Day 1: After a two long flights, filled with late night layovers, airplane dinners and upright sleeping, I had arrived in Manila. The Philippines is where my Mom calls home, or at least for the last year or so. Her husband, an executive in the oil and gas industry, travels with work and after they wed two years ago, my mother joined him in Southeast Asia. This will have been my second visit to Asia, first in the Philippines.
Day 5: Jet lag has worn off and I have officially switched over to my new time zone, which consists of long days of endless summer. I find myself burnt to a crisp after a sunny day on the waters in Puerta Galera, a small village off the coast of Manila. It’s hard to have a care in the world when the water glistens in the sun and the fish swim a few feet below you. Sunscreen was the last thing on my mind. Interacting with the locals is half the fun of travelling in countries like the Philippines. When they’re not bartering with you, they share their stories of life and love and you realize we are all searching for similar things out of this world.
Day 9: Another beautiful day in this lush island nation. My mother, sister and I took a quick trip up the hills to visit a gorgeous waterfall. One of the highlights of my entire trip was swimming in the overhanging pool at the bottoms of the falls overlooking the entire island. Words can’t quite capture the view—it was breathtaking.
Day 12: After a short flight from Manila to Bali, we had arrived to my parent’s home for a week of relaxation. Days were spent by the pool and evenings were spent in beautiful Lovina for beers by the beach. The sands feel familiar on my second visit to Bali—the air is warm, water cool and sights just as lovely.
Day 19: Goodbyes are often the hardest—sorrow of future time spent apart, happiness of time spent together and longing for the next return. I am so grateful I was able to spend the holidays with my family in the loveliest of locales.
Day 21: 24 hours on planes and in airports and we’ve finally arrived back in Canada. Our luggage is delayed as the doors have iced over and frozen shut. I see my dad in the waiting area, very excited for our return. I can’t help but wonder the temperature of the pool just a short plan ride away. As we drive home, I prepare to catch up on sleep and hope that my dreams consist of sunrays and blue waters. Until next time…