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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Confessions Of A First Time Traveler Abroad

my Philippine Passport
I love traveling around my country, the Philippines. Our beaches are undeniably the best in the world and when paired with the trademark Filipino hospitality will surely make up for that unforgettable holiday getaway. Traveling around the Philippines done whether on a tight budget or not, had long made me believed that my country is blessed for having such natural wonders. I try to explore its 7,107 islands, one island at a time. And although 7000+ local destinations may seem overwhelming, I'm pretty much sure I will never get tired of wandering around my country, but then again my soul has also been itching to know what lies beyond the Philippine borders.

I'm a TV freak but I rarely watch news or telenovelas. If I'm not blogging, my eyes are often glued to Discovery Channel, National Geographic or other lifestyle shows about food and travel. I've been hoarding a lot of travel and in-flight magazines, reading blogs of my favorite Pinoy Travel Bloggers and enthusiastically asking my certified jet-setter relatives about their latest trips abroad. Now at 28, that dream was finally fulfilled. It took quite some time, yes, but I'm still thankful it happened - for FREE! Gano iTouch Philippines has once again provided an incentive travel trip to its qualified stockists, leaders and distributors.

November 12, 2011 was epic, I took my very first plane flight abroad. To be completely honest, I struggled to compose myself because of too much excitement as the immigration officer in NAIA Terminal 3 marked the first stamp on my clean, near-to-expiration passport. The excitement grew stronger as the Cebu Pacific plane moves up in the air and all I needed to do was wait. It was the longest 4 hours of my life because I was simply bored to death on that particular plane trip, bored but filled with too much excitement that I couldn't get myself to sleep. But after the long wait, I've finally set foot on a foreign soil. My first out of country trip took place in Malaysia Truly Asia!
me at Putrajaya, Malaysia
Walking down from the plane was surreal. Words are not enough to express the joy I felt upon seeing the first few foreign signage I saw at the airport proving I'm no longer in the Philippines. I'm just glad to have traveled with my relatives who have been to countless trips abroad that knowing where to go and what to do upon landing at the LCCT airport has been a breeze. Di rin naman ako nagpahuli, they may have all the knowledge with regards to the ABC's of flying abroad, but being a mouse-potato, I was the one who did the research about the places we're scheduled to visit. So as strange as it may sound, I found myself being the tourist guide in a foreign country I've never been too.

admiring the Petronas Twin Towers

That first out of the country trip made me experience a lot of firsts. My first cable car ride at what has been tagged as one of the scariest cable car rides on earth, my first ever sponsored trip, my first flight with Air Asia, my first time to experience an overnight stay in Guinness-certified hotel, my first time to be in an airport at like 12midnight, my first taste of Nasi Lemak and other Malaysian-Indian-Thai-Chinese inspired dishes, my first time to enjoy a dinner party along with other Asians.

Traveling abroad brought me face to face with the unfamiliar and unexpected which all the more made the adventure more exciting. 
my stamped passport!
As much as I enjoyed being fascinated, the experience also made me think of my very own country's current tourism state and the many things that need to be improved. The first few kilometers on the road was significant as we passed by the clean green highways leading to Putrajaya that I can't help think what the heck ever happened to the Philippines? I tell you, Malaysia is pretty similar to the Philippines yet we are also far different in terms of urban development. On a positive note, Malaysia may have many of the world's most beautiful high rise and state-of-the-art buildings, but I still find Philippines to have the most beautiful and awe-inspiring natural wonders. Just my thought :)  

I recently renewed my green passport at DFA Aseana and now looking forward to the arrival of my new e-passport. This Malaysia trip not only has been self-enriching but also boosted my confidence to travel more often and see other parts of the world. I'm now yearning to see Hong Kong this year, calling Cebu Pacific -  Piso Fare please!


This post is part of my Malaysia Incentive Trip Series:

2 comments:

  1. I can feel your excitement, baka ganyan din ma-feel ko next year.hehe. I'm currently planning for my first out-of-the-country trip pero kinakabahan na excited because I'll most likely end up doing it solo :)

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    Replies
    1. How brave of you Joann to be traveling solo on your first out of the country trip. You're going to Malaysia too? I'm sure your trip will be epic as well. Have a safe trip abroad :)

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