Travel Thoughts

April 21, 2017

I’m a Southeast Asian Traveler, Neither Rich Nor a Begpacker

SA PA, VIETNAM | Yes, I’m Jona, a Southeast Asian traveler, neither rich nor a begpacker. These are my honest thoughts on the recent “white Begpackers in Southeast Asia” phenomenon.  EDIT: I’ve been called racist for pointing this out. I’ve been called anti-white. Hell no, I’m dating a white guy, by the way. Some of my friends are non self-righteous Westerners. What I find resenting though are those self-righteous, self-entitled individuals, regardless of race and religion. This article doesn’t cover all the geopolitics involved in traveling. All I want is a dialogue. And please read the epigraph thrice if the article […]
August 3, 2017
Northern Vietnam Travel Guide Ban Gioc Waterfalls, Cao Bang, Vietnam

I Left the Philippines December 2016 for My Year-long Trip. I Don’t Think I’m Coming Back Anytime Soon

KATHMANDU, NEPAL | I’m typing this at Ace Cafe, a newly opened restaurant and cafe here in Kathmandu. I thought our trip in Nepal would only last for two weeks, knowing Tobias (my boyfriend and travel buddy of two years or so) had stayed for a month here already, trekking the Annapurna Circuit. But the two weeks lasted for a month. We did our own unguided ten-day trek in Khopara Danda, explored Phokara and Kathmandu, and stuffed ourselves with dal bhat. (If you’ve been to India, it is a simpler version of tali). It was more than enough for an […]
August 20, 2017

MONEY TALK | I Fear of Going Broke in a Foreign Country

TAINAN, TAIWAN | It’s been eight months since I left the Philippines. It’s been eight months since I left my beautiful life in Cebu, moved my four urban felines and books to the countryside, and gave up my little apartment in Cebu City. I’m here in Taiwan for a month before flying to Myanmar. And after that, I don’t know where my depleting bank account, feet, and restless mind bring me. Traveling non-stop is costly. Financially. Emotionally. The more you travel, the more you spend. I constantly worry. Especially financially. Although my IG photos will say otherwise. Three months ago, I […]
October 22, 2017

As Travelers, What Do We Leave Behind?

Dear, It is Sunday. I’m seated at the open patio outside our room. Tobi is inside, watching something German. Gags, he said. Across the narrow alleyway that is wide enough for a car to pass through, the caged birds sing these lovely melodies. Caged and singing. Odd, like Vietnam’s. The next-door villa’s dog barks. The leaves of the bananas, plumeria and young coconut tree in the yard rustle with the breeze. Widi’s kids are talking about something in their local language. The boy passes by our gate in his bicycle. He gives me this questioning look upon seeing me smiling […]