The Longest Way Home Leaves The Philippines
Call me clichéd, call me sentimental, call me stupid … but I wanted the last post from The Philippines to be somewhere around when my timer would tick over. Six years of travel complete on a search around the world like no one else. Aside from the billion or two other people trying to do the same thing as me.
Minus maybe putting it all down in print like this. I’ve been deluged with email since my last journal entry. So, thought it best to write something about where I am going; beyond just another country.
I started traveling over 14 years ago; but I am now entering my 7th year of travel without going “home” to recharge my batteries, like only home can do. Why, because I have none. Still …
How close was The Philippines to home?
Like anything else in the raw reality of “real” life, this is not easy to answer. And, I probably won’t have one for a while. The Philippines will take hindsight to properly make a conclusion on.
A friend who once lived here told me:
“You can only handle living in The Philippines for a few months at a time. Not unless you like San Miguel to forget the other months.”
I don’t quite agree. But, I see his point. And, I need an almighty break.
Ending up in The Philippines, and staying …
For those that don’t know. The Philippines was meant to be a 3 month stopover to upload photos, check the place out, and rest after my overland journey. Over two years later and I have only just left.
To be frank, The Philippines surprised me in being so accommodating in my search around the world. I in no way expected to stay here so long, unless of course it was a place to live.
The three main things I fought to earn and learn here:
- Social Integration or living overseas within a society is perhaps the single biggest obstacle for a journey of this kind. This is simply not something you can do in 1 month, or even 1 year.
- The second biggest obstacle of bureaucracy and politics today is a lot harder to overcome than 6 years ago. Or at least, the raw reality of actually legally living in a country is more than many can imagine.
- There are some very honest people in the world still. Local people in The Philippines, away from the tourist zones and rich, are such wonders. It’s confirmed to me the future of many things. It’s a lesson I already learned, but still find fascinating in this pivotal time in history.
What can you do in two years?
“If you’ve passed by two years of your life and not learned something other than to ponder, then you’ve not lived. I encourage you to stop pondering, and live your dreams.”
From a free host this site earned its first $10 to buy a domain, and then onwards to paid hosting, and onwards …. Yes, from nothing, to several thousand people a week reading and searching throughout it. I am proud of this. This is not just a “travel blog”, this is the raw reality of a real life travel journal; and all the experiences learned are placed here to help everyone …
I’ve become heavily involved in building websites for businesses / individuals; and in teaching about business development from the ground up.
This was not something I thought about 2 years ago. But it is something I seem to have fallen into today.
Photography & Writing
From five-star chef menu’s, feature photo galleries, to ebooks, brochures and coffee table books. There’s a growing in-demand portfolio emerging.
My blunt and honest approach to writing about places I visit is paying off. I noticed it when some .gov email addresses started to appear on my email subscriber list.
“It’s one thing to write about a wonderful place and ignore the shadows. It’s another to tell the raw reality of a destination.”
The end result is working with those involved in tourism development to identify what’s going wrong. As opposed to the age old business plan of how to make “something” better.
Identifying the problems, and creating solutions is a lot more efficient and productive. It also shows immediate benefits and results.
Then came the private tourism businesses And, being honest, most of the private sector have been time wasters. Looking to offer free trips to their resorts / services. SEO companies looking for sponsored ads in my content etc.
I am not interested. Instead I urge you to work with me to help your business in person. I will not promote here for the sake of a trip. This is my travelogue about my journey, and no more.
“If you want me on board, then come up with an idea so that we can do both. I’m happy to work with you like no other.”
Much to the chagrin of a few literary agents, I’ve put it all on hold. I simply have too much on my plate right now. For those that don’t know about the “print” publishing business you should realize there is very little money to be made in the actual paper publication of a book these days. Not unless it makes the New York Times bestseller list. And, either-way, it takes a huge time / financial commitment.
The benefits are found in the sub sectors of marketing a book. Book tours, appearances, seminars, signing etc. It’s a big subject on its own. Right now I am forced to leave this on a back burner. My journey is my first and foremost priority. The literary agents I am working with are aware of this.
Meanwhile, if there are other bright sparks with ideas to get both things done, I am all ears. Let’s see what happens …
The TV proposal …
Gosh, who’d want to make a TV series about a guy traveling the world in search of home? The answer is somebody. Now this really has been a learning curve. There is a movie about how this “industry works“, I can’t remember its title (John Cusack). But, it comes pretty close to reality. Early days like the above.
Proud moments …
Along with several people who comment and read my travel blog, we created awareness about the endangered Tarsier in Bohol. To the point of getting statements from World Wildlife Fund for Nature. Special mention to Ivy for her help. You may be interested to know that the WWF launched a big awareness and fund-raising campaign in The Philippines recently for projects like these. Well done to all involved.
People around the world have seen my Seeing the Unseen Travel Stories series, and together we’ve explored areas and people of The Philippines that no one else has covered.
If these were not accomplishments, I don’t know what are!
The Longest Way Home Readers …
Did I ever think I would say community here? No. But the people who comment here regularly have really been amazing with their great feedback, thoughts, views and honesty.
When I am on a hot sticky bus, or sitting without electricity at night, or eating lunch on a roadside street stall and then see a comment come in from my phone … well … it really matters. So thank you.
Some big changes: Less online, more on the journey
Over the past few months I have been pulled further from my journey and more into a virtual online world. Both have positives. But, for me, I need to go back to what brought me to the dance. My journey.
Take it that from here on; I’ll be less on external social network sites like Twitter and Facebook. Instead I will be on the road and writing it up right here.
No more freebie emails
This is a real journey, and not a commercial travel site like Lonely Planet. As such I’m also putting the very many email questions I get about how to travel, how to book a tour, and all the other things that many get paid for back into the site.
I’ll be writing up great How to travel guides on where I go and placing them all in my travel resources page. So no one will miss out. Any commercial type questions that are sent in about how to do things I’ll be transferring to this style of format for a while.
Regular readers that email me and those that comment here will be getting full priority as always!
Raising the travelogue bar
There is, to be frank, a lot of crap out there when it comes to travel sites at the moment. The travelogue seems to have gotten lost in the fray of make money now blogs, “me, me, me,” blogs, and buy everything from us blogs that fill the internet these days.
Over the next year I have every intention to restore faith in the honest to goodness travelogue; for the sake of a great read about a real travel journey.
“I promise that you’ll see things on this website that few other people ever get to see, or experience, no matter the destination.”
Come here safe in the knowledge that no one will try to sell you anything or bore you with recycled content. Nor tell you what you should or should not be doing with your life. That’s up to you to make decisions on. I already have for myself, as you can read here.
What happens to me at the end of this journey is anyone’s guess, that’s the point in following along. Maybe you can learn from what I’ve learned, and from my mistakes.
Come here, find great original content, learn practical and helpful travel tips. Moreover come here to read and enjoy the real life adventure of someone shooting for the stars making a dream come true.
The next destination …
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A separate helpful article about living overseas – learn how smiling too much can be fatal
My first post from a new country …
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