So Long, Farewell

31 08 2010

So that’s it folks, my time here in the Philippines ends tomorrow, when I leave Wednesday night to Manila for my Thursday morning flight to Singapore. From there, its a 4+ month journey by train and bus up through Southeast Asia and East Asia: Singapore -> Malaysia -> Thailand -> Laos -> Thailand -> Cambodia -> Vietnam -> China -> Hong Kong -> Macau -> China -> Taiwan -> China -> Japan (arriving by early December). Once in Japan, I hope to try to volunteer for a month with an NGO we worked with here in San Fernando known as CITYNET, though my remaining money will determine if and how long that could take place for.

Needless to say, I’m terrified and excited, with really no idea how the trip will evolve, other than its probably gonna be more expensive than I hope for. I’ve only got about 12 grand to budget for 4-5+ months, with is okay for the Southeast Asian countries, but will get chewed up pretty fast in places like Beijing and Shanghai! Its definitely worth the money though, and I’ll have no regrets at all coming home broke and/or in debt.

As for the Philippines, I’m incredibly sad to leave San Fernando behind. The hospitality of Filipinos has been incredible and everything about this place makes it a nice place to live: peaceful, lots of friends, delicious food, warm climate, close to a nice warm ocean, very few foreigners, and with easy access to breathtaking countrysides. What makes it even harder to leave is the newfound romance I (finally!) developed with a beautiful Filipina girl, whom I met in early August. In only 2 weeks, we went from ‘text-mates’ (a phrase here referring to a girl / boy you text sweet nothings to but whom you don’t necessarily know or have prospects of dating) to lovers, and its thus incredibly hard to leave her behind here, just as the relationship is deepening! Luckily, my return flight back to Vancouver is from Manila, so I hope to return to San Fernando when I finish in Japan (perhaps January or February) and spend time with her again. Let’s hope she waits for me!

I wept bitterly the other night thinking about the leaving this place behind, and will likely do so again before my time here ends, but, as they say, all good things must come to an end, and it’s time to begin the next step of my life’s journey. This was an experience I would unwaveringly and whole-heartedly recommend to anyone; living and working like this in a far-away place grows the soul like nothing else, so I encourage you to consider it. There are plenty of opportunities to intern / volunteer for far-away places in need, and, while the experience may sound intimidating, it is really something worth swallowing your fears for!

So now, with a brave face, onwards and upwards through Asia I go! Please do check back here every once and awhile, as I hope to maintain this blog at least a little bit during my travels. The posts likely won’t be as thorough or include as many photos (this website has a maximum number of photos you can upload, and I’m almost halfway through the quota I think), but will still allow you access to my experiences from time to time! 🙂

Here are a few last pictures of San Fernando living:

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