Category Archives: Philippines

Boracay. Thoughts. and Pictures.

Sailboats. Food. and more Food. Sunsets. Friends. So many thoughts…this is probably an intense overload blog post of pictures and words…

October 3rd

A circle. No corners to turn down just a continuous line that keeps repeating itself along the same path. The true way life lives… It doesn’t turn backwards only forwards… No short lines, no star crossed signs; crossing paths with “the same” people and places throughout its cycle. We will see each other again at some point in our lives. We will return to paradises. To rough times and easy… Over mountains and valleys… Maybe the scenery changes but the words and actions, the expressions of love and kindness, hurt and pain, goals and dreams, travels and building homes… The cycle is steady all around.

It makes perfect sense why my bus to the Philippines would leave out of Seoul and I would take the midnight bus (Oct 2nd at 11:40 pm) from Changwon to Incheon airport. (Its also mistake #1 and wishing I would have booked the flight out of Busan, however I’m on my way to a paradise island and not going to fret about it.)  again in 3 weeks when I return and have to pick up my luggage and run back around (thanks this time to my director ignoring my flight request to fly out of Busan) With my purse and one yellow bag carrying I boarded the bus. Seonyoung drove me to the bus terminal and waited with me til it was time to board. Though tears fell this morning during yoga I’m so excited for my upcoming adventure to cry. It will probably hit me when I’m soaking up the sea salted sunlight. 
Arrived at the airport in record time- only saw one car on the way from Seoul to the airport. Love taking transportation at night- all the lights… Only 5 hours. First to checkin… First in line with security… Through security and immigration in 8 minutes flat. International flight at that. So efficient. Got Starbucks and skyped a friend, watched the sunrise and was the only one in the waiting area for a good hour to hour and a half. Talk about peace and quiet. It’s so weird to have other groups of foreigners speaking English- in my small town there’s only small group of foreigners and we all know most of each other. Love people watching and listening in airports… Getting ready to board in 7 minutes. Yay! 
Here now. In love. Splotches of bright teal red orange sea green ocean blue roofs pierce the lush jungle gardens busy side street shacks filled to the brim with sodas and snacks-motorcycle contraptions stacked with people race three across down the street swerving to miss our van. Our van that is shuttling us from Kalibo airport to Caticlan… It was re routed due to storms an heavy rain… After waiting through a delay and a cancellation I hope to be in Boracay before dark… And dusk is slowly creeping up 3 hours late. But I am safe and well just exhausted from traveling- the planes and buses have been mini saunas making sleep difficult… After being in the road since 11 pm Tuesday night and not having but an hour or so of sleep I’m ready to crash, however I am soo excited to see Sarah and eat and explore! Ahhh! So as classic rock blares in the background keeping rhythm with the drops beating down I sink into a day dream of the scenery passing by. 
Finally arrived after the 2 hour bus ride and 10 minute ferry ride, not to mention the 15 minute motorized tricycle ride and short walk. I am. In Boracay. Dropped my things off and Sarah navigated us through this semi flooded walkway to the ocean. Ran to it. Feet in water. Perfection. 
Thai food and a piña colada drink. Then the next thing I found myself doing was being led up some twisted rod iron stairs to an open air balcony and stripping down for a massage. Amazing, back cracked and shoulders kneaded. Crashed out at 11 pm.
October 4th
Up to the rooster at 5:50 am. Lazy getting up, but worth it for the run followed by skyping sister and friend to show them gorgeous scenery, andddd eating mango pancakes and breakfast omelette burrito. Walked along the beach, hazelnut latte watching the waves, napped on random chairs under an awning during the downpour, after the walked more, a foot scrub and pedicure.. Mango coconut and papaya vanilla shakes for a snack… 
Sunset around 5:30… Walked back for happy hour drinks and some pizza at a tiki hut near our hostel… Great first day in Boracay. 
October 5th
I wanna give you some good good lovin’… Turn the lights down low…
The melodies of reggae jam out to the ocean waves as Sarah and I sip our fresh fruit cocktails and watch the sun sink into the bluish gray sky… Day 2 is coming to am end.
Morning run. Crepes. A latte. Panini and a mango shake. Hello breakfast and lunch. Afternoon sun before a light rain. A cleaned room and a nap on fresh sheets with fresh smells flowing through our new curtains. Exploring trek down a main road of traffic, people, bakeries, fruit stands… A more local authentic feel. Vibrant and busy. An then we found 8 piso cinnamon rolls and 5 piso chocolate cake. Couldn’t resist. 
Fresh lime mojito and Caipirinha for an evening chill session to jams.
October 6th: happy birthday to my lovely mother! 
Breakfast of fresh mango, banana, and bakery cinnamon rolls. Stunned on the beach. Did a bay watch run. Lunch of granola honey dried fruit and fresh mango. More tan time with a mocha shake. showered and napped.
Was semi productive and plunged my toilet and swept the floor.
Found an amazing Indian restaurant and had the best hummus and naan-ever. And pumpkin spiced curry. Chai tea. Night walk back to our little cove along the sand and waves. Thai massage and was stretched and cracked in directions I never thought possible. Ow.
Good night!
October 7th
Routine rooster cocka doodle doo-ing…and random voices and occasional blare of a radio. It tends to rain at night and it sounds so nice, but soaks our almost dry clothes we try and hang up. I get dressed and enjoy the solitude of the early hours catching up on reflections and talking to my mom. Think we are going to go to an outside the tourist area cafe for breakfast then come back and do yoga on a rooftop. 
Wrote a bit this afternoon after a vinyasa yoga session looking out over the ocean. Then had some toast and an omelette before a quick nap. Went out to this rooftop patio for an instant cappuccino and a couple coconut cookies from a local bakery.
Made our way to the beach for a happy hour drink to watch the sun pierce the dark cloud then disappear… Followed by a brief downpour that we watched hit the water from under an umbrella and chill music in the background. Now as the evening drowns on the music tunes have changed drastically- So my chill step beach iPod mix must be turned on. Only a few light clouds fading in the night sky shine before the sky will be completely black dotted with the twinkling lights of boats in the distance or a shimmer of a few flashy resort lights on the further horizon beaches reflected in the glassy water. 
October 8th
Morning run. Breakfast of pastries and fruit Sarah shopped for at a local store. Sun time. Another mid morning sprint. Read. Stunned. Lunch of PB and J and apples and bananas. Afternoon nap. Walk along the beach, mango shake. Decided on hummus and naan for dinner, watched the sunset and took a evening walk on the beach once more. Even though its only 8 it feels like 10. 4 ingredient peanut butter (homemade!) (and Sarah got us guava jelly-6 ingredients- and wheat bread) and bakery chocolate cake for snack. Starry night… Clear sky… Make my wish. Xx
October 9th
…where troubles melt like lemon drops…
Afternoon at Starbucks reading and writing on The Book if Tea lent to me by Taryn before she even read it- so sweet! So homesick; wish everyone was here to share this indescribable beauty with me. Met up with Sarah for dinner. White wine. Iced. Sunset. Amazing Vegetable pizza. Another glass. Coconut chocolate cake. Live guitar music. My dear friend. Perfection. Even though part of me feels guilty an I’m in such a tug of war with emotion I am filled with joy and graciousness. James Taylor. Jason Mraz. Oldies. Jazz. Michael Buble. Lovely.
October 10th
Megan- style luxury (hostel, shared meals, cooked meals, fresh fruit markets and mini marts off the beaten path, self entertainment of staring at the waves, sunning, walking/ running, swimming etc) meets real world poverty. Half naked babies and women with matted hair and torn clothing, children approaching with just a single outstretched hand. How in the world did I just land myself into a glorious place, stunning views with means to support my lodging and food? While others, in this same spectacular place scrape by? Why do I get to experience these luxuries? Sometimes just as I blink the images out of my head and begin to fully relax and enjoy myself I hear, “mam, money, mam?” 
October 11th
Downpour. Yoga. Calamansi muffins and brewed coffee. Grocery shopping. Laid out under the clouds. Rest. Wanted nice Indian food but hearts were heavy as we came upon children digging in the trash and a little girl on her brothers back mimicking his outstretched hand for money. Decided we could only stomach some hummus naan and chai. 10/11/12.
October 12
Lovely Skype with a dear friend. Cannot wait for her airport pickup. Received an email from a friend and her little girl is beside herself that I’m coming home to see her. That girl cracks me up: “Megan, I love your laugh.” Aw Emma! 
Went in a walk to see about getting hair hot oiled and came across this shop and they were all… Transvestites… We weren’t sure how to take it and it caught us totally off guard even though they were so welcoming… Decided to talk over coffee at Real Coffee and come back tomorrow. Went for a longer walk, sunny afternoon at the beach, then watched the most dazzling sunset… At first you could see the center circle glowing down beneath the gray clouds and then the sky was filled with pinks, purples, and yellows tinted against a greenish yellow aqua sky. Gorgeous. Pitch black night with white capped waves crashing against the still sand. 13 days til home. 
October 13
So sick today. Foot massage late afternoon- been having problems. Talked to the ladies after: Love and Arlene. 31 and 41. Arlene is a mother of 6…  5 boys 1 girl. Her birthday is November 12. Sweet ladies. I told them about my family and job teaching. Happy hour wine and pizza dinner from Yellow Cab
October 14
Brittany has arrived to Boracay!!! Afternoon of beach and walking. Watched the sunset and had –Mañana- Mexican food and mango margaritas for dinner!!
October 15: 10 days til HOME!!!

Piña coladas and Thai food- Sulu Sulu. for happy hour sunset… Dressed up.
October 16:

Real Coffee for amazing omelette with pesto and a muffin. Market grocery shopping. Peanut butter and jelly for supper and happy hour if piña coladas… Chocolate cake for dessert. Happy hour DJs- used music from my iPod. The dude keeps calling us his Senoritas… hah!
October 17

Morning to self with coffee and a mango coconut muffin at Hand Drip Coffee. Beautiful crystal clear calm water. Couldn’t resist. Bought anklets from a kid. Long walk… Caramel banana smoothies and then- Army/Navy tortilla chips guac, salsa, and cheese for lunch. Sailing and snorkeling this afternoon… Finding Nemo: accomplished. Breath-taking sunset. Pizza -Yellow Cab and caipirinhas. 
Wiz Khalifa- No Sleep. 
October 18
Lonely Planet Cafe: caramel banana, or chocolate banana frappe: espresso, choco/caramel, banana, skim milk, ice, cocoa powder, topped with extra choco/caramel and homemade hazelnut whipped cream 
October 22
Where did the last few days go? Time has somehow escaped me. Between friends and the beach, watching the sunset and sleep I don’t know where it goes. Now in three days I will be home. Home like in America home. Not apartment-Boracay or Korea home. America home. It’s a nervous excited anxious joyful feeling. The traveling to get there will be the toughest journey. The struggle of leaving the strangest year to a place I’ve known for 25 years and the comforts I was born into. Exposed to many uncomforts this past year has eased me away from knowing the used to comforts of home. I have answered the question of How many days or when are you coming home every so often this past year that now the time has come for definite times. Exact hours and minutes. Was the goal always to “get home?” I wouldn’t say so though in the back of my mind I knew there was a return date set. I am 110% I lived this year to the fullest; experiencing challenges and emotions I hadn’t felt yet. Reality of America will eventually sink in, but I wouldn’t call going back to the “real world” as returning home. My reality  has been traveling, and my reality will continue to be pushing myself and going new places and meeting new people. Perhaps some people call it an extended vacation, perhaps they don’t see it as my world. It’s how I choose to live- to go spend time in unfamiliar places and to challenge myself to live how other people in this world live. Different, definitely not “normal” living defined by my culture. How am I supposed to understand, to recognize, to truly see the world and all her beauty if I don’t know the world from another perspective? A high maintanence attitude and expectations of how things should be in America changed drastically when I moved into my ~200 square foot apartment without a bathtub or shower curtain, a spinning wash machine combined into the stove and sink called a kitchen with a family-sized fridge standing in my bedroom/living room in Korea. Should I admit I probably was high maintenance in America, yes. Am I still high maintenance now? I wouldn’t say so. I think that if I can deal with a six inch cockroach, fire ants, a leaking sink and toilet while in vacation after an unpredictable Korean year, I am up for anything. 
October 23rd
Delayed flight from Caticlan to Manila by at least 45 minutes… I almost didn’t make my flight back to Seoul.. Boarding time- 11:45, arrival to gate- 11:45. To close for comfort. The guy on the AirPhil Express plane said someone would be at the gate to assist me to transfer to terminal 1. Fail. He also told me the cab ride would be 150 pisos. Fail. Bombarded with Airport Assistants who were so rude and ushered me into a cab that ended up being 500 pisos. Then I got to the airport barely- stuck in a jam- had to pay another 550 pisos for an International Terminal fee. The only nice lady was at the bank to exchange my won for more pisos. I told her that too. Immigration and another security checkpoint. Ran to my gate just in time. 3 rows across… Only person in middle row. Thank goodness. Never been so happy to see Asiana Airlines or hearing everything in Korean being translated to English. Something familiar about this crazy day of tricycle rides ferry rides taxis and shuttles and planes… This flight and hopefully just one more hour flight after and a taxi ride back to Jangyu. 
Arrived to Seoul…had to take a half hour lite rail ride to Gimpo Airport because flights to Busan were already done for the day. Arrived to Gimpo at 6:40, the next flight boarded in 5 minutes and I hadn’t bought my ticket yet…the kindest ticket worker swiped my card and I made the 7:00 flight back to Busan. Lite railed from Busan to Gimhae then taxied it with Sarah back to Jangyu! WHAT A DAY! Met up with a few friends for a BBQ meat dinner…last one in Korea. Delicious. So many smiles and tears and stories. 
Dave’s Straw Hat Inn— Best Mango Pancakes!!!

Another cafe…with ocean views…

10/4 

trying to run…

yoga

10/5
Happy Hour Shack!

I couldn’t help to take a picture! 
So Cute- save the date!

my awesome jasmine pants Sarah brought for me in Nepal

10/6

yoga room…view of ocean…

reverse warrior

10/7

10/8

10/9

10/11

10/12

love these girls!

cheers!

private beach for a couple hours!

10/13

Pina Colada

“hearts”

we made this our joke… “What the hell am I doin’ here?”

10/16

10/17

last glass of wine at sunset…

view from plane

Beautiful Reflections. Simply Amazing. Beyond Blessed. 
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