10 travel blogs that left a strong influence on me would be apt a title.
Kung hei fat choi dear readers! How many moon cakes and red envelopes came your way? I’ve got none so far (hahaha). Last night, I welcomed the year of the water dragon by shooting the fireworks display over Waterfront Hotel in Lahug. I had access to an undisclosed venue a kilometer away. To say that it was fun is an understatement. I was there as part of my photography class under an ace lensman.
Here’s my year-ender post. It’s actually a list of blogs I follow. In the beginning of 2011, I stumbled upon a treasure trove of travel blogs. I read some for the novelty they bring but I dig really for those tender meaty substances complete with an explosive wasabi kick at the end.
Throughout the year, these blogs entertained me, painted a smile on my face, touched my heart, pushed my own boundaries and most importantly, inspired me to erase the borders I built in my own world.
In any given day, I always go for blogs that piqued my curiosity on never before featured places and with entries written with spank and gravitas like Ron and Monette’s www.fliptravels.com . Their rapport is Tom and Jerry. Their narrative is restrained with bravado only the two of them can execute with such an endearing flair. Their trip to Sri Lanka and Viet Nam simply nailed it.
The abandon-your-job and travel the world has already become a cliché. But the idea if done by a Filipino is still new. Gone were the days when world travel was prohibitive. Cheap airfares by budget airlines here and there plus the career mobility made easy by internet makes things which are unimaginable a decade ago now possible for a third-world backpacker. www.flipnomad.com knows what he is doing and is doing it right. He has features about budget travelers every now and then. Though the set of questions remain the same from the very beginning, it makes readers look forward to knowing the movers and shakers in a parallel universe called budget travel.
In a jungle of travel bloggers, there are always those who have come ahead of the pack. Nina of www.justwandering.org simply leads the herd. The prestigious Nuffnang nailed her spot. Her blog was awarded best travel blog in the Asia Pacific region. Her entries are never bereft of budget breakdown which makes budget travel even more realistic and her entries never throw the fun part out of the window. Morocco is in the brim of my bucket list. She did Morocco last year.
On top of the heap, gems of beautifully written and equally engaging travel narratives are found in www.ajpoliquit.wordpress.com. One of the many interesting entries that left me a lasting image was Poliquit’s trip to Mon Hofilena House-cum-Museum in Silay City. I have heard many stories about Hofilena and his so-called “gossip” tour on a bus around Negros Occidental. The tour prohibits participants from bringing voice recorders and it only happens once a year. With that being said, I want to join that tour. For lack of time, I missed the chance to meet Hofilena when I went to Silay for a blogger’s tour. The engaging narrative by Poliquit hammered in such vivid details rings inside my head.
It’s easy to spot their blogs in a sardine run as theirs have a tail that glides effortlessly like blogosphere is their second skin. Gael of www.thepinaysolobackpacker.net, Claire of www.lakwatseradeprimera.com, Gay of www.pinaytraveljunkie.com and tandem Lois + Chichi of www.wearesolesisters.com are the magic five of the most prolific Filipina travel bloggers I’ve stumbled upon thus far. Two of them who are now hitched started out as solo female travelers! Their spirits roam free and wild. Their travels are off-the-beaten.
Gael has a poignant writing tone that borders on melodrama which actually translates to quiet strength. Her advocacy in responsible travel keeps her blog close to my heart.
Gay is a doting mother of a baby girl named Luna. Together with her hubby, they are all set to conquer the world once couch and one country at a time. This traveling family was recently featured in www.couchsurfing.com.
Claire has adventure attached to her name. Her narrative about traveling with a close to expired passport made me stay at the edge of my seat.
Chichi and Lois quit their job and traveled Asia, exploring beautiful country after beautiful country at a time. Their glampackers to poorpackers story is an interesting read. They ended their 6-month tour with inspirational speaking engagements left and right in the homefront.
Never have I seen a travel writer his caliber graced the blogosphere like Edgar of www.eazytraveler.com. His articles have seen publication in prominent inflight magazines like Mabuhay, Smile and Travel 360. I reckoned travel writing could be his full time job as he goes from one place to the next in a flash. The entry about Tawi-tawi put him in the pedestal as one of the most daring bloggers-travel writers I’ve ever heard of.
No frills, no pretensions. No pomp and no pageantry. She writes with brevity but within each sentence is a universe in itself. Kara of www.travelingup.wordpress.com truly writes smashing narrative enclosed in a refreshing dewdrop.
The credits go to Lilianne Cobiao for introducing me to the world of travel bloggers in facebook. More than that, her blog www.wanderlass.com has attained unprecedented heights as the first Pinay I have ever heard of to do a non-stop-round-the-world-trip. From New York to Prague to Morocco to Tel Aviv to unknown islands in the rim of the Pacific to forevermore, she does it with much gusto and unfailing energy.
I liken post-reading the blogs above to that feeling after a night of good wine and mind-blowing intimacy. It leaves one with an afterglow and with no hangover. And yes, the afterthought stays even after sunrise the following day.
Next entry: 10 Emerging travel blogs that truly grows on me. My shortlist includes Doi's www.thetravellingfeet.com, Ed's www.soloflighted.com, James' www.journeyingjames.com, Mervin's www.pinoyadventurista.com, Robbie's www.thetravellingdork.com and five others.