It’s almost Christmas!
This season means so many things to many people. One thing in common though, is that it is a season of giving, an opportunity for us to show our loved ones how much they mean in our lives.
In the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country, it means caroling, midnight masses, lots of food, and of course, shopping!
It’s indeed a crazy time in the Philippines, when last minute shopping sprees mean traffic jams and unbelievable crowds in shopping malls. I had written before about the best Christmas gifts for solo travelers, but here’s another list, which serves as my wishlist for those who are interested to know. 😉
I bought my Montanara 45L+10 backpack in 2003, when I began climbing with the UP Mountaineers. Now, 10 years later, it has been to 18 countries and 52 cities (yes, including to Europe and India!), and I think it needs to retire. One of its clasps is broken and there are thin patches all over its body.
Being frugal, however, I will never throw it away while it’s still good enough to use. So until someone actually buys me a new one, or until it completely disintegrates while I’m on the road, I think I’ll be using this backpack forever!
Yes, I have my Samsung Galaxy Y, but it’s so temperamental I wasn’t even able to use it much when I was in Bangkok for almost a month. Having a smartphone is a must nowadays for travelers; you will never get lost when you can access Google Maps anytime!
With a smartphone you are also connected. You can check your mail anywhere, respond to messages on Facebook, tweet real-time (though I’ve never done this in my travels), or if you don’t have a Kindle like me, play games.
Okay, this is not in every traveler’s wishlist, but it’s in mine. I love running, but since my injury 3 years ago, I haven’t found my motivation to continue training. I’m hoping that receiving a one-year subscription would revive my love for the sport.
Compact Digital Camera
I already have a Nikon D3100 but there are times when my DSLR is too big to bring with me. My underwater camera got lost when I went caving, so now I just use my phone when I can’t bring my Nikon along. It’s not really the same.
When I saw this Anker Power Bank last June, I knew I could use it. It powers not only smartphones, but tablets, too. I don’t have a tablet (nor do I plan on buying one), but my phone’s battery has a really short life when I’m online so this would come in handy.
Now, beside all these self-serving wishes, there are a couple that I wish some of my readers would support.
Help Support the Visayas
The Visayas Region in the Philippines has been hit hard this year, first by the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu, and later on by Typhoon Haiyan which killed thousands and destroyed whole communities. This blog post (Memories of Visayas) contains a lot of links to people helping out in the Visayas. Please consider lending your support!
Donation to Operation Save Santa
Turner Barr, the blogger behind Around the World in 80 Jobs, is in the Philippines to help a community feel the spirit of Christmas again. Help him save Santa, check out his post: Operation Save Santa: A Filipino Christmas Story.
Merry Christmas, everybody!
Disclosure: These are Amazon Affiliate links. Clicking on any of the products will take you to the Amazon website, and if you buy anything there (it doesn’t have to be the ones I listed here), I get a few cents that will go to my travel fund.