Hotel Porn in the Philippines

It isn’t often that I discuss porn and hotels in the same breath.

This time I couldn’t resist.

It’s no surprise I’ve partnered with HostelBookers, but was honestly not expecting such luxuries when I got to Puerto Princessa.

I was barred from visiting the Underground River, because Typhoon Washi hit the Philippines with 90 kmh winds, killing 436 in Mindanao.  The usually packed caves were flooded and I was adrift.

After the sad news of that many deaths and stalled plans, solace had to be my best friend.

In the frenzy of moving around, I sipped from the cup of hotel porn, because dammit, I deserve a soft mattress and a steamy, hot shower once in a while.

Hostels can cause a woman to feel downright celibate.  House of Rose threw open the floodgates, so to speak.

Ahh, the pool

I can testify: mattress was soft

The shower was hot and large - enough for 2 people (meow)

The pool table offered entertainment and then some

The charming bungalows and pool

After that intense affair, I didn’t think it could get any better.  Once I arrived to El Nido, Lally and Abet’s Beach Cottages nibbled on my neck and seduced me.  It was an attractive mix of everything I love about the ocean – salty, wet, zen and daydreams.

Sally Hope Says: Create Your Own Rules

The concept of this post rings deadly true for me.  When I began planning my cubicle escape, I had to re-imagine my life and how it would look.  When we move to change things there has to be a new picture, one that you create.  Sally Hope can inspire you to do just that.  Enjoy the fourth video in her Rockstar Life Series.

Greetings Nomadic readers!!

I’m Sally.  A life coach, but don’t hold that against me.

Coaching is all about creating the kind of life you want, and really, how awesome is that?

I am so glad that Jeannie invited me to talk to you guys because hopefully I can help with some of those ol’ pesky “How’s” in your life.  Like, “HOW do I get the things I want in my life?” and “HOW do I go from where I am now, to where I want to be?” As a life coach, that’s my job.  To help you get crystal clear on what your big vision is for your ideal life, help you come up with a plan to execute it, provide accountability for you so you’ll actually do it, and be here with you all along the way to give you virtual hugs and encouragement, and cheerleading and to say, “YEAH!!! You can do this…frickin GO FOR IT!!!”

When you are “going for it,” I like to call that “creating your Rockstar Life.”  To me, a Rockstar Life is all about living the kind of life you want, creating your own rules, and not taking ‘no’ for an answer.  It’s about being willing to go out of your comfort zone.  No rockstar got where they are without taking risks and deciding that their life was going to be the way they wanted it.

And that’s what I’m here for.  To help you realize and create your Rockstar Life.

This post is the fourth installment out of a five step series on how to “Create Your Rockstar Life.”  The first three steps were: 1) Leave the House,  2) Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway, and  3) Don’t Wait For The Right Time (because it will never show up).  Today’s post is called “Create Your Own Rules.”

When we have big dreams for ourselves, they are always going to seem scary and intangible.  And what’s worse, you will probably have people in your life that have told you in the past or currently tell you a million reasons why your dream is a bad idea.  And what’s even worse is that you have your OWN messages that you tell yourself as to why you can’t have what you want.

All of these things are “other people’s rules.”  Maybe your parents have told you that you should get a stable and secure job, even though in your heart, you want to be an entrepreneur.  Or maybe you had someone tell you that you’re not good enough or won’t be able to create your dreams.   Or maybe your own negative thoughts prevent you from moving forward on your dreams (“how will I pay the bills?” “that’ll never work,” “I must be crazy”, etc).

I’m Going to Teach in China!

Since I announced my intention to take a breather from constant movement, it’s been a nail-biting few weeks.  Of negotiations.

I certainly never pictured myself as a scholarly type, molding myself against what Noam Chomsky once said about academia: “Go to any elite university and you are usually speaking to very disciplined people, people who have been selected for obedience..”

Obedience leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.  At my corporate career, I was the imposter, the bad girl in class who gazed longingly out the window, far more intrigued with what lay beyond the glass than the mind numbing tasks before me.

My wanderings around the world taught me color, a vibrancy that academia never provided.  That humans are more complicated, yet relatable. That politics can weave its ugly tapestry that affects families to the poorest level.  How broad, varied, tragic and fantastic this planet really is.

Sadly, a girl has to eat.  And stop for a while.

I must have set aside my ‘bad girl’ status briefly, because I’ve been hired to teach English at a real Chinese university.

I’m very satisfied with the decision because it’s a short contract of five months, part-time hours and happily, I’m provided with accommodations.  That I have to clean.  Cook.  Those will be some interesting posts – how a bad girl cooks and cleans.

Starting in February, for the next few months my shingle will be hanging in Wuxi, China, approximately an hour from Shanghai.

Wuxi is considered a massive suburb of Shanghai and get this; has the third largest lake in China (Lake Tai)!  Lots to explore, much to adjust to, but I feel fired up, very ready.

There I am in the above photo holding all the documents I need to get my work visa in Hong Kong.

Roomorama for the Solo Female Traveler

Sometimes the lone female is riddled with worry.  We brook caution at things like safety, security and peace of mind.

When it comes to accommodation, these factors come to the forefront and plague us with questions.  Is there a decent lock on the door?  How secure is the front entrance?  Are my bags and person safe?

Traveling on a long-term basis has allowed me the opportunity to try several kinds of accommodation options.  I use to sway towards the budget-minded tools, exploring things like house-sitting and couchsurfing.  Both were beneficial and rewarding.

Then, in a state of panic last summer, I tried Airbnb and felt the touch of ‘local’ instead of concentrating solely on the budget aspect.  It was wildly successful.  I could actually let down my high alert guard.

In an effort to constantly expand my definition of home, recently I took a hard look at Roomorama.

Based in New York City, Roomorama has been in operation since 2009 and to date, have 30,000 properties listed worldwide.  Not surprisingly, Europe is a strong customer base for holiday rentals, but it might shock you to know Asia is a burgeoning market for Roomorama.

Do Fiesta Philippines Style in Bohol

“15 pigs , that was my order.”

The only evidence that anything occurred were the successive rows of gray ash smudged into the roasting pit.

Joachim was talking about lechón, a traditional dish of roasted pig that’s served for special occasions.

December 8 in Bohol marks the fiesta of the Immaculate Conception.  This kind of fiesta is not of the Spanish variety.  The names may be similar, but the rituals have distinct differences.

The pig roasting pit

Credit goes to the Spanish for introducing Catholicism to the Philippines from the moment of colonial rule from 1521 to 1898.

The Philippines has the largest Catholic worshippers in Southeast Aisa, alongside East Timor.

On December 8, households in Bohol decorate their sitting rooms, set up large dining tables and cook all night to mark the Virgin Mary’s ascent from original sin.

Some locals enjoying fiesta

I found myself outside Joachim’s home by invitation only.  The unending benefits of staying with my friend, Anna are precisely opportunities like this.  It’s doubtful a hostel stay would have produced a fiesta on my lap.

Joachim’s was the last house on the fiesta rounds.

Batad Rice Terraces Dazzle in the Philippines

If only Portuguese explorer  Ferdinand Magellan knew what he was in store for him when he arrived to the shore of a series of interconnecting islands, to be later named after King Phillip II of Spain – the Philippines. He must have known it was paradise, because he greedily claimed the archipelago consisting of 7,107 islands as Spain’s territory.

Here’s what’s interesting about the Philippines, there isn’t a well treaded backpacker mill littered with hostel row, tossed plastic and beer bottles accumulating into untenable spaces or alleys devoted solely to selling trinkets made in China.  There are hostels, markets and beer, but it’s nothing packaged, sold and consumed.  It’s all a bit muddy and undefined.  There’s room for improvisation.

A sense of purity tickles the senses once you leave the metropolis of Manila and begin exploring the other provinces.

The Philippines offers the jaded traveler a chance at innocence again.  People from a spectrum of stratospheres readily extended friendship to me, without airs or ulterior motives.  Indeed, the reputation that the locals are welcoming far exceeds the illusion.  I never felt unsafe, scared or alone.