I once said that my 2011 felt like one long, extended beach trip, but that I hoped 2012 would be a little bit crazier, more adventurous. After all, the world was supposedly going to end in 2012. Now that we've survived December 21, 2012 (and celebrated it with an End of the World Party and Mayan-inspired accessories), it seems mankind has been given a new lease on life. But the fact still remains - You Only Live Once. And 2012 was the year of the YOLO state of mind - all the surf trips, the road trips, the concerts and parties, even the staycations and my chillax Laos trip, and of course, our epic Seoul adventure were all witness to that. We only have one life to live, and I want to spend mine on the move, exploring strange places, meeting strange people, eating the strangest food, then coming home, only to do it all over again. So here are my favorite photos of 2012 - have a happy new year everyone! And as always, to my epic travel buddies of the year - the Samsung YOLOs, Carms, Eds, Jen and the Korea Girl Group members, what a year it's been! Here's to more legendary trips in 2013!
La Union and Baler Surf Trips
I put my weekends to valuable use this year with all the trips we did to Baler and La Union to surf. I still have a long way to go when it comes to riding the waves, but I got myself a GoPro for 2013 to keep me motivated! I also got a major jellyfish sting and a sprain this year on two separate surf trips, but they're just battle scars, and all part of the experience. I won't forget the chilled out moments as much as the actual surfing moments though - spending time at the resort playing Monopoly Deal while we wait for waves. Good times, can't wait for next one!
All the Road Trips and City Staycations
There was fun to be had in and around the city as well, and also a short drive away from it! From checking out Ace Water spa in Kapitolyo, partying at the David Guetta concert (Swedish House Mafia next!), driving out to Subic for a day at the beach and trekking to Mt. Pinatubo - staying in the city can be fun and memorable too!
An amazing, relaxing journey Jen and I fondly call our "balance Indochina" trip. Laos is a beautiful country, and Luang Prabang is a wonderful sleepy town that's quaint and picturesque. My favorite memories of the trip include riding the sleeping bus and literally sharing a bed with a local old lady from Luang Prabang to Vientiane, crossing a bamboo bridge and getting stranded across the river when it started to rain, and the leisurely breakfasts of baguettes, fresh fruit and omelettes beside the Mekong River. And I won't ever forget the people we met - the fellow Filipinos who welcomed us with such warm, open arms in Vientiane, and Godswill, whom I had a very interesting conversation with about dreams and achieving them on our last night.
From the Big Bang concert in Manila to our epic trip to Korea a week after - I truly left my heart in Seoul, South Korea this year. Travelling there in the fall made for a wonderful experience. And the food was great! So many restaurants and hole-in-the-walls worth waiting in line for, and the street food too! But most of all, I had a blast because of the amazing, Korea-loving friends I was with. I’ll post some pictures of the trip here (and there’s plenty more where these came from for sure), but nothing quite captures the fun (and hilarity to be honest) of our epic trip in Seoul like the MV (that’s “music video” in Korean entertainment) that default girl travel buddy Mabs made to commemorate our trip. If you want a laugh and a new Last Song Syndrome-worthy song to keep playing in your head until the new year, go watch the video below!