Sunday, October 12, 2014

30 Before 30: A Travel Bucket List

I had this thought when I was in grade school that I can go and explore all continents by only a few months. You know, because it was so freaking easy to just pinpoint places in the map and I assumed that plane tickets were darn cheap and all countries share the same prices of commodities. So I made it a point to travel when I already started earning money for myself. The experience was one of a kind and I felt that this is something that I want to do for the rest of my life. I started to do more trips, sometimes with a group, sometimes on my own. I was able to track down my expenses and the rate of how I long I want to stay and explore one town or city. And I came to a conclusion that I am inclined to enjoy long term travels than shorter ones. Basically, that "goal" of seeing everything in a couple of months is not possible for me. I have read about some people who have done it, but it just sounds too cramped and stressful for me.

Soooo, I am building a list of places that I want to see and experiences that I want to accomplish before I reach my "milestones" (30th, 40th birthday and so on.) I built this list last August, a week before I turned 24, seeing that I am only a couple of years before I reach my first deadline. And I actually had 30 things jotted down, thus, naming this 30 before 30. Most of these are inspirations I got from travel shows and blogs and things that I wanted to do ever since I was a kid.

From martina15 on Flickr

1 Attend a music festival
I always get excited when going to concerts (who doesn't?) But what I'd like to try is to be in those music festivals that last half a day, a whole day or even as long as three days or a week! I really have set my eyes on Tomorrowland, one of the largest electronic music festivals in the world, however it is held only in Belgium, and Europe is not on my list yet. So I might just settle with Summer Sonic in Japan wherein international and local Japanese rock bands perform every August. I'm still crossing my fingers for a large music festival to be held in the PH!

2 Bungee jump in Macau, paraglide or skydive
I have been contemplating about doing a bungee jump in Macau before paragliding or skydiving. I've done tons of zip lines and one bungee jump in Bohol, but it wasn't that much exciting haha. That one in Macau is just too darn expensive though! 15k pesos for a less-than-a-minute thrill. Hmmm.

3 FIFA World Cup 2018 or just drink a vodka in Russia
I am not a big fan of sports but I have always loved watching basketball and soccer. I am not rooting for any team but it would be an amazing experience to watch any games during the World Cup, it's not just about the games but also the crowd and the excitement. Its 2018 games will be held in Russia so why not? Much closer to the Philippines! If booking tickets will not be possible for those dates, then I hope I can still make it to Russia but I'd just have some vodka instead. haha

4 Trans Siberian Railway
Traveling one country to another by train! #soeggziting!

5 Take my parents to Palawan for their 25th or 30th wedding anniversary
Lots of my friends have been asking me why I haven't been to Palawan just yet. It's such a lovely place and there have been countless time wherein I wanted to book flights to this wonderful province. However, I'd like to save it for a wonderful occasion, like my parents' wedding anniversary. I am hoping to have this on their 25th year together, but oh crap, they will be celebrating it this year! And I haven't got the funds yet! So if the budget does not permit it this year, then hopefully they can have it on their 30th (which is on November 2019).

Kayangan Lake, Coron, Palawan | Ming-Yueh Wang on Flickr

6 Make a snow man
Growing up in a tropical country and watching all those Christmas films from the US made me so curious what kind of joy a child gets when making this snow figure. And of course, white Christmas! Snow ball fights! Parkas and boots! Haha

7 Attend an ice festival
One good thing that comes during winter is those ice festivals! Oh how intricate and awesome they look during day and night. Two of the places that does this yearly in Asia are Harbin, China and Sapporo, Japan.

Snow and Ice Festival | Rincewind42 on Flickr

8 Take a selfie with cherry blossoms in the background
I am not a big fan of the color pink but sakura flowers are just too lovely to miss!

9 And another one with autumn leaves DONE
I just love autumn colors. And yes, I did have so much fun seeing them when I was in Korea. I can't stop taking pictures.

10 Hot summer around the beaches of SEA DONE
You know what's weird, I don't really go to beaches during summer. I usually go to the beach during the colder months, like when I went to Gumasa Beach on December 2012. So the legit summer beach escapade I only had so far was that one in Boracay.

9 Take one ultimate road trip
I do not own a car and I don't know how to drive as well. But let's see.

10 Hug (or at least see up close) a panda
Well, this is something that my younger sister wanted to do, but when she pitched the idea to me, it sounded really cool so I also added this on my to-do list! I know somewhere in Chengdu, China that this is possible. I have seen panda bears at HK Ocean Park but they were all sleeping when I was there :|

11 See the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan

Taktsang Monastery | Göran Höglund (Kartläsarn) on Flickr

12 Experience Sinulog Festival in Cebu (and party with the Cebuanos!)
I have booked flights to Cebu to supposedly attend Sinulog but my companions backed out because they can't take a leave off work. Grrr. I hope before 2020 ends that I will be able to do this.

13 Stay in a yurt in Mongolia
I am really curious to see and stay inside one of these. I wonder how they got their bathrooms organized though. Hmm

14 Summit a mountain  DONE
Yes, countless of invites to hike a mountain have already been declined and you ask me why? I am just too scared to hike that's why :S I don't want to slow the group down because I am not that fit yet so I will need a loooong time to hike my way up. I guess I wouldn't have any problems going down. We went up Mt. Parker when we explored to South Cotabato, but we did not go up to its peak and only stayed at Lake Holon. Oh gosh, pardon me if I am using the wrong words, this is probably one of those topics that I will never be an expert on.
Update: Reached Mt. Qixingshan's peak in Taipei

15 Walk along The Great Wall of China DONE
Conquered this SOLO! And on a very very hot summer day.

16 Celebrate a local festival of a different country 
I looooooooove festivals! It's the perfect opportunity to observe culture, food and people. I have been to several festivals here in the Philippines and have never actually tried to see one abroad. My eyes are set on Diwali Festival in India, Loy Krathong in Thailand or any summer festival in Japan! I am dying to try on those yukatas.

Gion-Matsuri Festival 祇園祭宵々山 | junog007 on Flickr

17 Go on a cruise tour
This is just way too expensive for me, but why not, I deserve to treat myself on in a while. I just hope it's worth it. If my wallet does not permit this, then I will just take the Ganges River cruise any time!

18 Be able to speak five languages on an intermediate level
I put this on my travel bucket list because I mainly use these languages when I go on trips abroad. I can not remember how many times my basic knowledge of Hanggungmal has saved my butt during our trip to South Korea. It just gets me more motivated to learn if I know I will be going to a new place soon.

* Filipino DONE
* English DONE
* Japanese DONE
* Korean - still not on an intermediate level so this is still In Progress
* Spanish - started mid of this year
* Chinese - know a few words. I suck at tonal languages so I might change this to a different language later.

19 See my work (photography, blog, etc) featured in a newspaper, magazine or TV show
This is more of an achievement than a goal because I admit I don't really put effort into my blogging and I take pictures only as a hobby. So yeah, slim chance! haha

20 See the Himalayas
I doubt that I will be able to trek around these beautiful mountain ranges, even just to the beginner sections of it, I think my knees will fail me! But I guess I will never know unless I try right? But seeing them from afar will also count.

21 Visit Batanes and wear a Vakul (Ivatan headgear) 
Batanes is my ultimate dream destination to visit here in the Philippines. It looks like a serene place to live in and the culture is so rich. The landscape is breathtaking and I bet the food there tastes good too! It's just that the plane ticket going there is too pricey for me! :(

Malboro Hills, Batanes | Iana Peralta

22 Cliff dive
I have always wanted to do this, and have had many chance to try but I am just scared! I don't know how to swim to this is probably not a good idea.

23 Have a family vacation abroad
My mom would joke about how I always travel without them. So I did listen to this "complaint" and took her with me when I went to Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou when I bagged those very cheap plane tickets (only about 18USD RT). I hope I can take my dad and sister abroad sometime too.

24 See more of the Tibetan Culture
Have you seen 'Seven Years in Tibet'? No, I am not talking about Brad Pitt's awesome performance, but the setting where the film was shot on.

25 Live in a different city
And by 'live' meaning more than 6 months. Whew! Need to learn to cook first!

26 Philippines:
* Palaui Island DONE
* Babuyan Group of Islands
* Siquijor
* Biri Island, Samar
* Basilan
* See all UNESCO Heritage Sites of the Philippines
   Baroque Churches of the Philippines - I missed Sta. Maria Church in Ilocos, so this is still In Progress
   Historic Town of Vigan DONE
   Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras DONE
   Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary
   Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park
   Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

I am thinking of doing a complete trip to 81 provinces of the country, but I feel that after I do this, I wouldn't have any reason to travel around the PH. So for now, I am just picking a few of them.

27 South East Asia
* Singapore DONE
* Malaysia DONE
* Thailand
* Laos
* Myanmar
* Brunei
* Cambodia
* Vietnam
* Indonesia

28 East Asia
* Taiwan  DONE
* China DONE
* South Korea DONE
* North Korea - This is still optional. I would love to see this country that has been secluded from the rest of the world for many years now, though I will not condone a government that tolerates mass killings, death camps and so much horrendous acts.
* Japan
* Mongolia

29 South Asia
* India
* Sri Lanka
* Nepal
* Bhutan
* Maldives

30 And lastly, to be able to maintain this blog to document all this shiz.

I am setting a calendar reminder on my phone to check back on this post days before August 21, 2020. Hopefully, I can complete all of this. Wish me luck guys!


Want to shop and also help me build my travel fund?
I am selling some of my preloved stuff/pasalubong items from relatives that we never got to use, and frankly just some of my thrift buys. Head over to my OLX page to find out more. Money that I will earn from this will go directly to my mutual fund that I will use for my travel after 3-5 years :)


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for the support Mustachio! I really hope I can haha

  2. I love your list! I haven't really done a bucket list since my travel plans depend on the seat sale and budget. LOL, but maybe I should do a list soon. :P

    1. Yup me too! minsan kung ano din ang mura na tickets yun lang din ang binobook ko. but my plan is to complete SEA so covered na rin naman ng CEB :) I'll watch out for your list!

  3. I'm gonna make my own list too! (Sorry,I got envious) . Your so lucky that you been in so many places, but I guess its not too late for me. (Or I hope so)

    1. It's not too late for us! Make your own list too May, it will keep you motivated!

  4. Pwede pa humabol sa Sapporo. Wala nang fuel surcharge!!! :D

    1. Pinagiisipan ko na rin e! haha I have compiled a draft itinerary (Sapporo included) na para sa Japan, ticket na lang kulang haha

    2. Magkaka direct flight na ang Air Asia X: Bangkok - Sapporo. Kung gusto mo i-tandem. 2nd quarter ang launch, malamang promo yan pag launch ng route. ;)

      Anyway, I enjoyed reading this list. Reminds me of the time a few years back when I made my own. I'm reaching the deadline this year, wala pang kalahati! Hahaha. No pressure, though. That just takes all the fun away. And as already mentioned, you are young. You have time. :D

  5. For #28, if you ever plan on visiting Taiwan, let me know, I can help you out with your itinerary :) It's my first time on your blog and enjoyed your posts :)

    1. hey Jacqueline, thank you for dropping! i will let you know once I already have that RT ticket to Taiwan. Do you think 10-14 days would suffice?

  6. hey, there are cheap cruises lang. like 15k per person, for 3 nights na. full board na din so i think this is a good value na din.

    and hey, you speak japanese!!! awesomeness!!!! ♥

    1. hey chyng, saan yang 15,000 per person? sounds like a good deal! at masabi lang na nakapag try na at para maiba naman at hindi laging haggard sa pagtravel. haha

  7. I love this list! Road trips are the best, although I would say you should do it (when you learn to drive) in a larger country, not separated by water, like the US ;)

    I'm also always telling myself I need to climb some mountains and do more hiking, but alas I'm in no shape for anything longer than a two or three hour hike. After that, I just want a cold shower and a nice soft bed to rest in!

  8. hi, I really love ur blog. just like t know, is it safe solo travel and dont u feel lonely like wandering alone cities? yes and I will start my solo trip to Korea this year and not confident. im also new to coachsurfing kind afraid bcos im a quite shy and quite p'son. do u think I can survive to other country?

    1. Thank you! I guess I just really enjoy the experience of seeing new things and meeting new people that I never felt lonely. I suggest you stay at hostels since you'll get to meet travelers there, might help because you'll get to interact with fellow travelers :) Good luck!

  9. Hi, I am Dr Rohana from Sri Lanka. I am very impressed with your travel blogs and wish you could visit Sri Lanka and write a travel blog on my beautiful country. I would be very happy to help you in many ways on this.

    1. Hello Doc, thanks for visiting! Hope to visit Sri Lanka one day, looks wonderful in the pictures!

  10. Hi Mariane, I happened to pass by your blog since a friend of mine gave me a link to your 16 day Taiwan trip. Then I saw this tab on "30 on 30" and I am also on a similar journey. By your example, I think it will also be good if I write it down and put it in a public space (like the internet) to remind me of my goals. I am equally guilty of traveling alone/backpacking and I should consider to bring family members in my next trip. Cheers on your journey~


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