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The Year of the Wander: A Look Back at a Year's Worth of Adventures in 2012

It took me a while to write this year end review post but here it goes...

2012 was an eventful year for me because of many firsts. I managed to go to 2 different countries (traveled alone), went up 4 mountains, and visited the beautiful provinces in Northern Luzon. Never thought that I would do so much traveling within a year, because I was always just a home body back in college and high school. I got to meet friendly strangers in other countries and here in the Philippines. Got lost in a foreign land, mistaken as a local in a foreign country, got scammed in Thailand, learned about other cultures, and so many other experiences that I can't put into words.

Drum roll please....

Here are 2012's firsts and bests!

First Time Traveling Solo to Another Country

Pulau Sapi, Kota Kinabalu
First Time I Shot an Arrow

I think I grew elf ears after a few arrows

First Time I Fired a Gun 

First Time to Meet a National Artist 

Got a chance to meet F. Sionil Jose

First Summit Conquered 

Mt Pinatubo

Weirdest Thing I Ever Saw 

You must be asking why I put a picture of a toilet here, for someone who hasn't traveled around a lot I found this toilet weird. There was no seat and the toilet was on the floor it was like a cross breed between a urinal and a toilet.

Best Tasting Coconut

20 Baht coconut in Khao San Road sweet without any additives

Favorite Climb 

Mt. Batulao because of its rolling hills and scenic views

Best Attraction Outside the Philippines

I haven't been to a lot of countries so this is highly subjective and only for the previous year. I like ruins because they tell a story of what once was and what could be.

The Most UltraspectacularAWE-some Sight/s 

This is a tie between...

Banaue Rice Terraces

Kiltepan Peak sunrise
Unsurprisingly both are from the Cordilleras.

Best Adventure

The cave connection is definitely an adventure!

Slipping through narrow holes, traversing slippery rocks, and going through dark caves is punches the adrenaline through your veins!

Best Value for Money Food 

Thai street food is dirt cheap and has large servings get a meal for a meager 30 Baht!

Best Value for Money Shopping, Dining, and Accommodations  

Khao San Road
Thailand is the backpacker's mecca but Khao San Road has plenty of shopping, restaurants, and cheap hostels. But if you're looking for respite look somewhere else because Khao San Road is filled with party music till the wee hours of the morning everyday.

Best Place to Wander In

Thailand is rich in culture and plenty of affordable stuff. Bangkok also tells a compelling story once you cross over from the city district to old city. The city is teeming with history and modernity that is unfolding right before your eyes. The old and new, and good and bad make Bangkok an exciting place to visit.

That's a wrap for the year 2012 looking forward to what 2013 has to offer.

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