Friday, January 13, 2017

2016 Recap

Well, where did time go? It's already 2017! This blog post is a little too late but what the heck. Here's a recap of my 2016.

This was the start of my last semester in the master's program and I was feeling excited, scared, and sad. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after grad school. This is when I started thinking about quitting my job for at least three to six months and travel. But, I thought about my expenses, life situation, and other personal reasons. I made a decision that I can't and should not go on with my plan. So, to make myself feel better I decided to go somewhere...Las Vegas and a side trip to Sedona to be exact. It was a short trip but as every trip goes, I got to recollect my thoughts. I felt okay. 

 

 

 

The following month, I was given the chance to join my parents, uncle, and grandma in Japan. I arrived there before them and got to explore Kyoto and Tokyo by myself. It was such an experience! I really enjoyed it. Japan is a country that solo travelers should definitely visit because of how safe it is. It's quite expensive though.

 

 

 

 

The good thing about hybrid master's programs is the flexibility. Come March I was able to do a road trip with one of my good friends along the Pacific Coast Highway. We stopped by little towns which have their own quirkiness. A lot of driving and early starts were involved but it was so worth it! I also got to see my brother when we stopped by Portland, Oregon. 

 

 

 

Around this time, I also started working on my health and fitness. I haven't been feeling good about myself for so many reasons and one of them is due to the weight I've gained over the past two years. I decided that I really need to focus on it now that I have more free time as grad school was also coming to an end. Yes, I want to look good but I also want to feel good inside. I was scared that I might develop chronic illnesses. Up to now, I'm still working on it. I haven't reached my goal yet but at least I'm making progress, and that's what matters most. Right?

 

A month before graduation, some of my classmates and I planned a road trip to Utah from California. It was my second time in Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park but I was still amazed by their beauty. I'm not sure why but June happens to be a very busy month for about three years now. This was the month I graduated from my Nurse Practitioner program so some of my relatives visited. My family and I also got to travel to the East Coast for the second time, but sadly one of my brother wasn't able to join us. Oh, I forgot to mention that I passed my board exam as well! 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember when I said that my mind was set on not being quitting my job or taking a break before transitioning into a new role as a nurse practitioner? Well, those thoughts came back. I had an urge to do it. It was a very hard decision for me to make but I thought about it, is there going to be another time or chance for me to actually do this? I wanted to explore, see other things, feel free, and find myself. The day I submitted my resignation letter, I did not know what to feel. I was feeling all kinds of things. Then, my last day at work came and I couldn't be more happier! I was ecstatic! I can't believe I did it. I didn't really have much planned during my so-called break. I just knew I'm going to stay with my parents in Jakarta, Indonesia and spend some time in my hometown in the Philippines. I decided to stay with my parents so that I can save money while I was jobless. On the day I was about to leave the United States, I got a call wherein I received a job offer. Again, I felt really happy and blessed! That somehow eased some of my worries. 

 

All in all, I spent almost three months in Asia doing all sorts of things. I got to experience Masungi Georeserve with old and new friends. I went to Bali twice. Got to spend time with my parents. Traveled with my best friend. My friends from the US visited me in Indonesia. And...I got to go backpacking for the very first time with my cousin from Seattle, Washington! The trip only lasted for about 11 days due to our schedules, but it was a trip I could never forget! We went to Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos. Now that I'm writing about it, I think I should have done a separate post about my trip. Haha. Anyway, before the trip started, I flew to Bangkok, Thailand to meet some of my friends who live there. I was so happy that my first backpacking trip went well. We got home safe and sound but with lots of adventures and stories to tell. I can't wait to do it again in a different continent, maybe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December came and it was time to go back to reality. Well, not quite because I was still jobless. However, I got an apartment in Los Angeles, California because I thought I was going to start working come January, but things got delayed because of licensing. I got a bit worried. I needed to start working because I didn't want to run out of funds. But I couldn't start something yet as we had a family trip to Hawaii. It was my family's first time there and it was my second. I'm so happy they loved it! I didn't know it gets chilly during December and January in Hawaii so all we packed were summer clothing!

 

 

It was the end of the year and it was also time for my parents to go back to Indonesia. Another adjustment for me as I got used to living with them again. I also moved into my new apartment in the city. Again, I had mixed emotions about the move. I was also pressured to find a job. I'm so thankful and blessed for parents who are both very supportive in what my brothers and I want to do, but still gives us guidance. It's 2017, and I'm still jobless but I just don't want to stress about it anymore. I started applying for jobs so hopefully I start something soon. Hehe. I don't start my full time job until March so I need to do something!

2016 was full of ups and downs. It taught me so many life lessons. It really made me realize how stubborn I am with my decision. I learned to just embrace and stand by those decisions. You see, life has its way of making things happen. Have faith. :)

Till next time!


Sunday, October 09, 2016

Masungi Georeserve Adventure

You know that video where people are climbing nets, crossing a giant duyan, and posing on top of a spiderweb-like platform that's been on Facebook for almost a year now? If not, well, you're definitely missing out! That beautiful place called Masungi Georeserve happens to be close to my hometown - Baras, Rizal. Here's a video to see how our adventure went:


Masungi Georeserve only allows 17 groups 7-14 people each day if I'm not mistaken. They start at 5:30am for those who would like to catch sunrise during the trek. We booked our reservation about a month before and didn't find any weekend availability. There was only one spot left for the weekday we opted to go, so we sent our request form to Masungi via their website. Waited a couple of days to receive a reply from them asking us to send a deposit. It took a while before they got back to us so I suggest give yourself plenty of time to book your reservation ahead especially if you don't live in the Philippines as you can only communicate to them via email.



The trek took about four hours for us to complete but that already included picture taking, breaks, and other stops. The group before us was a large one so we kept stopping and waiting for them to finish in some of the areas. The trek starts at an ascend to the famous spiderweb-like platform seen mostly in pictures and videos. The view was breathtaking! The web can hold about 15 people because it's made of industrial steel wire. It was still scary to walk on though! It moves whenever you step on it. Underneath the web are rock formations similar to the ones in Palawan. They got their shapes through time, wind, and rain.



The trail was not too difficult but at the same time challenging. We had to climb up and down net contraptions. At first, I was so scared to climb down but it ended up being my favorite obstacle there! There's also three suspension bridges there with the last one being the longest. The trek will take you to both Nanay and Tatay so you're able to see the captivating views they offer.






The steps were narrow and steep. We were told by our guide that all the steps/blocks used for the trail were manually carried/brought there by people! That's thousands of steps we're talking about. Aside from the narrow trail, the passageways are the same. There was one that we all had to walk like a duck!


Looking at others' pictures, the giant duyan didn't look that scary at all but being actually on it was kind of a struggle. I'm not one who's good in balancing thy self so you know how that went. Haha. It's situated on treetops. When you get there, try to not focus on being scared of what's underneath but just take a breather and appreciate what's below and around you. You'll be mesmerized!
There's also this cave called Yungib ni Ruben which was named after the person who discovered the place. It's so nice inside. Thank goodness for the helmets they made us wore to protect our heads because I definitely hit mine a couple of times. The last part of the trek is called the Liwasan which serves as a bird bath for the inhabitants there in the georeserve. They also have an area wherein you can relax and eat the snacks they prepared for you. We picked it at the time of the reservation. The options are egg salad, tuna, and chicken spread. They also serve you water, juice, and bananas.



The cost for the trek is Php 1,400.00 each person with a minimum of 7 people so if there's less than 7 people in your group, you still have to pay for the entire cost which is Php 9,800.00. Masungi Georeserve is located at Kilometer 45, Marcos Highway, Rizal, Philippines. Visit them at http://www.masungigeoreserve.com for reservations!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Current State of Mind


It's been a month since I left my job and I'm not gonna lie - I've been having mixed emotions. There's happiness, relief, excitement, regret, anxiety, sadness, and a lot more! Some may think that my decision was very abrupt and careless. Okay, I respect that but this is something that I've been thinking about and wanting to do since the beginning of year 2016. I knew that I want to take a break after grad school. If I could afford to take a gap year, I certainly would! When I graduated, I thought I wouldn't be able to do this because of so many reasons so I tried to shrug it off. Come August, it came back haunting me so I told myself if I don't do this now, when? It might be NEVER. And that's when I handed my resignation letter to my manager. I've never felt so free when my last day at work came! That's when I knew I made the right decision. Yes, there are still times that I fear what might happen but I just keep reminding myself to take things one day at a time. I quit my job without a potential job in the future but cliche as it may sound, things happen for a reason. I believe that what's for me is for me no matter what. I guess I'm in the stage if trying to find what I really like and trying things that interest me. Don't get me wrong, I love being a nurse but I also love to travel and photography/videography. There's just so many things in life that I would love to do and try!

When I told my mom about it, she agreed right away! My dad's respond was neutral. He just asked me if I was sure of what I was doing and I explained the reason behind my decision. I'm so lucky to have a a group of friends and family that support me!

This entry might seem all over the place but I guess what I'm trying to say is...if you really want something, you have to actually do something to make it happen. Don't let the fear take over to do something you love! Learn to take risks!