Backpacking Southeast Asia: Malacca

Nestled conveniently between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, the historical city of Malacca is a stop that’s worth at least 4-6 days. There are so many museums, galleries, and ruins within walking distance of the famous Dutch Square, and our 2 and a half day stay was too short.

When I made our itinerary, I thought that it would be enough to cover most of the important sights and museums. However, our hotel room was too cozy to leave first thing in the morning, and the rather sleepy feel of the city (excluding Dutch Square, Jonker Street, and the nearby malls) tempted us to dawdle. Continue reading “Backpacking Southeast Asia: Malacca”


Backpacking Southeast Asia: Singapore

Back in 2014, I stayed in Singapore for 8 days. Our itinerary then revolved around sustainable urban development, history, culture, the environment, some shopping, and a bit of fun here and there. This time around, I had to put together an itinerary that didn’t include the Land Transportation Office and Housing & Development Board. Continue reading “Backpacking Southeast Asia: Singapore”

Backpacking Southeast Asia: Planning and Budgeting

Before, during, and after the trip, I got a lot of questions that went along the lines of how I planned everything. The easier-said-than-done answer: research and an attempt at foresight. So much of the two that there were times when I wanted to call everything off because it was too exhausting.

It started as nothing more but a mad idea that emerged during my internship. Traveling from Cebu to Lapu-Lapu (and vice versa) every day gave me a lot of idle time on my hands, and it was in one of my many v-hire rides that I came across AirAsia’s ASEAN Pass. Ever the wanderluster, I went into extensive research about traveling around Southeast Asia, its plausibility, affordability, and where the Pass would come in handy. After a couple of days, I decided the Pass wasn’t something I wanted to use. International borders could be crossed by land, and the Pass had limits that would drive me crazy. Continue reading “Backpacking Southeast Asia: Planning and Budgeting”

20 Travel Goals on my 20th

Two decades. My whole life can be summed up in those words, and oh, what a life it has been. Although I am nowhere close to some of the future Monicas I envisioned 14 years ago (an astronaut, a missionary nun, and a professor), at least I’ve got the traveling part of all three professions pat down. Outer space continues to be too far and too scary, but I’ve been in a anti-gravity room; seen cosmic collisions up close; and tried counting the stars in more places than I can count. That’s close enough, I reckon. Continue reading “20 Travel Goals on my 20th”

How to (Temporarily) Cure Wanderlust

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I’ve had it before, and I still continue to have it now, especially in the lull moments of my hectic student life in between deadlines. A multitude of things can trigger wanderlust: stress, Instagrammed pictures of a nearby country, travel articles, travel blogs, traveling equipment at the mall… Continue reading “How to (Temporarily) Cure Wanderlust”