Welcome to BWAB!

I'm Jona, a former travel journalist and teacher, and a poet and fictionist with a high dose of imposter syndrome. My affairs with the world and words started with a book. I've seen bits and pieces of this beautiful wounded world. Hence, the name of the blog. I'm from the Philippines, lived in Vietnam for four years, and now I'm indefinitely living in Munich, Germany.

What originally was a repository of random thoughts on life, travel, and books, BWAB is now a full-on resources of those embarking the digital nomad life with a decent amount of travel guides, occasional dive trips, and book readings spread thick in between. Oh yeah, a lot of solo travel resources around Europe and Southeast Asia. For quick travel and accommodation guides in Europe and Asia, check my ultimate travel cheat sheet for free. 

For real-time stories, puns, personally proven travel hacks, exclusive digital nomad resources, and self-deprecating awkwardness, follow me on Instagram: @jonajournals or my weekly mind-meandering on Medium. 

 


what's popular

destination guides

You may not know how to save your soul, but you know how to put one foot in front of another.—Rebecca Solnit
February 21, 2024

Astoria Palawan Personal Review: An Irresistible and Amazing Staycation in Puerto Princesa

This Astoria Palawan blog review first appeared on my column Down South on Interaksyon.com. I included more photos here to give justice to the beauty of this place. PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES—An egret ambled around my deck, peering through the glass wall of my own sanctuary. It must be looking for food. […]
February 20, 2024

How To Have A Better Road Trip Experience

One idea if you’re looking to get away is to head out on a road trip. It’s a great opportunity to explore new places and have some quality time with your passengers. It doesn’t mean you should just hop in your car and wing it. Instead, there are actions you […]
February 17, 2024

Day trip from Ljubljana: Things to Do in Trieste in 1 Day

The way I travel in Europe is not too different from the way I travel around my home country the Philippines and my second home Vietnam. I check Google Maps. And if there is something in the satellite image that piques my interest, I simply check it out. That’s how […]
February 4, 2024

What to Do in Aachen in One Day

We hovered in the same artist group, but I don’t really know this person. She posted some Aachen photos and gushed out how beautiful the city was. I so happened to be in Bielefeld for my work then, so I told my partner that instead of staying in Cologne, I […]

digital nomad guides

And her joy would become a restless thing, flapping its wings inside her, as though looking for an opening to fly away. ― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
January 3, 2024

SEO Strategy for a Small Travel Blog: I Stopped Writing Content for My Own People

As a poet, fictionist, and an essayist, it is ingrained in us that it is one of our duties to write about and write for our own people. My people, in this context, means my fellow Filipinos and their own brand of triumphs and sorrows. Perhaps I’m too individualistic or […]
November 15, 2023

I earned 598.77$ as a Side Hustle in October, and Most Likely It Won’t Happen Again

Last month, I started taking my travel blog seriously as a source of passive income. That means I have to show up every day and improve it every day. Updating old content. Writing new ones. SEOing everything. Doing backlinking. The whole shebang. Here are some strategies I put in place […]
October 29, 2023

150 Days of Documenting My Side Hustle Journey

Making my own money has always been my biggest motivator in almost everything that I do except my imposter-syndrome-heavy-foray in creative writing. But the rest? Blogging. My shift to the B2B content writing space. And even my recent dip into the Tiktok world. But my biggest problem has always been […]
May 2, 2023

Money Guide for Travelers from Developing Countries: Why You Must Have a Separate Travel Fund Bank Account

Money Guide for Travelers from Developing Countries is not usually discussed. Personally, the courage to travel is one thing; having the dough to travel is another. In most cases, I build my courage and travel fund together. The Importance of Why You Should Keep a Separate Travel Fund Account should […]
 
 

reading life

My grandfather says that's what books are for," Ashoke said, using the opportunity to open the volume in his hands. "To travel without moving an inch.― Jhumpa Lahiri
December 7, 2023

14 Amazing English Bookstores in Paris and Some Gorgeous Libraries

Are these names familiar? George Sand. Colette. Simone de Beauvoir. Madame de la Fayette. Gertrude Stein. No? How about Moliere, Voltaire, Balzac, Victor Hugo and Zola and Proust. Yeah? Yeah, now I know what kind of reader you are. 😉 So yes, these are some of the most popular writers […]
October 28, 2023

A Guide to the Best English Bookshops in Vienna

Vienna is a beautiful city. Of course, that’s the perspective of a traveler, hmm, scratch that, a tourist whose eyes are glued at these Gothic and Baroque architecture, marveling at the preserved beauty of the bygone years. But there are other Vienna quirks that I find appealing. The subway drunkies […]
October 19, 2023

Boekhandel Dominicanen: Maastricht’s Bookstore in a Cathedral

It is in my DNA to check out the local bookstore scene wherever I am. Most of my favorites are usually independent bookstores that have that well-kept forgottenness kind of vibe. If you get my drift. Think of Paris’ Shakespeare and Co. Or Hanoi’s Tiny Cafe franchise (although this one […]
October 3, 2023

10 English Bookstores in Prague You Should Check Out

I have a flippant mind, but in this life, my obsessions have been quite consistent the past fifteen years or so. Books. Cats. Travel. Plants. My hobbies, as I love saying now in German, das passt nicht zusammen. They don’t fit together. Well, living in a camper van will make […]
 
 

life and food

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.—Virginia Woolf
February 21, 2024

Astoria Palawan Personal Review: An Irresistible and Amazing Staycation in Puerto Princesa

This Astoria Palawan blog review first appeared on my column Down South on Interaksyon.com. I included more photos here to give justice to the beauty of this place. PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES—An egret ambled around my deck, peering through the glass wall of my own sanctuary. It must be looking for food. […]
January 10, 2024

Where to Stay in Vienna for First Time Visitors

Having explored 15-plus European cities since relocating to Munich, Germany, I unequivocally declare Vienna as my favorite. This imperial jewel along the Danube orchestrates a symphony of culture, history, and elegance. Opulent palaces, a classical music legacy, and charming coffeehouse culture contribute to its timeless allure. I like how ostensibly […]
January 4, 2024

15 of the Best Hotels in Paris for Solo Travelers

I moved to Munich, Germany in November 2021. Despite being three hours by train away, Paris never appealed to me and only traveled there in December 2022 to meet some dearly missed friends. Traveling to Paris in December has its own charms and pitfalls. I would love to visit the […]
January 1, 2024

The 25 Best Boracay Station 1 Resorts: from Luxury to Budget 2024

We all have a story how the travel bug got us. Mine started when I was a university student. I led the school publication, and the president of the student body government and I were invited to join a nationwide student leader’ press conference in Boracay. This was almost twenty […]