Last Updated on August 24, 2021 by Tina
In the past four days that I’ve been back at home for my field break, I’ve been going for a walk on the beach alone every afternoon. I don’t know with others, but with me, I do a lot of thinking in moments like this. (I’m such an overthinker.) I’ve been reflecting on what I would like to do with my life. Especially after two of my batchmates passed away at such a young age recently. It got me thinking that life is short and that I should make the most out of it and do what makes me happy. To be honest, I’m not happy with my life right now. But what can I do other than pray for better days ahead and for this pandemic to be over? I guess I can start planning what I will do when the situation gets better and prepare my post-pandemic bucket list.
There are so many things I wanna do, and I think me and my best friend talk about it almost every week. So here are the things I wanna do in the next five years (I’m not gonna say when the pandemic is over, coz I don’t want to wait that long.) I think it will be interesting to get back to this list after 5 years and see what I was able to accomplish.
My Post Pandemic Bucket List
Quit my 8 to 5 job and become a digital nomad.
Don’t get me wrong, I like what I do right now. I get to visit places that I probably would not be able to go to if I didn’t have this job. However, it was never my dream to be working as an employee until I turn 60. My closest friends know that.
I’ve been looking for ways on how I can be a digital nomad. I’ve read that blogging is one way, but it entails a lot of hard work. And I am working on that already that’s why I try so hard to publish content twice a week and read as many as I can about monetizing your blog. I know I still have a long way to go, but I will get there.
There are so many things that I want to do, and I’m gonna need a lot of money for that. So I need more than one source of income. Other than blogging, there’s another thing that my friend told me about that I hope materializes this year. If that happens, I can work anywhere I want as long as I have a good internet connection.
I might also teach English part-time in the places that I will visit. I already have a TEFL certificate so it might be easier to get a job.
Jumpstart my business.
I’m not sure if I have mentioned it in one of my posts already, I have a business here in La Union that I started after I got retrenched from my job back in 2013. I received a significant amount of retrenchment pay, and I used that money to build my house and a business. My sister has been managing the business because I had to go back to work again. The business wasn’t doing well in the first year, so I needed another source of income.
My sister did a great job in managing the business. However, with the pandemic, the business was barely making money as most of our customers rely on tourism for their livelihood. And with the threat of the delta variant, we decided to close down the business for now. When things get better, I’ll make sure we’ll get back to business again.
Visit all the Southeast Asian countries.
There are actually two remaining countries that I haven’t visited in Southeast Asia- Brunei and Timor Leste. But I wanna go back to the other countries because there are still a lot of things I wanna do there.
There are still a lot of places in my home country that I want to visit, and though some are open for tourists already, I don’t think now is a good time to be visiting these places. Sagada, Banawe, Batanes, and Camiguin are some of the places I would like to explore before I go out of the country. I also wanna go back to El Nido. I want to climb Mount Pulag and Mount Pinatubo, do the Bakun Trio, and camp at Anawangin. And I would like to experience freediving with Ilocosirena.
The Kiwi guy I met during my Mt. Kinabalu Hike said there’s not much to see in Brunei. So maybe three to five days here would be enough. One thing I wouldn’t want to miss when I visit this country though is Temburong Bridge, the longest bridge in Southeast Asia.
I’m not sure if Timor Leste is safe for solo female travelers. To be safe, I’ll make sure I don’t go there alone. Andreu (my ex) said before that he is down for it, and another friend of mine, Migel, is also interested in visiting.
Filipinos can enter Vietnam and stay there for 21 days visa-free. Maybe when I go back to Vietnam, I will use up the 21 days as there are still so many things I wanna do there even if that’s going to be my fourth visit already. I wanna go trekking in Sapa, cross the Golden Bridge, and do the Ha Giang Loop and Hai Van Pass on a motorbike though I don’t know how to drive a motorbike. Andreu and I talked about doing the Hai Van Pass together when I was still backpacking. I’m not sure if we will still be able to do it together. My Egyptian friend Mina wants to visit Vietnam when it opens and I told him I will go with him. The problem is he too doesn’t know how to drive a motorbike.
I’ve been to Singapore four times already, but there are still so many places that I want to explore. I want to try all the hiking trails (especially the Green Corridor), visit the islands, go on a food tour, walk around Singapore (I’ve read that you can do it in 5 days), and explore everything there is to explore in this country. And I wanna write an e-book about the whole Singapore experience after this. I’m also thinking of going on a train journey from Singapore to Russia. I’ve read someone who did this and I’m keen on doing it too. Filipinos can stay in Singapore for 30 days visa-free, but I’m not sure if that would be enough time to do all these. What I can do is go to Malacca and Cameron Highlands in Malaysia then go back to Singapore to continue.
I wanna go back to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia and climb Mt. Kinabalu again. I was not able to reach the summit of Mt. Kinabalu the first time I did it because of the bad weather. I also want to visit Malacca and Cameron Highlands.
I have been to Indonesia already but only in Bali. When I go back, I want to see the Komodo dragons in Komodo National Park, visit the Borobudur Temple, see Mt. Bromo, and go back to Nusa Penida and Bali. I don’t know how long to visit all these places, but maybe 30 days is enough. Filipinos can stay in Indonesia visa-free for 30 days.
When I was in Siem Reap in 2019, a Chinese girl I met at the hostel told me that Battambang is an interesting place to visit. I was not able to squeeze it into my itinerary anymore but I told myself that I’ll visit it in the future.
I only stayed in Luang Prabang when I visited Laos and I loved it so much. I wanna go back to Luang Prabang again and also visit the Plain of Jars, Four Thousand Islands (Si Phan Don), Vientianne, and Vang Vieng. Andreu and I also planned on exploring Vang Vieng together because I don’t know how to drive a motorbike and he offered to drive for me in exchange for cheesecake.
Filipinos can stay in Laos visa-free for 30 days, so I will probably stay there until my 30th day.
I’ve been to Thailand a few times already but I haven’t fully explored the country yet. I was planning on staying in Wat Pa Tam Wua in Mae Hong Son for a few days when I was backpacking but I changed my plans and went to Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai instead. When I go back, I will definitely stay in Wat Pa Tam Wua for a minimum of 5 days. It is a Buddhist Forest Monastery. I also want to go to Phuket and Krabi and visit the other islands. Filipinos can stay in Thailand visa-free for 30 days.
Myanmar is currently in a state of emergency after the military seized control of the country. I hope the crisis gets resolved soon. When it opens again, I wanna go back there and do the Kalaw-Inle Lake trek. I also want to visit the beaches of Myanmar. Filipinos can stay in Myanmar visa-free for 14 days.
Live in Spain for a year or longer and explore other parts of Europe.
It has always been my dream to visit Europe and lately, I’ve been obsessing on the thought of living in Spain for at least a year. It all started when I read a news article that says Spain is launching a digital nomad visa. I was thinking maybe I could have Spain as my base and visit other parts of Europe from there. I feel that the universe will conspire for this thing to happen (fingers crossed).
Visit Sri Lanka.
In 2019, Andreu was writing a story with Sri Lanka as the setting. He hasn’t finished the story yet but he let me read part of it. My blog was mentioned in the story and a Sri Lanka itinerary was included. And I thought “one day I will visit Sri Lanka and I will follow that itinerary and write a Sri Lanka travel guide on my blog so that when he publishes the book, it will be realistic”.
I first got interested in Bhutan when two Filipina actresses went on a trip there. They were posting a lot of pictures and videos of their trip and it looks like they were having so much fun there. At that moment I told myself I wanna go there someday too and I want to visit the Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
Visit North Korea.
Isn’t it weird that while most people would like to visit South Korea, I am actually more interested in North Korea? And I am serious. And it’s not even because of Crash Landing On You. I wanted to visit the country way before Crash Landing On You was released on Netflix. I just find the country interesting. And maybe I find the severe limitations on your movements when you visit the country exciting, that’s why I like it.
Book a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway.
I love train journeys and I would love to experience going on a journey on the longest railway line in the world.
Visit my parents and relatives in the US.
My mom once told me that I should write about the US in my blog too. I asked her how could I do it if I haven’t been there yet. Then I teased her that maybe if she sponsors my trip, then I could go. I didn’t expect her to say yes to it. So yeah, when it’s okay to travel again, I’m going to visit them there so I can also have US content on my blog.
The truth is, she asked us (me and my two siblings who are still single) before if we want to migrate there, and only my sister said yes. I don’t know, US looks like a nice place but I never fancied living there.
What I Will Do in the Meantime
Work on becoming a digital nomad.
As you can see, there are so many places I want to visit, and becoming a digital nomad is the key to making this list a reality. So I need to work extra hard to create contents that rank well in Google so that I’ll make more money with display ads on my blog.
Explore Benguet and La Union.
Though I’m fully vaccinated already, I feel that traveling to other parts of the country right now is troublesome and expensive, so I’ll stick with Benguet and La Union for now. Benguet because that is where I work, and La Union because it is where I go home on my field breaks.
I guess I’ll end this bucket list for now. I’m not sure if I will be able to do everything in five years, but we’ll see. Who knows, maybe I’ll meet a guy during the trip and he’ll convince me to go elsewhere instead. I really don’t mind changing plans as long as I’ll be happy with his company. Or maybe I’ll end up loving the US when I go there. I really don’t know. One thing’s for sure though, making this list made me look forward to the future.