This week I turned 8 years at work, doing the job that i love. It’s a blessing; a milestone. It also meant it’s been 8 years since i started my vagabonding around the world and writing my posts for Eleventy Traveler Blog. Eight years earlier, I was offered to join one of the largest global companies in the world that was establishing their Finance operations in the Philippines.

The offer came with an opportunity to travel for one month, undergoing training in the US. That’s all i needed to know and i left my former employer even though i really loved what what i was doing there at that time: tax related work (i know, i must be crazy!).  Having been nowhere before and suddenly going on a big, sponsored trip, I was ecstatic!  Feeling intuitive, I knew this was the start of an exciting, adventure-filled, nomadic life. I have travelled thus far to many places: big bustling cities, relaxing island paradise, UNESCO world heritage sites; and have seen some of the most unbelievably beautiful places on earth.

Eight years and 18 countries later, I reflect back on things I have learned from my travels. So what’s the most important thing I have learned over the years?

There’s no place like home.

When i first started traveling, my focus was to get out of the country. I figured, the Philippines is already my home, therefore, I would make it my least priority. Interestingly, the more I discovered new places, meet new people and get different experience, the more i realized that these exciting new places and adventures we find abroad are the same exciting or equally mundane things we consciously ignore when we’re back home. The more i learned about other culture, the more i started to appreciate ours.

When we got scammed in India, I missed the honesty of our people and the “bayanihan” culture whenever someone needs help. When i traveled to Europe, I longed for the warm Filipino hospitality. In Vietnam, I discovered the hardships and pride of the Vietnamese during the Vietnam-American war and I thought we’ve got as much national pride to share. Thailand and Hawaii have beautiful islands, and we do too! All 7,107 of them.

Unlike our neighboring countries like Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand, the Philippines is not a popular tourist destination. Thankfully, the Department of Tourism has recently started a massive campaign spreading word about the beauty that is the Philippines via its campaign slogan:

It’s More Fun in the Philippines!

On this blog, we will make every effort to help DOT in showcasing our beautiful Philippine archipelago. Watch the DOT’s video below if you haven’t already seen; and show your love and support by sharing this blog to your friends and helping us spread the word!

Proud to be Pinoy,