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Take Me Back to the Philippines

7 take-offs and landings, 2 ferries, 3 boat rides, countless times crammed into a motorcycle with a buggy, and 12 time zones away, the Philippines did not disappoint. This was by far our most adventurous excursion to date: we hiked thru rainforests, cliff jumped off waterfalls, swam in underground waterholes in a cave, zip-lined across a bay, four-wheeled thru villages, kayaked in hidden lagoons, snorkeled in azure blue waters,the list goes on...

Despite it being rainy season, we couldn’t have asked for better weather. The natural beauty of this country was breathtaking but was not to be outdone by the splendor of its people. Filipinos are some of the friendliest, kindest people in the world. Their happiness is not defined by material possession, as many have very little, at least by our standards. It was a refreshing encounter and a reminder that true happiness comes in many forms.

I was invigorated by travelers I met along the way, some of whom sacrificed a lot to leave their lives and jobs at home to trek around the world for months at a time all for the experience they hope lies ahead.

For some travel is a hobby, for others it is what keeps us alive.

The ability to immerse oneself in a different culture, a different setting oceans away from home, a place where luxuries and conveniences take a backseat, is a privilege one must not take for granted. We have a responsibility to respect the culture, to celebrate our differences and those qualities that unite us, and to open our minds and hearts and allow these experiences to fuel change in our perspective and enhance our understanding of the world and the people who live here.

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