Tuesday, January 8, 2019

My 2018 Travels

by Regin Reyno 

2018 just ended. It’s another year. Happy new year! We are given once again, a new sheet of paper to write on. I thank God for this new year; a chance to start over again. It’s like pushing that reset button on a computer game. Let’s fill it with experiences.

But before I embark on 2019’s adventures, let me look back and reminisce the travels I did in 2018. That year, I become more focused on eliminating things that I don’t need or don't add value to my life. I spent less on material things; purposely decluttered and continued spending time for meaningful experiences, like traveling. 

"The great thing about experiences is not only are they fun at the time, but you also get to think about them beforehand, and after."--James Wallman, Stuffocation

1. February 2018
Manila, Cagayan de Oro, and Bukidnon, Philippines

Transportation from/to Beijing: Korean Air
Accomodations: PPH Guesthouse, Seda Centrio Cagayan de Oro, our home, One Palm Tree Villa Condotel
Bukidnon, Philippines 
My first travel took me back to my home country to spend time with family. We were in Manila; visited historical places such as Intramuros area and went window shopping, dining, and relaxing at Mckinley Hill in Taguig.

After a few days in Manila, we flew to Mindanao. To be home in Bukidnon, relaxing amidst nature, such as Lake Apo with family was refreshing. 

Before going back to Beijing, I spend a day in Manila meeting my old friends from high school.

2. April 2018
Shanghai, China

Transportation from/to Beijing: CRH bullet train
Accommodation: Obo Shanghai 
Radisson Hotel Blu Shanghai
For our 4th Chinaversary, we went to Shanghai. We had dinner at Radisson Hotel Blu. They have a wonderful rotating restaurant overlooking the city. It was not bad eating and talking to each other with the view of the Oriental Pearl Tower. 
For breakfast, we were with the mouse at Disney Resort’s Disney Character Dining in Lumiere’s Kitchen. And of course, Disneyland. 

3. May 2018
Seoul, South Korea

Transportation from/to Beijing: Korean Air
Accommodation: Hostel Gaon Sinchon 
Korean "street food" at Gwangjang market 
I wanted to eat Korean food. I wanted the authentic one. So after a 2-hour flight, I was eating real Korean food in Seoul. UNESCO World Heritage palaces and temples were visited, too. 

Seoul, lots of beautiful girls everywhere. Go visit and see. 

4. May 2018
Jiankou Great Wall, Huairou district, China

Transportation from/to Beijing: mini bus
Accommodation: tent/sleeping bag
Have you slept on the Great Wall of China?
Since the climate is getting perfect; not too cold and not too hot, I decided to organize a hiking and camping trip on the Great Wall of China. At sunset we all just paused and watch as the sun was slowly sinking to the mountains; sitting on a watchtower with a view of the long, dragon-like masterpiece. Camping on the Great Wall was the coolest thing I’ve done in China. 

5. June 2018
Longqing Gorge, Yanqing County, China 

Transportation from/to Beijing: bus

We went to Longqing gorge again for our team building. It was a good break from city life and just be in touch with nature while enjoying the company of each other. 

6. July 2018
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Transportation from/to Beijing: China Southern Airlines
Accommodations: a hotel near Guangzhou airport that I forgot the name, In Vieng Chiang Mai, International House Chiang Mai, Holiday Inn Guangzhou
International House Chiang Mai
My home for 1 month

The highlight of my year: I studied CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) by University of Cambridge in International House Chiang Mai, Thailand. We were in a resort-like campus. A very beautiful campus. Our accommodation was fabulous. Food, laundry, etc. were provided so we can just focus on the course. I’ve learned a lot and met people from all over the world. I enjoyed staying in the campus, too. Swimming everyday before doing my lesson plans and assignments. I highly recommend this place for your CELTA. And yes, I passed. 

Every weekend, I would go out and explore Chiang Mai, especially the part where the old city is, enjoying massages and Thai street food. I miss Thailand. 

7. October 2018
Tianjin, China

Transportation from/to Beijing: CRH bullet train

My parents, brother, and sister visited me here in Beijing. Tennis is our family’s sport, so we played tennis at Chaoyang Park and watched Naomi Osaka play at ATP 500 China Open 2018. We also took a bullet train and toured Tianjin, a European-inspired city 130 km. from Beijing. 

9. December 2018
Tagaytay, Boracay, and Manila, Philippines

Transportation from/to Beijing: Cebu Pacific and Xiamen Airlines

Accommodation: Taal Vista Hotel, The Ferra Premiere by JG (formerly Ferra Hotel Boracay), Holiday Inn Express, PPH Guesthouse
Taal Vista Hotel

an island called Boracay
My final travel of the year. The most memorable. We attended a wedding of a friend in Tagaytay, a lovely city with a cool climate overlooking Taal lake and Taal volcano. It was a reunion with good old friends. It was great seeing them again. And, the city is just wonderful. We had long walks in our hotel compound. The climate and view is just fantastic. Oh, I love Tagaytay. 

Then after our wedding responsibility, we went to relax on an island called, Boracay. The beach is now wide and the water is clean. Thank you so much, president Duterte for your political will and love for the country. We spent a lot of time just enjoying the beaches, (Puka beach and White beach) and enjoying Filipino food and beverages.

Then in Manila, I spent time with my sisters and nephews relaxing, dining, and visiting interesting places such as the National Museum where my mind was blown upon seeing for the first time Juan Luna’s Spoliarium. I was blown. For me, that painting is up there with the Rembrandts, the Rubens, and the Da Vincis. 

When I arrived in Beijing after my Philippine vacation, I worked and rested for a few days then packed my bag again for another trip. 

But that will be in 2019’s year end review.

 "Tonight most people will be welcomed home by jumping dogs and squealing kids. Their spouses will ask about their day, and tonight they'll sleep. The stars will wheel forth from their daytime hiding places; and one of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip passing over."--Up in the Air 

I praise God for these blessings. 


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