It’s Already My 37th Birthday in the Philippines

Last Updated on October 3, 2019 by Tina

It’s one hour to go before my birthday here in Cambodia, but in my home country, it’s already my birthday. Four days ago, I embarked on the most exciting adventure of my life- backpacking to five countries in Southeast Asia for six weeks. This crazy idea started last year when GetGo, the lifestyle rewards program by Cebu Pacific had a seat sale. I booked a flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and scheduled the flight four days before my birthday. I wanted to celebrate my birthday in a place I have never been to, a tradition I started three years ago. And I have always wanted to try this thing, ever since I have read about Tommy Walker’s travel adventures in Rappler.

When I booked the flight and planned on doing the trip, I was already jobless. I knew back then that when the time comes for me to start my adventure, I may no longer have enough funds for this six weeks travel. I know it was a very irresponsible, reckless move. But I have money in the stock market so I wasn’t that worried. Luckily, two months before my trip, a colleague offered me a part-time job.

I guess it’s true what Paulo Coelho wrote in his book, The Alchemist: “And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it”. The universe indeed conspired. The two-week job offered to me was scheduled two and a half weeks before my trip. And I was paid in advance, unlike the last time I worked for them where I got paid a month after. Also, because the job given to me was as a trainer and not as a training assistant, I got higher pay.

Related post: Backpacking Southeast Asia First Stop: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

This is the first time I am traveling on a very limited budget but so far so good. I have been used to splurging on food and transportation when I was still employed, but now I can’t. It’s a challenge I need to succeed so I can tell my friends that it’s doable. That travel is indeed never a matter of money but of courage.

Bye for now, and watch out for my posts in the coming days. I’ll be sharing with you my experiences so you’ll have a guide just in case you get the courage to do this too. And follow my Instagram account @tnadeperalta to see the highlights of my trip. My friend who saw it said it’s like going on a virtual tour. Goodnight and happy birthday to me. 🙂

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