Jona | Backpacking with a Book

June 12, 2016

Dear Kai, It Is All Right to Be a Tourist

Dear Kai, Some weeks ago, you asked me about your Southeast Asian trip. Is a three-day trip too short for three countries: Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh) – Cambodia (Pomp Penh) – Thailand (Bangkok)? I said that you’re such an addict—an expression I used when I did not know exactly what to say. I threw the question right back at you: isn’t three days too short for three countries? But come to think of it, why not? T and I crossed three countries within 24 hours. T had to fly back to Germany from Bangkok while I had a flight to […]
June 10, 2016
How to do your own laundry on your trips

Backpacking Makes You Wear Undies Two Days Straight! Wh-wh-what?!

Otherwise Known as Personally Tested Tips on Doing Your Own Laundry while Traveling One lesson you would learn from backpacking, according to an article I have read online (written by a western female backpacker, if that matters), is that undies could go for two days straight. The reason? Because of the absence of laundromat around. Wow. #Whiteprivilege #Firstworldproblem Suddenly, I felt very lucky to grow up in a household that taught me, my sisters, and brothers to handwash our own undies and eventually our own clothes at the age of 10. I could not speak for other Asian travelers, but we […]
May 29, 2016
t 35 Eco Mountain Resort

West 35 Eco Mountain Resort | A Dream Realized

This post first appeared on my column Down South on Interaksyon.com | November 1, 2014. Add some more photos here. CEBU, PHILIPPINES—This morning, it bloomed. Nothing could be happier for a gardener than to see a mere cutting from somewhere else flourish in her own garden. This fuchsia single-layered 9 O’clock bud reminds me of Louise Gluck’s “I speak because I am shattered” a line from her “Red Poppy,” a flower I have never set an eye on yet. This particular rose, just like the rest of the lives in my garden, brings me back to the place where I […]
May 27, 2016
Letter to My Passport

LETTERS | Dear Passport, We Will Go Far and Wide

Dear Passport, After my two-hour session with the fifteen-year-old, I transferred to the café’s al fresco area for my other personas to work—the content writer and social media manager, the other selves that must stay connected with the virtual and often fake world. Please remind me that these personas are my main source of income that allows us, you and I, to travel abroad. Passport, T set a challenge for me: to limit my FB visit to an hour a day. I came up with the most articulate answer I could think of, which you have heard more than once—my […]