I’m filled with mixed emotions when I reminisce about my experiences during the last 12 months. Everyday I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to do the things that I loved: traveling, taking photos, and blogging. Okay, I haven’t been blogging as much as I should.

So what did happen to me in 2011? I’ve slowed down my travels … at least not as much as I did in 2010. Here’s a recap of my travels in 2011.

Ambot-ah.com Season 2011 recap

In 2010, I wanted to experience the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. One year wasn’t enough to visit all of them, so I extended the momentum until the first half of 2011. I spent January witnessing two of the biggest festivals: the Sinulog Festival of Cebu and Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo.

At the end of February I flew to Luzon and spent the next eight weeks traveling to destinations within a bus ride from Manila.

I promised myself one last major trip for the first half of 2011 (in Mindanao) before taking a long rest back home. Fortunately another trip came up thanks to AirPhil Express‘ new flight to Singapore and cruise tour package to Malaysia.

My travels didn’t stop while “resting” in Iloilo. My hometown is a great base to explore the provinces of Western Visayas. I realized I just couldn’t stay put in one place for a long time :p My travels were usually 2-3 day visits to the undiscovered destinations in the region.

One the latter part of 2011, I made my way to Cebu for the 2011 edition of the Visayas Blogging Summit. I had a revisit of Palawan in December. I was so hung up with the beauty of El Nido (during my first solo trip) that I’ve been craving to get back. Fortunately, my travel buddy who I met on the road during the same trip felt the same. It was really awesome traveling with friends this time round.

I finally spent the last days of 2011 in the peaceful shores of Carabao Island.

New Year’s Resolutions

Ending 2010 with little savings on my back account opened my eyes to work towards sustaining my travel blogging lifestyle on the long term. Now that I’m already in my mid-20s (yikes!) I realized that I needed to be responsible and take care of my financial stability. I would love to spend every penny I have to travel and enrich my perception of the world’s cultures but it’s also important for me to be able to sustain it and still be able to contribute enough to my family.

I’m very thankful that I was able to accomplish my 2011 new year’s resolution of building up my savings. With the unstable nature of making a living online, it’s important to have money saved up to prepare for ineventualities. I also needed to have money in the bank so I can work on bigger goals.

I love traveling the Philippines but I also want to see the world. Unfortunately, the world includes a lot of expensive countries … so my 2012 new year’s resolution is to figure out how I can accomplish my life long dream of a “round-the-world travel.”

Hopefully, the opportunity will come this year :)

What’s in store for Ambot-ah Season 2012?

so far… more “off the beaten path travels” in the Philippines.

More of South East Asia. I’m planning on spending a third of the year doing backpacking trails in Malaysia-Indonesia and Indochina.

My first foray into a non-tropical country (fingers crossed that my first ever tourist visa application will be accepted).

Thank you to everyone who shared this experience with me. A happy new year to all!