The rainy days make me think about summer often. I miss the sun, and how its warmth feels on my skin, especially when I’m outside. These days, the sound of rain makes me miss last summer, when I got to spend my vacation with possibly the best hosts I’ve ever met (so far).
Jump shot at Eden Nature Park
What makes a trip memorable is not the place, but the people you spend it with. Last May, my dad and I went for a 4-day holiday to Davao (DVO). For those of you who don’t know, DVO is located 946 miles from Manila, and is part of Mindanao. It’s one of the largest cities in the world, and is considered to be one of the Philippines’ most livable cities.
For my dad, this trip meant more than just business and leisure, it was also a sort of reunion with some of our relatives. I, on the other hand only had one thing in mind, to get lost and explore. I was kind of selfish and anti-social at first because meeting new folks always terrified me, but there’s something about the people and their hospitality that just changes your whole perspective on things.
Dinner at Ahfat Seafood Plaza, while getting to know the cousins.
Lesson learned: The whole point of traveling is to make new friends, to learn from them, and to immerse yourself in their culture. How will you do that if you’re going to close your mind and heart to the gifts of the universe?
At first, I didn’t know much about Davao. My cousins even laughed at me for thinking that Davao was part of the Visayas region. Again, I’m sorry mi hermanos. Haha. Even though I tried to research a lot about the place, experience will always be the best teacher. Traveling will reveal facets of life you thought you’d never experience, at the same time, it’s going to teach you a lot about yourself and how you value the opportunities handed to you. My cousins, aunts, and uncles were a great help because they showed us around, and they made us feel right at home. I came there with a lot of expectations, and I went home fully satisfied because I got to experience more that what I had expected.
Travel Checklist – Here are a few things to keep in mind when venturing out into the unknown. Note: I really did have a checklist saved on my phone. They were filled with suggestions from friends and family who have been to the place. I was proud of myself for being able to accomplish everything on my list! Here’s a few of what I wrote down.