Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Year-Ender: When Travel Turned Into A Black Hole

And I got sucked in.

In 2012, we were armed with all sorts of excuses: Extended honeymoon stage. A break from the mundane. Discounted airfares for tots. "Still saving up for a house (and/or still haven't decided where to buy)". Backpacking while young. Living in the now... The list went on and echoed through the beginning of 2013. 2012, no doubt was a wild child.

2013 on the other hand started out quite prim, then morphed into some bad arse that broke out of its cage named 'settling down'. The call of elsewhere was much too strong and we ran free. Directionless, that we eventually found ourselves in a black hole that is long termish travel (again).

I could make up a bunch of reasons why we're postponing domesticity. But for today I'll use portraits and landscapes to back me up.

Eriyadu Island Resort, North Male Atoll, Maldives.

1. Australia

Clockwise from top left: 1. Bro-in-law's beautiful wedding in Curzon Hall, a sandstone manor built in the 1890s. 2. Bondi Beach, finally, after so many New South Wales visits. 3. Luna's third birthday at ze Persian in-laws' house. 4. Selfeet with  my Bensimon sneakers, Sydney Harbour Bridge.

2. Philippines

Clockwise from top left: 1. Thunderbird Poro Point, San Fernando, La Union for the hubby's birthday. 2. T'nalak Festival, South Cotabato. 3. Tattooed by one of the (there's a protégé) last mambabatoks in Kalinga. 4. Hapao Rice Terraces trek, Ifugao.
3. Myanmar

Clockwise from top left: 1. Consulting a map at Yangon International Airport (photo by Ron of 2. Luna vs. angry birds. Yangon city center walking tour (photo by Ron). 3. Sunrise at Old Bagan. 4. Bare feet and templed-out (photo also by Ron).
4. Singapore

Clockwise from top left: 1. We love Hotel Re! Nope, not a sponsored post. 2. Catching up with sis. 3. Supertrees Grove. 4. Marina Bay Sands.
5. Laos

Clockwise from top left: 1. Wat Si Saket, Vientiane. 2. Vang Vieng. Party central no more. 3. B-52 bomb crater in Xiangkhouang Province. 4. The mysterious Plain of Jars, also in Xiangkhouang Province.

6. Turkey

Clockwise from top left: 1. Blue Mosque, Istanbul. 2. Goreme Open Air Museum, Cappadocia. 3. Oldest temple in the world, Gobekli Tepe (older than the wheel, they say). 4. Pamukkale or "Cotton Castle". Calcite-covered mountain in Denizli Province.

7.  Armenia

Clockwise from top left: 1. One of our afternoon walks around Armenia's capital, Yerevan. 2. Khor Virap, an Armenian Apostolic Church monastery in Ararat valley. 3. UNESCO World Heritage Site Monastery of Geghard, partially carved out of a mountain. 4. The Armenian Genocide Museum.

8. Georgia (Yes, it's a country!)

Clockwise from top left: 1. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Georgian Orthodox cathedral, Mtskheta. 2. Crossing the border by foot to Azerbaijan for Davit Gareji Monastery. 3. Ancient rock-hewn town Uplistsikhe, Eastern Georgia. 4. Former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's house in Gori.
9. Nepal
Clockwise from top left 1. Climbing Fasidega Temple, Bhaktapur Durbar Square. 2. Luna sits in a kindergarten class/day care center for two days. 3. View of Himalayan peaks from our room's balcony in Nagarkot. 4. UNESCO World Heritage Site Boudhanath, Kathmandu.
10. Malaysia

Clockwise from top left 1. Hotel Puri, a Peranakan ancestral home housed in a gorgeous structure built in the 1800s. 2. Nyonya Laksa. 3. Christ Church, 18th century Anglican church. One of Melaka's well-known landmarks. 4. Walking tour around UNESCO World Heritage Site Melaka.

12. Maldives
Clockwise from top left 1. Artificial Hulhumale Island. 2. A Maldivian 'bench'. 3. Eriyadu Island Resort. 4. Chili patties. Or something like that.
If your black hole is this bewitching, will you try to crawl out of it? 

This year-ender post is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival for December 2013 with the theme “The Pinoy Travel Bloggers Closing the Curtains on 2013: Love, Learn and Living”, hosted by Brenna Bustamante of The Philippine Travelogue.



Dre @ Sporadic Reads said...
December 29, 2013 at 10:01 AM

What an awesome year!

Mark | said...
December 29, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Once again, amazing destinations covered by the Pinay Travel Junkie! Next time I see you baka pwede nang magpa autograph? LOL. Kidding aside, I wish you (and your awesome family) another amazeballs travel rundown next year! :)

Janet said...
December 29, 2013 at 2:24 PM

love this! such a cool family. I don't think I ever really want domesticity. Alternative/untraditional lifestyles please!

Sky Summer said...
December 29, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Turkey, Myanmar, Laos and Maldives are already calling us. Whew! It was a fantastic year for you and the fam. Hope to see you on the road! and Happy New Year!

lamyerda said...
December 31, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Dreaming of Turkey. Whoa, what a year! Here's to more awesome travels next year ;) Hope to see you soon.. <3 said...
December 31, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Oh I hope to see you also soon :) said...
December 31, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Maldives would be the perfect romantic getaway destination for you two. Hihi. said...
December 31, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Alternative FTW! said...
December 31, 2013 at 12:59 PM

LOL. Nahiya naman ako sa autograph :p Happy New Year and Happy trails!

docgelo said...
December 31, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Inspiring! You're so blessed! Cheers to more incredible journeys & happier memories to cherish!
Wish to meet you & the other fellows too (I was about to take my feet to that PTB meet up last Sunday -lapit ko lang kaya sa Cubao, well, a few MRT stations away, but still stuck in something not holiday-ish), perhaps soon!
Happy 2014! :)

Marj | said...
December 31, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Just. Too. Cool. Gay! I always love reading about your adventures. Very, very inspiring! Makes me work harder so I can visit more countries. So curious what 2014 will bring your family. But whatever you guys end up doing--whether it's settling down or more traveling--I'm sure it will still be pretty awesome. Happy New Year, Travel Junkie :)

Claire | Traveling Light said...
January 1, 2014 at 3:05 PM

That is one big, beautiful black hole hehe.

More adventures in that black hole this 2014! ;)

flipntravels said...
January 1, 2014 at 8:15 PM

AWESOME YEAR!!! Gawin ulit natin to this year!
Naiiyak parin ako sa cancelled Maldives hahaha
~ROn said...
January 1, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Hahahaha! Ipush yang Maldives na yan this 2014! said...
January 1, 2014 at 10:28 PM

I believe all us travel junkies have our respective beautiful black holes. said...
January 1, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Haha! said...
January 1, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Happy New Year, Marj! Hope to see yah again :) said...
January 1, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Yes please, Mai! Let's meet up! said...
January 1, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Sayang, doc! Next time na get together sana you could join us. Happy 2014!

Natz Lumabad | Little Girl Goe said...
January 1, 2014 at 11:29 PM

Hi Gay! If your 2013 looked like this, who knows how more awesome 2014 will be? :) I hope to meet (or bump into) you and Luna soon! :)

Christeen said...
January 2, 2014 at 6:29 AM

Hi Gay, your
list is like a bucket for a life time :D...I’m always a follower of your
travels and Luna. I wish to meet you soon hehe nung 29 sana yun kaso anunahan
ng hiya. Anyways good luck po to whatever path you take sa 2014 and beyond! said...
January 2, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Hi Christeen! Aww, you shoulda joined! You just gotta get past that first time :) Sana this 2014 we could meet na. said...
January 2, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Hope so toooo, Natz!

lawstude said...
January 3, 2014 at 6:42 AM

Lovely Luna is now stealing the show :) Happy new year Gay and cheers for a prosperous 2014. :)

Kara / Travel Up said...
January 3, 2014 at 11:43 AM

What an amazing year. Your trips last year are like a lifetime's worth of trips. Luna is one lucky kid!

Travels with a Hobo said...
January 3, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Gosh! So adorable ni Luna!!! Looks like you guys had an awesome 2013! I too will postpone settling in just to go to those beautiful countries. Always a fan. :)

louie pac said...
January 3, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Bondi, the Tat and Myanmar! Drool! Haba ng list, may hyperactivity disorder nga. See you somewhere sometime, Gaye...and Luna.

flipntravels said...
January 3, 2014 at 9:00 PM

ayoko naman ng solo maldives. ang sad

Aleah | said...
January 4, 2014 at 4:41 AM

Do you only have one post on Georgia? Want to find out whats the internet connection like over there? Loosely planning to stay there for a year. said...
January 4, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Hey dear, yes isang post pa lang :( Reliable naman internet. said...
January 4, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Hahaha! I'm happy being backstage. Happy New Year, Oman! said...
January 4, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Haha! Apir sa lahat ng may disorder! said...
January 4, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Big yes to postponing settling down! Haha! Cheers to more adventures! said...
January 4, 2014 at 9:10 AM

What an amazing year for you too, Kara/girl crush :) Hope to do a trip with you this year.

Mustachio said...
January 5, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Fantastic year! :)

Kirk Acebron said...
January 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Ikaw ay isang inspirasyon, Gay! haha

ian | going places said...
January 9, 2014 at 11:58 PM

One of your best trips was Maldives! But I enjoyed reading all of your 2013 adventures. May you have more inspiring travel stories to share this year... Happy 2014!

AC | I Wander said...
January 12, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Wow! Dami mong napuntahan... ano plano for 2014? said...
January 13, 2014 at 9:32 AM

It is! Especially cause of the, yah know, glitch. Hahaha! said...
January 13, 2014 at 9:32 AM

No concrete plans yet. We're looking into visiting South America again but still saving up. Hehe. And you?

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