Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Beginning of an Epic Northern Journey

10 Day 10K Challenge: Taytay, RIZAL
Date: MAY 17-26, 2014

I plotted a week-long leave back at the office, and my mind just gave me an awesome idea on where to spend my next vacation – North Luzon! This is not an extraordinary trip, because I am planning to visit all provinces north of Metro Manila (except Batanes) in 10 days with a budget of at least P10, 000. This trip would also be my post-birthday gift to myself. 21 years on Earth, 21 provinces on the list. This will be an EPIC ROAD TRIP!

This idea of visiting North Luzon began last March. I plotted a week-long leave back at the office for May, and I don’t know where to go. As I checked suggestions online, my mind suddenly gave me an excellent idea – travel up north. I was challenged to see other Filipino travel bloggers conquering the provinces one by one. I started to count, asking myself how many provinces I was able to visit in the past: 17 – just 17 out of 81. “That’s it… I have to visit all these Northern provinces!” I told myself. And that’s how this epic road trip began.

I spent the whole month of March and April researching – transport, routes, restaurants, and hotels. I had to plan it carefully. In fact, my original route was modified multiple times. I was changing it from time to time, depending on the most up-to-date information that I could find. Some landmarks were crossed out, since visiting all of them won’t fit in my tight, 10-day leave schedule. I wrote down the cheapest hotels where I could sleep, and the restaurants where I could eat, in each city that I will visit. I printed maps, scanned street images on my phone and gathered tips from fellow travel bloggers online. That was my routine each week.

It was a very exhausting task indeed, but the excitement inside me grew bigger as the date of my trip drew closer. March had come and gone, then April, then two more weeks before my trip, then only one more week to go, six days, five, four, three, two more days, one more day – and FINALLY! The day that I am waiting for is finally here!

I went home to Taytay, Rizal after shift, packed my things, rested for a while, and ate my breakfast. It was 11:40 AM. I took a deep breath as I walked through the doors leading to the outside world. This is it – my first ever solo backpacking trip! I don’t have any idea what’s going to happen. All I have in my mind is pure excitement.

The challenge had begun, and the first destination on my route is: Manila

The road to the North
This post is part of my 10 Day 10K Challenge that took place between May 17-26, 2014. You are currently reading the first entry. Proceed to the next destination here.

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