No man’s an island, indeed. So when you plan to have your very own getaway to an island like Maldives, make sure that you’ve got your friends with you!
Or better yet, the love of your life — as is the case with my featured traveler for the month of November: Bianca. ♥
Born and raised in Zamboanga City, and eventually transferred to Manila when she was 16 for college, “traveling” always had a special place in Bianca‘s heart. She said, “As a kid, my mom made sure my brother and I were both ‘exposed’ to life outside of Zamboanga. Traveling for me is, as my mom said, an exposure. It widens my horizons to other kinds of history, cultures, places, people, etc. I also consider traveling as a therapy and sometimes, an escape. When I feel that pressure and stress are already getting the worst of me, I just want to pack my bags and take a break!”
So far, she has been to at least eight countries. Bianca shared, “The first place outside the country I’ve been to was Hong Kong. Then eventually, I was able to travel to Malaysia, Thailand, China, South Korea, Maldives, the USA, and Singapore. Hong Kong and Thailand are my usual travel destinations — I’ve been to these two places for as much as I can remember.
“When I travel, I don’t limit myself to the country’s capital city. In Thailand, I’ve been to Bangkok, Pattaya, and Chang Mai. In the US, my mom and I went around California (L.A. and San Francisco), Florida (Orlando and Jacksonville), New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. I’ve lived in Beijing, China for nine months. While in Beijing, I made side trips to Shanghai, Inner Mongolia, Xi An, Luo Yang, Shao Lin Si, Hang Zhou, Su Zhou, Nan Jing, Xiamen, and Shi Shi.”
But even before she studied and lived in China, all this “love” for traveling started when Bianca actually celebrated her debut. “I was 18 when I chose a vacation to the USA over a grand 18th birthday party celebration in a five-star hotel with 200 guests,” she admitted. “After graduation from college, my love for traveling grew even more. I loved the idea of spending time with my girl friends in strange lands, where no one knew us — and where we didn’t give a care in the world that someone might recognize us!”
From Maldives, With Love
Bianca and her husband got married last 11/11/11 (nice date, huh?) and chose to have their honeymoon in the Maldive Islands. “I initially wanted to go to Europe since I’ve never been there,” Bianca mentioned. “But then my mom said that Europe isn’t a honeymoon destination, but a shopping destination! So, nahuli ako ba’t gusto kong mag-Europe — not for honeymoon, but for shopping!”
Her three-day honeymoon trip with her husband happened at Irufushi Island, but started in Male. “As soon as we landed in Male, I immediately felt like a VIP! Someone was there to meet us, who then took care of our luggage and walked us to our car — which transported us to the Hilton Irufushi Resort’s waiting area,” Bianca said. “And waiting area for what? Well it’s the waiting area for our sea plane! When we got to the reception area, the assistant handed us cold towels and welcome drinks with fresh flowers as decoration, and offered complimentary massages. There, you’ll find a wide assortment of healthy snacks, Evian bottled water (you can get as much as you want!), sodas, wines, and a whole lot more!
“You need a sea plane to get to your island, and riding one was truly an unforgettable experience for me! When we got to the island, a butler approached us and introduced himself to us! And for a second I thought, ‘Why would we need a butler?’ We’re on a honeymoon!
“The beach literally blew my breath away! It was so quiet and peaceful — and of course, clean! Our villa was no exception! We had our ‘personal’ cabana and beach front as well. ‘Personal’ in the sense that no one else could stay in that respective area which was reserved specifically for us!”
Having had the time of her life (with the love of her life, nonetheless!) in Maldives, what advice can she give to those planning to have the same kind of trip? Bianca advised, “Some people are more adventurous and don’t prefer to make prior arrangements. I’m different, I want everything set to the last minute because I don’t want to waste time when I’m abroad thinking of what to do or where to go to.
“Making prior research about your destination can be very helpful. By doing this, you’ll know more about the must-see places!
“Bring a lot of CASH! You’re already abroad, so might as well make the most out of it! When you’ve got cash, you can do anything and buy anything!
“Unless you’re going on a honeymoon (where a hotel room MUST be the highlight of the trip), you might wanna check out boutique hotels rather than the more expensive ones. You’ll be out all day shopping or sightseeing, and the only time you can go back to your hotel room is when you wanna sleep or take a bath!
“Last but not the least, keep on dreaming! You might just get to your dream destination someday!”
This post is brought to you by The Lady’s 2012 Blog Project.
You can also check out my other featured travelers HERE.