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Week 21: Making Plans

January 27, 2009 - Filed under Planning, Weekly Report

After spending an entire afternoon at the travel agent we finally have official plans for phase 2 of our crazy nomadic life. On Feb 24th we head to Kuala Lumpur, after spending 8 hours in the Manila airport. Apparently the later flight, which would leave us with only 5 hours in Manila would be cutting it too close, according to our travel agent. I know Cebu Pacific is notorious for late flights but I kinda thought 5 hours would be enough. I guess not. So if anyone has any suggestions on what to do in the Manila Airport for 8 hours we’d love to hear ’em.

We’ll be spending 4 days in Kuala Lumpur, before heading to Thailand. After much research detailing horrible experiences with the Thai Embassy in Manila, we decided to try our luck with the Thai Embassy in KL instead, as most people seemed to have pretty positive reports from there. We’ll be applying for a 60-day tourist visa, with an optional 30-day extension, which will give us 90-days in Thailand. If we decide we want to stay longer, we’ll have to leave the country and come back in. But for now we’re thinking 3 months will be a good start. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Dumaguete & Dauin Area Beach Resorts

January 25, 2009 - Filed under Planning

The other day a reader of our blog emailed me asking for a hotel recommendation in Dauin. A lot of the guide books are pretty lacking on this area and usually only have one or two listed. I realized this was something we haven’t really talked much about since we arrived here, and figure it was about time we made a post about it. Keep in mind we haven’t been to all of these, but I’ll give you a bit of info about the ones we have been to, and then list the others in the area and you can check them out for yourself. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Week 20: Bring back the sun!

January 19, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

The last couple of weeks we’ve had some pretty gross weather. Although this is suppose to be the dry season this week has been anything but. I know it’s nothing compared to the crazy weather back in Vancouver, but for those of us who moved to a tropical island mostly for the weather… well it kinda sucks. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Week 19: Happy 30th Birthday Kelly!

January 12, 2009 - Filed under Planning, Weekly Report

Happy Birthday Kelly

This week our update comes from the beautifully manicured grounds of the Thalatta Beach Resort. We decided to celebrate Kelly’s 30th birthday with a little change of locale and some diving, swimming, and spa time. Just 15 minutes south of Dauin in Zamboanguita, with 12 nice little cottages just off the beach and a large wine and spirits selection, Thalatta has been a nice place to kick back, relax, and celebrate the latest arrival to middle age. Its a shame they don’t have a seniors diving discount… :) Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Random Factoid: The Philippines is the Text Messaging Capitol of the World

January 10, 2009 - Filed under Random Factoid

Filipinos send on average 20 text messages per day, compared to the US. average of 11. Last year on New Year’s Eve alone, mobile users in the Philippines sent 1.39 billion text messages from a subscriber base of just 50 million.

text messaging in the Philippines

Statistics for 2007. Source: Reuters

Posted by: Kelly

Week 18: Hello 2009!

January 5, 2009 - Filed under Planning, Weekly Report

I can’t believe it’s 2009 already, and that in a week I’m going to be 30! We rang in the new year on a beach, with a couple bottles of champagne and some of the friends we’ve made over the last 4 months here in the Philippines.

2008 has been a year of change. It was back in January that we started planning this crazy adventure and pretty much everything we’ve done over this past year has been in anticipation of this. In March Mike quit his job and went freelance full time. I spent most of April getting my loft ready to sell, and finally listed it in May. We made trips to Vancouver Island, Kelowna, and Edmonton, to make sure we saw all our family before we left. I gave notice at work in June, but stayed on till just before we left. August is a bit of a blur, what with packing, planing, organizing, and an endless amount of good-bye drinks, it all went by so fast. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Stuck in a culinary rut

January 2, 2009 - Filed under Eats

Do you ever have one of those days when you can’t decide what to make for dinner? When you’re bored with everything in your fridge and you feel like all you do is make the same things over and over? Lately it seems like everyday is that day.

Back in Vancouver we never used to cook this much. We’d eat out quite a bit, and with so many great restaurants we rarely got bored. Here in the Philippines the restaurant options are a little bit lacking. Thats not to say we haven’t had some great meals, but on a whole, things here are kind of bland. Fast food abounds and pretty much every restaurant has the same menu. So we’ve taken to cooking at home quite a bit. It’s great cause I love to cook, but I’m starting to run out of ideas. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

A long term travelers guide: 10 things I learned in 2008

January 1, 2009 - Filed under General

  1. Everyone needs a rice cooker. Making rice using a pot is barbaric.
  2. Having many possessions doesn’t equal happiness. Having none can give you a kind of freedom. Having some makes life more comfortable. Having too many, you become a keeper of things and they in turn eventually keep you.
  3. The basic necessities of human life have been replaced by the four “Good F”‘s of nomadic life. Good food, good friends, good family, and good fun. Remove any of those from the equation and you might as well go home and get a day job.
  4. A problem will never fix itself. Us Canadians are a non-confrontational lot for the most part, but in Asia… you better speak up and throw some elbows to get to the head of the line. And once you’ve maimed the rest of the crowd, remember to wear a smile while you complain.
  5. There is no such thing as ‘excessive use of horn’. In a country where there is little driver training, no drunk driving enforcement, and driving at night with no lights is common, its a valuable life saving warning system.
  6. Read More…

Posted by: Shim