If a global pandemic did not suddenly sweep throughout the world, where would I be right now?
2020 would have been the year I finally visited the Himalayas. I didn’t have a plan for 2021. So I’m only guessing that I probably would be in Japan or Korea right now to see the beautiful autumn foliage. Or I’d be in Australia visiting a friend who was supposed to migrate last year but got stuck here instead because of the pandemic.
All the canceled trips made me frustrated but there was no point in feeling sorry for myself. Here I am, trying new things in my new home base instead. I tried keeping myself busy with other things like taking up new hobbies or reading new books. I also turned into vegetable gardening and even won second place in a vegetable gardening contest because of it. The joy of watching things grow kept me sane for several months but I couldn’t deny the fact that what I truly wanted to do was to travel.
Since the pandemic started, I tried to limit my posts about travel on social media. Knowing how many people are struggling to make ends meet these days, it felt like posting doesn’t make sense. Still, I would occasionally post something because I’d receive private messages on my blog email that reading my old blogs keeps them entertained. I admit; reading such messages makes me feel good. It gives me validation that what I put out there is good and can be valuable to some people.
So I decided to go on small trips so I would have new stories to tell. The options are limited, and I didn’t want to be bothered with so many travel requirements just for a leisure trip so I decided to explore places that are closer to home. Which literally translates to staycations to nearby hotels and resorts.
I used to not be a big fan of staycations because not only are they on the pricier side, the things you can do are quite limited. But during the pandemic, I realized why other people go on them: to be entertained and pampered. It’s true; staycations are perfect for those who don’t want to do a lot of planning, yet get to experience the best of what the place has to offer. When you’re stuck at home, doing the same routine over and over again, you just have to change your scenery once in a while even if it means just laying on a beach for a day or two.
A change of place brings a change in perspective.
So I made a list of places near my home and mapped them out. The first thing I did was travel to Ronda and fly a gyrocopter for the first time. Unfortunately, the business closed down and I was one of the last passengers to experience this kind of tour.
I also decided to stay in Moalboal for a few nights and stayed in different resorts every night just to get a taste of what it’s like to be a local. Moalboal used to be swarmed with tourists up until a few years ago, but the pandemic made the town quiet.
No tourists. Not a single boat surrounding Pescador Island!
June this year, my friends and I finally tried paragliding for the first time. It was a surreal experience because I always wanted to do that but never had the chance. This time around, it just came out of the blue.
On some days, I also check out bistros and coffee shops nearby. Before the pandemic, going to a coffee shop was a norm for me to work, meet up with friends or hang out. These days, it’s a luxurious escape from home.
Right now, I’m writing this in a beach resort located a few blocks from my house, while looking at the sea. I feel blessed to be able to do this especially at a time where jobs are hard to come by.
A few weeks ago, I received an email from Best Cebu Blogs Awards that one of my blog posts is a finalist under Best Cebu Quarantine Blog Category.
The Best Cebu Blogs Awards (BCBA) is a yearly ceremony that recognizes Cebu-based bloggers. BCBA is the only and pioneering award-giving body that recognizes the existence of blogs, bloggers, and social media influencers or movers in Cebu’s blogosphere. Thank you to all the sponsors who continue to make BCBA possible.
I don’t know who nominated me but it’s all thanks to you. It’s an honor to be one of the finalists and I’m glad that I contributed something good to other people. But if I’m being honest, I was ashamed that I even got in the first place. I haven’t been actively blogging since the pandemic started. Still, it’s an achievement to be recognized by the community.
The announcement of winners will be on December 3, 2021, at exactly 5 PM. Congratulations in advance to all the winners!
Right now, I am just trying to stay afloat and keep myself from drowning in this new normal. The world is starting to go back to normal but it’s slow. I am just trying to enjoy the little things in life that do not require a plane ticket.
A trip can still be memorable even if it’s only a few blocks from home.