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#Hello

Last Christmas, I told my friends I had a feeling 2016 would be an eventful year for me. Call it a hunch, but I just knew it would bring about something great, or at least something greater than the year before.  I even ushered it in with my family in Batanes, one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. There was no way my year could go wrong. Barely two weeks in, and I was suffering from vertigo and what my doctor would diagnose as acute hearing loss. It eventually healed, much to my relief, but it left me shaken. Add in the turmoil of my job, and I was dazed and confused and so, so stressed. But I had another chance, because February meant Chinese New Year. And though I’m not Chinese and not really into horoscopes and zodiacs, I learned that the Year of the Fire Monkey would be a great one for Dragons. Ding, ding, ding. I thought, This is it. February 8 came and went. Still no turning point. It’s okay, I told …

Well, hello there.

I’ve been quite busy this past couple of weeks, so I haven’t been updating my blog as often as I should. While I struggle to get through my backlog of posts, here’s a teaser of what you can expect next on Wander Write Now. Can you guess what place this is? Here’s a hint: It’s something to include to my list of Epic Ups!

Solo Sentiments: Conquering the challenge of traveling alone

Whenever I tell someone that I want to travel on my own, I always get one of two reactions: an excited, “Me too!” or a scrunched-up expression followed by, “Why do you want to do that?” or some variation thereof. Maybe it’s the communal nature of Filipinos that makes this idea so alien to us. Whether we’re eating, exercising, or watching movies, we love being with our friends and family. I do enjoy traveling with other people, but I’ve wanted to try it solo for some time now. So that’s exactly what I did a week ago—despite my parents’ worries. Part of my reason for doing so was that I wanted to prove to other people that I could hack it on my own, no matter how sheltered and introverted and neurotic I am. But more than that, I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to escape my safe little box and test my mettle. And I didn’t want my fears to hold me back from living. I’m so glad I went ahead with it. My Yogyakarta trip was just …

Trekking and temple climbing in JOG

It’s the end of my second day here in Yogyakarta, and I had a blast. Trekked up Setumbu Hill at 4:30am to see the sunrise over Borobudur. It was quite foggy and cloudy, but the view was nice all the same. The main attraction was Borobudur Temple itself. Check it out— If it’s not on your bucket list, it should be. This is simply mind-blowing. Angkor Wat was amazing, yes, but this is another kind of awesome that everyone should experience. Also saw Prambanan Temple— And I met some really cool people along the way too! Will share more of my experiences and photos when I get back to my laptop. Last day tomorrow. Why is it that time flies faster when you’re traveling? ‘Til next time!

Let’s go where?

I know. My sketching skills—and sense of proportions—leave a lot to be desired. Now you know why I switched from interior design to writing. :)) This is my first attempt at the whole typography/lettering + sketching thing. I’m hoping that I’ll get better at this with practice. But back to the subject at hand. Did you get it? Do you know where I’m going? Here are three hints: 1) It’s in Asia, 2) That bell-looking thing in the middle of the “o” is a well-known structure, 3) The airport code is literally written right there. If you guessed Yogyakarta, you got it right! I’m going to Indonesia… With my backpack… And only my backpack. *wide eyes here* … I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress. Hopefully, the Wi-Fi at the hostel—yep, hostel—really works. If not, I’ll tell you all about my adventures in solo backpacking when I get back to Singapore. Borobudur, here I come! Have any of you been there? Do share some tips with me if you have! 🙂

6 destinations I’d love to spend Valentine’s Day in

It’s that time of the year again when hearts and flowers and sentimental soundtracks abound. In celebration of the love month, I thought I’d write about my personal love affair—with traveling, that is. I usually feature places I’ve been to, but I’d like to try something different and talk about my dream destinations. These are the places that kindle my wanderlust and inspire me to work hard and save up. I’ve got a long, long travel bucket list, but I’ve trimmed it down to my top six. Continue reading to find out more about them! 1. Batanes, Philippines People call this our local Scotland or Marlboro Country, and for good reason. Rolling hills, crashing waves, fresh air, and uninterrupted space for days? Yes, please! Batanes is one of those places in the Philippines that has remained relatively untouched by commercialization, promising an idyllic, back-to-nature getaway. I can totally picture picnicking up there and channeling my inner Maria a la Sound of Music. 2. Barcelona, Spain One word: Gaudi. He’s left such a vibrant, unforgettable mark on this city …

15 for 2015

I always think twice about putting my resolutions out there, because I never really know if I’ll be able to do them. Case in point, my 25 for 2013, a lot of which I wasn’t able to tick off—such as saving up for my 2015 Eurotrip. But then, I realized that wasn’t the right mindset to have. It’s just another way of limiting myself, and really, that negates the whole point of making resolutions. So here they are. My goals for 2015. No Eurotrip aside, this is my year. I’m claiming it. 1. Establish myself as a writer. Whether I become employed or carry on being a full-time freelancer, I’ve got to build my cred, and that means having an accessible portfolio, giving away business cards, and networking. 2. Take my blogging seriously. I’ve started by finally shelling out money for a custom domain (hello, Wander Write Now!) and a premium theme. I need to keep it up by updating it regularly—i.e., at least twice a week—and putting out interesting, curated content. 3. Share the book love. I’d planned …