About three months ago, hubby and I went about talking to skeptic minds on the subject of finally settling down. And we were thrown with the response "That's what you guys said the last time we saw you!" almost each time. In my 2013 Thus Far: The Third Quarter article, I even put it on record... "So we'll pass up on exhaustion, sleeplessness, and starvation... For now. We're embracing the humdrum."
The 'embracing' didn't go too well for we didn't really settle in Australia when we went in October. Instead, we cut the stay short and ended up backpacking in two other countries. We're restless like that. Thus the journey to domesticity this last quarter of 2013 has been protracted and taxing. I'm fighting fits of post-trip depression in between jaunts and I don't know how I'm gonna hold up.
Kicked off the last quarter with a passport renewal. Old passport still got about two blank pages left, but because its cover has been detached for more than a year (yeah surprisingly I got away with it), I decided to get a new one. Did the renewal at DFA Pampanga for the first time and the whole shebang only took twenty minutes!
Traveled to Buscalan, Kalinga for a traditional tattoo by mambabatok Fang-Od. She did mine and the hubby's with only one good eye, for the other one's sort of impaired because some debris got in it while she was tending the farm. The tribe by the way killed a chicken as tradition (when a foreign child visits their territory) and slathered its blood on my new tattoo in the belief that it'll help make it heal faster.
Pajama-partied in Linden Suites with fellow travel bloggers. We were provided an entire floor of suites!
Staycationed in Hotel 878 Libis for Ron's (FlipTravels.com) birthday shindig. Their. Lofts. Rock.
Was invited to Bensimon Philippines' bloggers event, wherein we were introduced to their line of Parisian sneakers — and were fed divine Cupcakes by Sonja. Walked away with a sunny yellow pair.
Lucky to be in town for the Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth and Gin Blossoms (SugarSmashGin) concert in Smart Araneta, Cubao. Scored free tickets from ze cousin! Watched with a stranger.
Finally made it to the Sculptures By The Sea exhibit in Bondi, New South Wales, Australia after missing out on two chances the previous two years.
Attended a simple birthday gathering at South Curl Curl Beach, New South Wales, Australia. It was our first time there and man, let me just say how fun the name 'Curl Curl' is. It's got a 50-meter pool and a toddlers area which Luna loved.
Revisited Sydney's Luna Park. Still didn't get on any of the rides.
I wore a Gameboy dress for Halloween.
Traveled to Malacca, Malaysia for the first time and checked in Hotel Puri, a Peranakan ancestral home housed in a gorgeous structure built in the 1800s. Malacca's City center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and out of its many attractions, we only visited one: Eighteenth century Anglican church, The Christ Church.
Speaking of Malacca, its nyonya laksa and chicken rice ball swept me off my feet!
Hubby and I celebrated our five years of togetherness in Maldives. Because we were able to book really cheap tickets (like, $1 cheap per person, from Kuala Lumpur to Male and back), we splurged on an island resort accommodation for one night. The other two nights were spent in Hulhumalé, an artificial island south of North Male Atoll.
Partnered with Anma Lifestyle. This mum's backpack now contains luxe travel accessories!
This mum also now dons My Philippines apparel. The brand just celebrated their 10th year anniversary.
Remember the Travel Blogging Calendar I posed for last year? The team behind it is back, and I'm once again participating in the project. This year we want to raise awareness about the plight of Asian elephants. We're supporting the mission of the Save Elephant Foundation in Thailand, and we're accepting donations on their behalf.
Lastly, Pinay Travel Junkie topped the 15 Best Travel Blogs of 2013 poll and I got my fellow travel bloggers to thank for! They're like family to me now. I suggest you guys follow their adventures too!
We got the option to enroll our daughter into a Philippine school next year. Now if we do, that could only mean exploring more local destinations. And we can hardly wait!