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Hi! My name is 10 (like the number), and I have a goal to hitchhike half the world and walk a good chunk of it too! 😊🇵🇭✨🌏
I am a solo traveler from the sunny islands of the Philippines! My hometown is called La Union, a popular surfing destination in the north. I have always been an ocean child and I always carry the sea and the sun in my heart. 🌊🧜♀️☀️
I am currently on a journey to cross from Asia to Europe to Africa—all by walking and hitchhiking. This means I cannot and will not take any means of paid public transportation to cross continents. If I accomplish this, I will be the first from my country to do so!
I view hitchhiking as a way to connect with locals and immerse in their culture. It's not about getting a ride for free! Believe it or not, each time I leave a country, I already know a good chunk of phrases to converse with local people or I already look and feel like a local!
Since I ride with locals, I also stay with them in their homes. I usually get invited, and I view it as a chance to further integrate myself in a country's tradition, struggle, cuisine, nature and most importantly, daily life. I like learning about culture and living like a local.
However, if don't find a host, I carry a tent, a stove and a sleeping bag with me, so I can set up camp anywhere I choose.
Growing up, I've always been fascinated by travelers who choose to roam the world uniquely. I've seen films, listened to songs, read books about voyagers who have chosen to travel in their own style, whether by bicycle, by hitchhiking, by walking or by their own remodeled vehicles.
When I finished university, I wanted to chase my dreams and create the life I've always wanted for myself. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and tried to kill myself multiple times because I didn't have a purpose to live anymore.
I dropped everything I had—subsequent plans to become a lawyer, a comfortable life, a flat, a job offer—to travel and become truly happy.
Unfortunately, this does not come very easy for me. I travel with a Filipino passport, which means I cannot come and go as I please for every country. I must apply for a visa nearly always, and sometimes, I pay even more than what Westerners or citizens from high GDP countries would normally pay for. I've also encountered racism and discrimination, but I won't let the hate of the world or the privilege others have stop me from completing my journey.
I am traveling with very little money, but it's because I believe I do not need it. I believe that money is not the only currency in the world and that the world can run on kindness and generosity. We can exchange whatever we have—culture, music, sports, tradition, food, experiences, art, lessons, skills, homes, helping hands—with the people we cross paths with, and gain a better understanding of humanity.
If we simply open our hearts and look beyond race, gender, religion or economic status, we can all make the world a better place. 🤗👏💖
You can view a short video of my story here on my Facebook page:
P.S. I can't accept guests right now because I'm away from home. My mother is working in America, and I have no siblings back home, so I fear that you won't be entertained even if I welcome you to my place. I can give you tips for traveling around the Philippines though! 😁🇵🇭
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
I’m on Couchsurfing because I want to experience something new in this trip. I want to get to know the places I visit in the eyes of their local people. I want to know their secrets, their holes-in-the-wall, and most of all, their culture and their people. I believe Couchsurfing can help me embrace what being part of a place truly is.
I also want to meet travelers from across the world who share common interests with me. I want to spend time with them and get to know their countries and their cultures.
Music, Films, Art, Literature, Travel
- tv series
- learning new things
- jam sessions
- local food
- meeting new people
- local history
- mental health
- star wars
- local culture
- learning about other cultures
- local people
- trekking and camping
- hiking in the mountains
Music, Movies, and Books
I like listening to old school tunes and indie music. Here are some favorite songs that make up my travel playlist (to give you an idea of what I like)
-My anthem: Sleep on the Floor by The Lumineers.
-Cactus Tree by Joni Mitchell
-Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin
-Society by Eddie Vedder
-Anna Sun by Walk the Moon
-Angela by The Lumineers
-Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen
-Young As The Morning, Old As The Sea by Passenger
-Blowing in the Wind by Bob Dylan
-Across the Universe by The Beatles
-Simple As This by Jake Bugg
-Redemption Song by Bob Marley
-Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver
-In My Life by The Beatles
-Open Road by Roo Panes
-Walk Unafraid by First Aid Kit
My favorite book is "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. I like adventure books that inspire me to go out and travel.
I also read comic books. I follow stories featuring Batman, The X-men, Deadpool, Wonder Woman and Spiderman.
Sadly, juggling hitchhiking, camping, staying in local homes, blogging and accomplishing online jobs don't give me much time to read like I did back in college.
My favorite films include the following:
-Into the Wild
-The Motorcycle Diaries
-The Darjeeling Limited
-Lost in Translation
-In the Mood for Love
-Requiem for a Dream
-Thelma & Louise
-Breakfast at Tiffany's
-Mad Max: Fury Road
-My Neighbor Totoro
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
-I’m hitchhiking from Asia to Europe to Africa to connect with locals (as well as travelers) who pick me up from the side of the road! I’ve had the most amazing experiences in this trip just by hitching rides from place to place! When I feel like it, I walk from state to state, border to border! I also camp in the wild and stay in the homes of local people. I believe that MONEY IS NOT THE ONLY CURRENCY IN THE WORLD and that you can exchange other things besides banknotes.
-I've hitchhiked all over Southeast Asia! I flagged down a boat in Myanmar and got a ferry for free in Indonesia!
-I travel without a plan, so anything can happen! I stumble upon random mountain villages and participate in their festivals. I stay with a local family and help them in their small snack shop. I crash and get invited to weddings, local parties and birthdays. I stayed with a lama for one week in Tibet, and these all happened by saying YES!
Teach, Learn, Share
-I am a freelance writer and photographer. I can share with you my knowledge on operating a camera, especially if you really want to get off shooting in Auto mode. I am very free to do photo walks with you, and I do enjoy taking photos of people. So far in this trip, no tourist / traveler I’ve bumped into asking for a photo has ever been disappointed with my photos of them.
-I can practice conversing in English with you. I graduated with a degree in journalism; hence, I can help you learn how to speak and write well in English. I can also teach you some Tagalog / Filipino words, if you are interested in learning my language.
-Back home, I am also a part-time performer. I used to sing in bars, play in fan meets and busk in the streets with my trusty guitar. I can teach you basic guitar chords or jam with you to whatever music you like. We can also write songs. I have to warn you, I haven’t played in a long time, and I am a bit rusty.
-I have a ukulele with me. I bought it on my trip to Pai, because the atmosphere inspired me to make music. I can teach you how to play it! It’s very easy!
-I used to do some simple crafts back in college to make some money. I can teach you how to make bracelets, necklaces, chokers, bookmarks, etc. I can also teach you some watercolor painting skills I’ve learned.
-I can cook for you! I love to be in the kitchen. I want to give you a taste of Filipino food and Filipino hospitality, even if I'm far from home.
What I Can Share with Hosts
-I can share firsthand knowledge of Filipino culture, if you are interested in discovering more about the Philippines. We are very different from our neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, especially in terms of politics and religion. Besides culture and the country’s socioeconomc status, I can also share to you information about the best islands you can visit in my country. I’ve backpacked 32 / 81 provinces in the Philippines, so I do have a good insider knowledge of my home.
-As I’ve said above, I can practice speaking in English with you, if you wish to brush up on your skills. I can also teach you my native language.
-I can share crazy stories about my adventures. I have accumulated quite a lot, since I like doing spontaneous things.
-I know it’s not a common topic, but I can share with you my advocacies, such as fighting the stigma towards mental health illnesses. As a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I can tell you more about what living with the illness is like, and why you shouldn’t tell me that everybody has depressing days. I am very open about my disorder, so do not be afraid to ask away.
-We can talk about any kind of art—music, dance, photography, sculpture, etc—since I am very interested in the humanities. Also, FREE UKULELE LESSONS!!
Countries I’ve Visited
Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam
Countries I’ve Lived In
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Thailand, Ukraine