My Top 3 Travel Memories
In all your travels around the world, what do you remember most?
For someone like me who started traveling when I was 3, and alone when I was 11, it’s a hard task indeed to remember my trips. However, I was given a chance today to try and recapture those memorable moments in the blogging contest that’s recently making the rounds in the blogosphere.
“My Top 3 Travel Memories” is similar to My 7 Supers Shots and Capture the Color, wherein a commercial travel site engages bloggers in a writing competition. In this particular contest, bloggers join a team (I belong to team BLUE), get tapped to write the post about their top 3 travel memories, and then pass on the baton to another member of the team. I would like to thank Evan and Tracy for tagging me, and our team captain Christina Hegele for all the encouragement!
That said, here are my most memorable travel memories:
El Nido, Palawan (Philippines)
El Nido has been called the Island of the Gods, not only for is beaches but for its wonderful views as well. I wasn’t alone when I went there in 2009. I went with a very good friend which probably made the place all the more memorable to me.
It wasn’t peak season when we went, so we had a choice of rooms and there weren’t a lot of people. We swam, went walking along the beach, island hopped and snorkeled. I also ran, started a blog (yep, Solitary Wanderer was born there!), and surprised myself by feeling so at peace in this small town northeast of Palawan.
If there’s a place in the Philippines that I would like to go back to again and again, it would probably be El Nido, if only to cherish the memories I’d had there.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
I love Saigon, I love walking its streets and drinking in the busy-ness of its daily life. I love its coffee, its delicious banh mi sandwiches, and the way the people there make you feel at home. I’ve been in Saigon 3x, and every time I go there, there are always stories to tell, about things I’d done, places I’d seen, and people I’d met.
Needless to say, Saigon holds a place in my heart, and every now and then, I think of it fondly and smile.
I almost didn’t go to Santorini. I’d always thought of it as a place that’s too expensive for a backpacker like me. When my Couchsurfing host in Athens (thanks Miltiadis!) managed to convince me, I found out there was a transport strike and there were no boats going there.
Despite all the near misses, I did end up in this very beautiful group of islands in Greece. I stayed in an inexpensive cave-like accommodation, met the most wonderful hostel owners (I found them through Hostelworld), and walked around for days in Fira and Oia with no itinerary and no plans other than to fully enjoy the beauty that is Santorini.
I stayed four days there, four short days to fully appreciate all the charms of that island. And yet, when I look back on those moments, I felt that it was complete, too, made all the more memorable because of the people who made a huge impression on me.
It just struck me that even though I usually travel solo, all of these top memories involved other people. It’s not actually the place, per se, which makes your travel memorable, it’s also the people you meet. That’s why I love this quote from the movie I Am Number Four:
You can go wherever you want. See whatever you want to but, a place is only as good as the people in it.
With that, I would like to pass the baton to another Team Blue member, Amanda Williams of A Dangerous Business!
How about you? In all your travels around the world, what do you remember most?
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Aleah Taboclaon is a freelance writer and editor. She likes running (completed one marathon, training for the next!), diving (PADI open water diver), and traveling with her Kindle. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. You can also email her; she would love to hear from you!