

Enjoy!

Publisher: Shy - Sunday, July 21, 2013

Saturday, July 20, 2013

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Bedroom Voice

 Good evening taro san.

Hi sensei, nice to meet you.

It's nice to meet you too. So let's                                                  start our class shall we?

Ok.  Uhmm sensei. I like your voice .                                           It's like bedroom voice. 

Credits
Oh? really?  I wonder why.  But thanks for the compliment!


Mouth photo credits
Japanese student photo credits
Publisher: Shy - Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sunday, July 14, 2013

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15 Crazy Things to do when Bored.

1. Think like the Queen.

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2. Make weapons of mass destruction.

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3.  Crash any random funeral and be the Grin Reaper.


4. Bombard your friends with pleasant texts.

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5. Make fun of your pets.

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6. Read the paper, and see things on a different perspective.


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7.  Touch yourself.

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8.  Plan out the craziest stunts with your bestfriends.  The more exposure, the better.  

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9.  Fantasize on your deepest, darkest, sexual pursuit.

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This is you...


10.  Say HI to the neighbors.

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11.  Make a fly circus.




12.  Find out what the neighbors are doing?

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13. Make finger art.

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14.  Make that change.

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15.  Drag your inner 'drag queen' out.
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drag it out some more... in the streets

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and don't forget to say 'hi!' to the neighbors.

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Publisher: Shy - Sunday, July 14, 2013
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