57 hours around Southeast Asia? Are you kidding me? Impossible? Crazy?
This may raise your eyebrow but yes, it was possible. It was one of my craziest trips to date. But why 57 hours? Here’s the story.
My trips always begin with seat sales because I want to maximize my budget and make travel affordable.
Around October 2011, I saw the teaser of AirAsia’s zero fare seat sale. I was firm to explore other countries that don’t require visas. Fortunately, being a Filipino has its perks. Southeast Asian countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos) don’t require visas for Filipinos. I did not let the chance passed and booked flights to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It cost me Php 4,000 for the four segment flights.
Originally, my route was Clark to KL then from KL to Yogyakarta and back to KL. Then from KL, I planned to take a bus to Singapore. The trip was scheduled on March 27 until April 1, 2012.
2012 came in. As February approaches, I realized that my youngest brother would be graduating from college in March. I was torn between pursuing the trip or canceling it. Mama won’t allow me to be absent on his graduation. And yes, family’s important.
Thank God for another round of seat sales. I was able to fix my route–Clark>KL>Yogyakarta>SG>Manila. Whew! I believe that it’s better to grab opportunities than regret them later.
So what’s the challenge? To have an enriching experience in 57 hours around Southeast Asia with a Php 15,000 budget.
Let me share what I read recently from my favorite novelist Paulo Coelho in his novel, Aleph: “I started traveling like a mad thing. The great lessons I learned had been precisely those that my journeys had taught me.”
“Travel is never a matter of money but of courage. I spent a large part of my youth traveling the world as a hippie and what money did I have then? None. I barely had enough to pay for my fare but I still consider those to have been the best years of my youth…”
Here’s the map of my Southeast Asian Challenge:
How did I deal with the immigration officers of all countries? This was one of the questions posted by one of my readers. I would share these stories in my succeeding posts.