Planning my Philippines trip was harder than planning any other trip I’ve been on. Part of it is because there are so many incredible options -- and part of it is because there’s no clear “good” or “best” or “right” set of places to go. Not to mention the long ferries, flights, and bus rides required to get anywhere. (Islands are complicated like that.)
To make your planning a little bit easier, I offer this advice:
I recently finished an amazing liveaboard dive trip to the Similan Islands in Thailand. It was epic, with zero crowds (scuba tourism was down about 30-50% that year) and lots of astounding wildlife.
Including this incredible eel attack I witnessed during a night dive.
Ping pong and Katy Perry in Mandalay, Myanmar. What could be better?
You know some of my favorite places to visit? The ones where, when people hear you speaking English, they don't rush over to sell you something -- they rush over to ask you if you're from California, if you've ever met George Bush, or if you own guns.
"I peed on the campfire last night, and it steamed my lady parts," I told my backpacking companions last night, in what I thought would be a helpful contribution to a conversation about relieving oneself in nature.
The response was one I'd already heard several times that weekend: "Eva! You're... something else."
I suppose it could be argued that I'm socially awkward -- though I definitely don't feel that way. And I'm pretty sure most people don't see me that way. Why? Just because you say and do awkward things... doesn't mean you have to be awkward or unpleasant to be around.
"It is a happy talent to know how to play," Ralph Waldo Emerson once said.
He was exactly right. According to my master's research, playfulness isn't a trait -- it's a skill. But due to the ubiquity of technology (read: passive entertainment) and high-achieving childhoods, many young adults have yet to develop their leisure skills.
The fact that they're making less money and are more likely to have debt than ever doesn't help.
Mindy Kaling once famously asked, "Is everyone hanging out without me?" This is a question I'd never asked myself -- until today. Because today they are. In the Bahamas. On a boat. Without me. Even though I went to ActionQuest and I'm an awesome sailor and a Master Scuba Diver.
But I digress.
The point is, there was a ton of traffic when I dropped my friend off at SFO. Like, a TON. But we spent exactly zero minutes stuck in it.
I recently returned from a trip to Southeast Asia -- and I learned and saw so many things. Some made me happy. Some made me sad. And some... were kind of amusing.
For example, the observation that about 1 in 7 white guys had his arm in a sling...
Another day, another adventure -- this time, in Sigriya, Sri Lanka. After two weeks at Elsewhere Surf Camp (when I arrived, I'd only planned on staying for one -- go figure :P), I did an elephant safari before heading up north to the Cultural Triangle.
I came to Southeast Asia for two reasons: surfing, and scuba diving. But, totally unexpectedly, the highlight of my trip so far has been a two-day slow boat cruise down the Mekong River, from Thailand to the center of Laos.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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