Tag Archives: travel

Peru Take 2

Soroche_combo from Romero Media on Vimeo.

Welp, this post is a year and a half overdue. However, I wanted to document our trip to Peru (second time back!) because it was an amazing few weeks that deserve to be remembered.

This post won’t be as detailed as my usual travel recap because it’s been over a year since we returned…I have all the details written down in my journal, but I wanted to throw a bit of content up here just to post my fave pics and get the itch out of me. I’ve been wanting to post about this trip since we returned, but, LIFE.


Pat and I have made the decision to not return to the same place more than once (for now at least) because the world is too big to spend our money seeing the same sights over and over.

However, we made an exception this time, because a company hired us to film a video for them in Peru. To read about our last trip to Peru, check out this post and this post.

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We spent a week before the trek and video shoot exploring Cusco and the Sacred Valley with my parents. We stayed in the town of Urubamba at a GORGEOUS resort. Traveling with my parents is a vastly different experience than traveling as poor, cheap, newly weds. (Three years is still newly wed, right? We’ll ride that excuse as long as possible).


They’re adorable. (My parents, I mean. Not the guinea pigs…Although I guess they’re a little bit cute too.) Let’s just not talk about why the guinea pigs are in that cage. (Insert sad/disgusted face because we tried them and they really don’t taste good).


Highlights of that week included:

  • Buying giant Andean corn and cheese from the little ladies on the street.

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  • Shopping the markets and interacting with the locals.


  • Getting the real authentic experience by hiring a local to drive us around the Sacred Valley. We may or may not have gotten her van stuck in the mud. Also, COWS IN THE ROAD. (That’s my husband who ditched the van in an attempt to clear the road. It was hilarious and took much longer than you’d think to move ONE measly cow out of the way. Cows are strong and scary.)


  • Getting some custom-made Peruvian boots!


  • Watching Patrick impress the littles with his “magic” tricks. So cute.


Hiking the ruins with my parents and just spending time with them exploring that beautiful country is a memory I’ll always cherish. They’re amazing parents and the most generous humans you’ll ever meet. THANK YOU Lurd and Papa D!

They flew back to Utah, and the second half of our trip was spent at an incredible mountain lodge…Llanganuco Lodge. The owner, Charlie, spoiled us with delicious food and fire-lit bedrooms. Our dream-team crew (Jess, Shaun and Taylor) joined us there, and we spent the next week or so trekking, filming and having an AMAZING time.


We did the Santa Cruz Trek, which was 4 days long. We reached an altitude of 15,000 feet! Woof. That does weird things to your body.

But, we all finished the trek in one piece and have a fun video to show for it. (See video at top of page). I’m not writing a lot about the trek because I figure the video is a better recap anyways. Gotta love that movie magic.


But most of all, gotta love PERU.

P.S. If anyone is planning a trip to Peru and has specific questions, feel free to contact me!


Bike CANCO-Behind the Scenes

Who would have thought that an 18-day road trip down the U.S. Pacific Coast would have such a huge impact on my life?

I’m permanently changed.

On September 1, my husband Patrick and I boarded a plane headed northwest. We landed in Seattle, WA, and met up with Patrick’s friends Jesse and Jeff. The four of us took over the “Dragon Wagon…” a slightly smelly, oversized van that we’d learn to call home for the next month…


*Cool fact: The “Dragon Wagon” was actually Imagine Dragons’ first tour van when they were just starting their band! We decided to recreate this picture they took in the van…I just need some brown, curly hair and a beard and this pic would be dead on. 😉


So…some background for you. A few years ago, Jesse lost his younger brother Tyler to pediatric cancer. Since then, Jesse and his family, along with the help of the band Imagine Dragons, have created an incredible foundation called The Tyler Robinson Foundation. TRF helps families deal with the finical and emotional burdens of pediatric cancer. It really is an incredible foundation, and I feel blessed to have been a part of it for a month.

Ok, back to our journey…

We followed Jesse and Jeff on their bikes as they rode from Canada to Mexico along the Pacific Coast Highway. 1,500 miles in 18 days! Any cyclist will tell you that’s an impressive feat. And the best part? Neither Jesse nor Jeff are cyclists. They learned to clip in the day before we left. What a hoot. Pat and I were the support crew and the film crew. We threw Gatorades and ProBars at the boys while they rode and put together a couple of videos documenting the trip.



Along the way, we stopped at 10 different families who’re struggling with the horrendous costs of pediatric cancer, surprising them each with a $10,000 grant. Honestly, no words can adequately describe how humbling this experience was. To learn the stories of these sweet families, and then watch as they realize what we just handed them…


To the parents, $10,000 isn’t just a sum of money. It’s freedom from their day jobs so they can actually spend time with their dying child. It’s the realization that they can now afford another round of chemo to try and save that child’s life. It’s relief and hope and a chance at survival. Watching those mom’s faces when we pulled out those giant checks was an incredibly humbling and emotional experience.

As I said, words really can’t do this justice. If you’d like to see for yourself, check out the video Pat and I put together of our experience…

Behind the Scenes:

It wasn’t all sweat and tears. We got to do a little sight seeing along the way too! We stopped in some amazing towns and saw some beautiful places…here are just a couple of the highlights:


Getting to see MY BROTHER ON HIS MISSION! Oh my gosh I was so nervous and excited. I felt like I was going on a first date or something…I hadn’t seen him in over a year! This dinner made my life.


Indulging in the “tasting platter” at Salt and Straw. It’s this incredible ice cream place in downtown Portland that serves crazy weird, but delicious flavors. I sampled garam masala with cinnamon cauliflower (which just seemed wrong to be eating Indian-spices in ice cream), blue cheese with pear and honey lavender. After a long debate and lots of sample spoons, we ended up choosing four scrumptious flavors… (Left to Right: Chocolate with potato chips and cupcake chunks, strawberry-balsamic with cracked pepper, salted caramel almond with chocolate ganache and carrot cake.)


Devoured in seconds.


Ordering a giant (organic of course) Falafel pita wrap from the food trucks in downtown Portland!



It would be a crime to drive through Tillamook without stopping at the Cheese and Ice Cream Factory…those waffle cones though.


The Redwoods

We camped for a night in the Redwoods. Being under those MAMMOTH trees really makes you feel small and insignificant. We got some beautiful shots while we were there and even snuck in a couple of short hikes!




San Francisco

Of course we had to get some drone shots of the bridge. We also did a time-lapse, so we got to watch the sun fade behind the hill as the city lights slowly came to life.



One of the families we surprised had a “Make a Wish” on the same day. The girl’s wish was to meet the 49ers, so we got to be there for that. We took a tour of their facility and ate in their INCREDIBLE cafeteria. Those boys are spoiled, let me tell you. Pat and I felt like we didn’t deserve to meet the 49ers, because let’s be honest here, we don’t care about football one eentsie teensie bit. But, it was still a cool experience and for a few hours we got to pretend like we care…


Cute Coastal California Towns

This was the view from my morning run in an adorable coastal town we stayed at for a night.


Filming water droplets in a puddle…we get some weird looks from people sometimes.


Biking Big Sur

OK. If you’ve never driven Big Sur before, you HAVE to put it on your list. It was spectacular. I even put in a few miles on the bike! Gotta love that helmet. Not to mention the spandex…


It wasn’t all fun and games though. Videography can be VERY stressful at times. You depend completely on your gear working properly, and sometimes it just doesn’t cooperate.


But in the end, we made it to Mexico.


Along the way, we made some unforgettable memories, met some inspiring people and had an epic adventure in the Dragon Wagon.




I’m a better person because of this experience. I have a greater appreciation for my own health, life and belief in God. I will always hold on to this experience as one of the greatest 18 days of my life. Thank you Jesse and Jeff for letting us tag along on that incredible adventure. May the Dragon Wagon days live on…at least in memory if nothing else.



Recently I had the opportunity to travel through Canada with my family. We drove through Glacier Park in Montana, then rented an RV in Calgary and spent the week exploring two of Canada’s beautiful national parks–Jasper and Banff. WOW I may have to move to Canada. The landscape is absolutely stunning.

Here’s a quick video I put together that pretty much sums up our 10 days living in McNeil (our RV).

If you want to see additional photos, feel free to scroll through…

Our first stop was Glacier National Park, where we took a pretty hike and ran into a few mountain goats!



After A LOT of hours in the car, we made it to Canada!


We made our way to Banff and enjoyed some delicious Weiners and Waffles in Waterton (a.k.a. Weinterton), which was the cutest little town with beautiful mountain lakes.

dock2 hugss

We met up with some of our favorite people for dinner and s’mores!


Our next stop was Jasper. It was probably my favorite place we visited because the mountains/lakes/hikes,etc. were unearthly beautiful. Like is that water real life?

Yes, it actually is. I would have thought it was photoshopped if I hadn’t seen it in person.

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A highlight of the trip was the Via Ferrata we did on our way to Jasper. There were some incredible views from the top…


Everywhere we went, we saw something that didn’t seem to be real. Whether it was florescent-green algae, turquoise lakes or bright yellow pine needles…

trees lookingglass  docksit mountains  sun  beauty        flower smile toes

It was so fun to spend time with my whole family in Canada.The Canadian people are very hospitable, and the landscape is truly breathtaking. This trip was a dream come true for me, because we spent most of the time hiking, which I absolutely loved. Canada, you may need to accept me as a citizen sometime soon.

How and why we travel

Over the past year or so, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel the world a bit. My husband Patrick and I went to a lot of incredible places and had some truly memorable experiences. To read more about our travels, see Peru part onePeru part twoThe PhilippinesMalaysiaThailand and Vietnam.


Quite a few people have asked me how we’re able to do this. How do we have the money and time to travel? The answer: we won the lottery and now have an endless travel fund.

I wish.

The real answer is much more complicated than that….

Why we travel

Patrick and I both share a love for adventure. We’re not satisfied with the typical routine of “normal” LIFE, because that’s what everyone does. To us, life shouldn’t be based around the monotonous expectations of the classic “American life.” You know the drill: graduate college, get a good job, go to the office every day and work your butt off so you can earn money, go home to your nice home and spend the evening paying your bills so you can keep your nice home and nice car. The perfect “American dream” life fulfilled…right???

Pat and I decided that we value experiences more than that “perfect” life of security and routine… And we found that the most memorable and beautiful experiences can be found by traveling together. Taking ourselves out of our daily routine and comfortable lifestyle tends to put things into perspective, and provides us with a new understanding of what’s important in this life.


So. That’s why we travel. Now, what you really want to know…how in the heck do we—newly graduated, self-employed youngsters like ourselves—afford to travel to Peru, Costa Rica and all over Southeast Asia in six months without breaking the bank???

How we travel on a budget

  1. We save up.

This is the obvious one. We put traveling as a priority and budget it into our finances so we can afford to travel. This also means sacrificing other things. Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I went shopping. I mean, besides for those very attractive outfits I bought in Peru and the workout shirts to wear in 100-degree Asia… (Like, please check out the outfit I’m wearing here. I won’t be offended if you sign me up for what-not-to-wear). 🙂


  1. Pick an affordable destination.

If we’d chosen to backpack through Europe for two months instead of South America or Southeast Asia, we would’ve spent a lot more money. If you’re traveling on a budget, pick your destination carefully. Pat and I spent an average of $50 a day in Asia, which included everything (transportation, lodging, activities, food, etc.). This wouldn’t have been the case if we’d chosen a more expensive place to travel.

  1. Travel light.

Invest in a lightweight backpack and only bring the necessities. This allows you more mobility and eliminates checked baggage costs. Pat and I both LOVE our 32- liter Mammut Creon Light backpacks.


  1. Don’t pay for flights.

OK, this one is HUGE. Patrick and I rarely spend any money on flights because we use air mile points. In order to get enough points, we “churn” credit cards. This is somewhat complicated, and you have to be really, REALLY careful because if you’re not, you can completely destroy your credit score. But, if you can manage it carefully, it saves you thousands of dollars. If you’re interested in the details of credit card churning, check out this blog to learn more.

  1. Make a budget and stick with it.

For the two months we spent traveling through Southeast Asia, we set the budget of $5,000 per couple and stuck with it. We recorded every penny we spent, and were careful not to go over our daily budget.

  1. Decide what you want to splurge on.

Going along with #5…while we did have a daily budget and tried not to go over it, we also chose to splurge on a few things, which we planned into the budget from the beginning. For example, we spent $200 each (eeek!) for a scuba dive in Sipadan, which put us waaaayyy over our budget for that day. However, we’d planned to have some more expensive days and activities, so we were able to stay within our budget in the long run.


  1. Be creative with activities.

Activities are the most expensive part of traveling because people know tourists will pay their ridiculous prices for the experience of riding on an elephant or playing with the tigers…But if you do a little research and use your creativity, you can come up with some incredible activities that don’t cost any money at all. (Like hiking around the rice terraces of Batad…)


  1. Research transportation options.

After activities, the next biggest expense is transportation. For each country you visit, research the different transportation options there are. Sometimes it makes sense to rent a car, other times it’s cheaper to use the public transportation. Keep in mind that buses are generally much cheaper than taxis.

  1. Travel during the off-season.

If you’re willing to put up with some not-so-ideal typhoons in Thailand :), travel during the off-season. You won’t have to deal with the hoards of tourists that descend during peak season, and prices of everything are drastically cheaper. (For example, we paid $35 each for a kayak tour in Phuket that normally costs $120 each during the peak season).

  1. Don’t book in advance.

This one is more opinion than law. Many people like to plan everything out in advance and book hotels and activities beforehand. This is totally OK, and can work out great. However, we found that where we were, hotels and activities were much cheaper once we were actually there. Online prices are always higher, and you’re not able to negotiate prices like you can in person. We saved hundreds of dollars in Asia by simply negotiating for a cheaper price. Tourist companies purposely jack prices up because dumb tourists assume it’s the right price. Don’t be afraid to play hardball when it comes to prices. Often times you’ll win…unless you’re in Vietnam, which is another story for another time…

The exception to this is booking flights. If you plan to fly between or within countries, booking these flights in advance is much cheaper than waiting until a week or so before.

  1. Live like a backpacker.

Occasional splurges are fine, but we mostly live CHEAP. We stay in cheap (a.k.a. crappy) hotels, only occasionally order drinks at meals, take buses instead of taxis, and order cheap meals. Don’t let social media fool you. We post the highlights of the trip…what we don’t show are the moldy hostel showers, long hours of exhausting traveling and four outfits total that we wear for weeks on end…backpacking is hard, but that’s the sacrifice you make if you want to travel on a tight budget.


  1. Don’t buy water.

You’ll spend an extra $5 (at least) a day if you buy bottled water. While it’s not necessarily convenient, we saved TONS of money by filtering water. We love our Sawyer Squeeze water filters from REI…It may seem sketchy that we we’re drinking the water from our hostel bathrooms, but none of us ever got sick. Long live the water filter.

  1. Travel in a group of four.

We found that traveling in a group of four was the perfect number. We could share a taxi, stay in a “family room” (sleeps 4-5 and is cheaper than a private room), and split meals. By ordering three dishes and eating family style, we not only saved money, but we got to try a variety of dishes at each meal, which was great.


Traveling is expensive. But, if you’re willing to budget, research and put up with some squeaky hostel beds and dingy public buses, you can have some truly memorable experiences for a reasonable price.


Southeast Asia: Vietnam

*To read about the first part of our two-month trip, see Southeast Asia: The Philippines, Southeast Asia: Malaysia, and Southeast Asia: Thailand.


Oh Vietnam. You are cruel, unforgiving and absolutely beautiful.


We spent the last 14 days of our two-month adventure in Vietnam. Things were a little rocky from the beginning. The airport staff wouldn’t let us on the plane to Vietnam because the embassy didn’t send us all of our VISA papers…a fact we learned as our plane was boarding. We missed the plane and ended up spending an extra $150 to get on another flight…

Everywhere else we’d traveled in Asia hadn’t been too difficult getting around. People spoke enough English for basic communication. But nope, not Vietnam. It was a constant game of charades everywhere we went… Ordering a meal? Oh hello stinky tuna soup, we actually meant to order spring rolls.

We started our adventure in Southern Vietnam in the Mekong River Delta. We stayed at a homestay for a few days with a cute man named Thai and his family. They were all so sweet, helpful and accommodating. We had fun just relaxing at their home and exploring the area.


Thai’s wife was an excellent cook and made us feast after feast of seafood, fresh fruit (the Mekong Delta is famous for their fruit), fried spring rolls and noodles.


While we were there, we took a river and bike tour with Thai’s friend Ho. He was the sweetest 82-year-old who took us all over to show us the sights. He pointed out fruit trees and bought us icy cold sugar cane juice.





My favorite part of the river tour was when it got dark and the fireflies came out. The Mekong River Delta is famous for its fireflies, and it definitely upheld that reputation for us. I’m talking hundreds of fireflies lighting up the trees like it was Christmas time.

We also spent a full day on a scooter tour through the back roads of the Mekong Delta. We ended up at a floating market, where the boats advertise their products by tying them to the end of a stick on their roof.

Of course my personal favorite was the fruit boat…


On the way home from the floating market we stopped at an animal market where they sell any and every type of meat you can imagine. Our guide (Eie) bought us two big snakes, and Thai’s wife cooked them up for dinner that night. Besides being a little bony, they tasted pretty dang good. Beth and I ate all of it while the boys watched in disgust…


Our next stop after the Mekong Delta was the Cu Chi Tunnels, which were built during the Vietnam War. Vietnamese women, children and soldiers lived down in the tunnels for years…we got to crawl through them and experience the cramped, dirty tunnels first-hand. No wonder the Vietnamese don’t love us Americans…

Up until that point, we’d felt very welcomed by the Vietnamese people. This all changed at the tunnels. People were straight up rude to us. They wouldn’t let us buy a shuttle pass and everyone tried to cut in front of us in line.



While we were there, we got to shoot a M60 machine gun, which was both a cool and terrifying experience.


Our next stop was Hanoi, where we began the most thrilling, difficult and beautiful journey yet. We rented motor scooters to drive up to Sa Pa, which was a four or five day trip. What we didn’t account for was the blazing sun, uncomfortable scooter seats and maniac drivers.

Within 15 minutes of leaving Hanoi, a cop pulled us over, took us into a little building and had us sit in chairs while he waved his baton at us. He told us we weren’t allowed to drive scooters on the bridge we were on, while Vietnamese people cruised across the bridge on their scooters. He told us he would “punish” us with a fine. It was obviously a complete scam to try and take advantage of us ignorant American tourists. When we refused to pay him, he threatened to take our scooters. We told him to go ahead and take them…

Eventually he got bored and let us go, but that was just the beginning of our adventures on the scooters.


The first day of driving was just plain MISERABLE. I’ve never felt so heat stroked and vulnerable. The truck drivers treat scooters like ants…little creatures in their way, easily disposed of by running them off the road or just blatantly running them over…

We were truly scared for our lives. Drivers don’t look before they pull out in front of you, they don’t bother to signal when they change lanes, they run through red lights like it’s no big deal, and they pass cars around blind corners. We saw multiple accidents along the road, but the toppled gas tanker was by far the worst…


We learned the hard way that in a battle between a motor scooter and speeding Vietnamese truck, the truck always wins. Beth and Andrew were rounding a blind corner when a giant truck came hauling around the corner in their lane while it tried to pass another car. Andrew swerved out of its way, which threw off his balance, and down they went.


The truck didn’t even bother stopping.


It was so scary to watch them sprawling across asphalt, their scooter skidding along beside them. Luckily there were no broken bones or serious injuries…just some gnarly road rash.


At this point, we had no choice but to continue up toward Sa Pa. We drove slowly and were very careful around corners. We stopped for a few days in Mu Cang Chai, which ended up being one of my favorite places in Vietnam. It’s a little town in the middle of nowhere. The people there are part of an indigenous tribe called the H’mong, so they look and dress a little differently than the typical Vietnamese.



We were the only white people there, and not one person spoke a lick of English. The struggle of finding a hostel and ordering food was comical…


We explored the gorgeous rice terraces of Mu Cang Chai for a day or two, and then headed up to Sa Pa. The drive was incredible. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful places in my life, but I’ve got to say that Northern Vietnam is a tough competitor for number one.





We spent a few days in Sa Pa, which was much more touristy than anywhere else in Vietnam, but had a fun atmosphere, good food and ENGLISH SPEAKERS! We explored more of the gorgeous terraces on our scooters, took some hikes and met some adorable people. The kids loved Pat playing magic tricks for them. Where do those rocks disappear to?!





We decided to take the train back to Hanoi rather than braving the 10-hour scooter ride on deadly highways…

Once in Hanoi we headed to Tam Coc for more river tours, (the women steer the boats with their feet!), scooter rides, gorgeous scenery and hiking. Pat attempted the foot-steer method and ended up taking us in circles. Apparently it’s harder than it looks.






On our way back from Tam Coc, the bus driver dropped the four of us off on the side of the freeway and told us to walk down the exit ramp. I guess they didn’t want to bother pulling off the freeway for four Americans…

For the finale of our two-month trip, we met up with our friends Shelby and Joey for a luxurious cruise through Ha Long Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay. We spent the next two days kayaking around gorgeous rock formations, eating gourmet five-course meals, attempting Tai Chi on the top deck at sunrise, jamming to Karaoke (Pat has a secret talent when it comes to Karaoke…) and enjoying late night card-game sessions.

Such a fun way to end our vacation…







Vietnam was rough to say the least. But honestly, that’s what I loved about it. It’s an untouched, hidden gem that presents an exciting challenge for the English-speaking American backpacker. The ruggedness of its culture and landscape fascinated me, and I would highly recommend putting Vietnam at the top of your destination list. Just be prepared for a wild game of charades and a lot of horn honking…


Coming Next: How to travel Asia on a budget.

Southeast Asia: The Philippines


For months before we left, I anticipated May 9th with both hesitation and excitement. Backpacking for two months through Southeast Asia is a serious commitment…at least it was to me. Leading up to our trip I heard a lot of doubtful remarks from people: “It’s going to be sooo hot and uncomfortable.” “You’re going to get sick from the food.” “It’s going to cost way more than you think…” It’s easy to let those opinions start sinking into your own head.

But now that we’re home from our two-month adventure, I can say with satisfaction that we proved those people wrong.


Our crew: me, my husband Patrick, my brother Andrew and his wife Beth. The four amigos. While in Asia, we traveled to four different countries and spent about two weeks in each.

Our first stop was the Philippines. From Salt Lake, we flew to Manila and took a 10-hour night bus to Banaue—a small village in northern Philippines.

After my miserable experience in Peru with the night buses, I’d promised myself I wouldn’t take one again. Little did I know that night buses would become a regular treat during our two months in Asia.


From Banaue we hiked about an hour to Batad, which is a gorgeous valley of rice terraces surrounded by steep mountains. The view from our hotel deck “blew my socks off,” as Papa D. would say…


We spent the next few days exploring Batad. When I say exploring, I mean getting lost from the trails and teetering our way along the narrow pathways between the terraces. Andrew was a trooper with his recently broken femur. He hobbled behind us with his cane “suga” and handled it like a champ.


Highlights of Batad: hiking to a waterfall, getting $6 massages, (is it weird that we were all stripped naked in a room together? Andrew, don’t look…) enjoying the views, trying new food and meeting the most humble and hardworking people we’ve ever met.

After we’d had our fill of Batad, we took a Jeepni back to Banaue. Pat and I rode on the top, which got a little sketchy trying to hang on while the maniac driver sped around curvy corners.


(I hope you appreciate this photo bomb as much as I do…)


Turns out shoving 25 Asians in and on top of an old jeepni isn’t the greatest idea. When the tire popped, the Asians shot out of that thing like rocket ships. I truly don’t know how they got out of there so fast…

Our next stop was El Nido, which is a cute little beach town that has blown up with tourists in the past few years. To escape the crowds we rented a private boat to take us around the islands for a three-day, two-night trip. We quickly learned that camping in the Philippines is not for the faint of heart. It means hot, sandy and uncomfortable nights with man-eating rats scurrying around your tent and malaria-filled mosquitos swarming your head. But heck, we loved every second of it.


Our crew consisted of three guys—Marc, Jonathan and Cheeto—who looked like they were 14 years old. Turns out those boys know how to throw a mean beach party. They took us to some of the best snorkeling spots I’ve ever seen…crystal blue water with incredible wild life and crazy rock formations to swim through.


(We swam through that hole and popped up on the other side into a gorgeous, completely secluded lagoon that had amazing fish and underwater tunnels to swim through…)


They cooked us FEASTS of fresh fish, fried pork, fruits and exotic vegetables—who woulda thought Cheeto would be such a good cook? At night we’d set up camp on a deserted island and watch the sun set below the horizon.


It was an incredible few days, but by the end of day three, we were definitely ready for a shower and some pants. Wait what? ***Note to self: never wear a fanny pack with only a swimsuit bottom.


From El Nido, we took another night bus to Puerto Princessa to catch a plane to Cebu. The night bus got to PP around 3 a.m.—the airport didn’t open until 5. Hello asphalt, you are a way comfy bed. Not. I actually fell asleep for awhile but was woken up by a stray dog licking my foot. I’d put some anti-itch cream on a mosquito bite and I guess it was a tempting snack for that mangy little pup.


From Cebu we headed to a charming little town called Moal Boal. That’s were we found the 40 cent mango shakes that we got twice a day every day while we were there…


While in Moal Boal we snorkeled, went canyoneering and swam with whale sharks. Unfortunately we couldn’t bring our camera for the canyoneering so I have no pics to prove it, but it was definitely a highlight for all of us. We got to jump off a 40-foot waterfall into a natural pool, which was a first for me.

Swimming with the whale sharks was both terrifying and exhilarating. Those things are HUGE. One little flap of their tail in your face and your mom would be planning your funeral. Just ask Beth…she had a one-on-one battle with one of them when it tried to eat her. 😉


Looking back, the Philippines is a tippity-top contender for our favorite country in Southeast Asia. If you ever travel to Southeast Asia, you HAVE to put it on your must-visit list…

Thank you Philippines for your mango shakes, crazy bus rides and never ending adventures.


Next stop? Malaysia. (Coming soon!)