Are you the type of traveler who takes everything but the kitchen sink in your handbag? Or are you the type who can survive on just the essentials- wallet, smartphone and keys? 

I'm usually the latter especially on short trips around the city and I love the Eaglecreek RFID Crossbody Organizer. Here's why:

Eaglecreek Crossbody Organizer4

-It's small enough to fit the essentials and a few more. You can fit in some cash, credit cards, travel documents, receipts, and phone. It also has 2 passport and multi-use slip pockets with 7 credit card pockets.

-It's keeps my valuables safe. It has a zip-around closure so it's almost impossible to be pickpocketed. It also has the RFID Blocking Technology integrated into the credit card pocket which helps protect personal information. I also like the removable and adjustable shoulder strap that allows me to keep my belongings close.

Eaglecreek Crossbody Organizer1

-It's convenient. It has exterior front zippered pocket and back slip pocket for quick grab items like a pen or some small currency.

-The color is basic, but not too plain. I can easily match it with my casual clothes.

Eaglecreek Crossbody Organizer5

The Giveaway

We're giving away the Eaglecreek Discovery Flap Handbag to one of our readers! 

Here's why you would want to bring this on your next trip:

-It's always secure. It has the Anti-Theft: Secure-Zip™ Toggle closure on  the main compartment and a hidden passport pocket inside zippered pocket.

-It's digital nomad friendly. It countains a padded, e-fleece tablet sleeve & electronics pocket.

-It keeps you safe. The bag material has reflective accents for dusk and nighttime visibility. It also has an adjustable cross-body shoulder strap to keep your valuables close.

-It keeps you organized. It features a slip pocket, zippered pocket, pen slot & key lanyard.

-It gives you space. The zippered expansion gives double capacity; that means you can expand the bag to carry more items.

This tablet-sized, expandable and saddlebag-style handbag is perfect not just for traveling but for everyday use.

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The Mechanics

Here's how you can have your own Eaglecreek Discovery Flap Handbag:

1 Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. (Only those who follow both accounts will be eligible.)

2 Tell us where you want to go in 2015 by posting a photo on our Facebook page or tag us on a photo on Instagram.

3 This promo runs from December 18, 2014- January 2, 2015. We will choose one winner randomly and announce it through our social media accounts.

4 If the winner needs the product to be shipped outside the Philippines, he/she will have to cover the shipping fees.

Eaglecreek Crossbody Organizer3

You can also buy Eaglecreek Shoulder Bags at R.O.X. Philippines located at B1 Bonifacio High St., The Fort, Taguig City, Philippines.

Credits

Big thanks to my very own sister, Lindsay, for modelling the bags, to Patrick Kim Porlage Oronico for her hair and makeup, and to Brian Ilog for the photos.

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But a few nights ago, my husband asked if I wanted to go to Paris to check out the holiday decorations. Of course I said yes. So we put on our thermals, coats, scarves and gloves and we were off to the city. 

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We drove past Champs-Elysées and saw all the twinkling lights, hundreds of wooden shops, and the ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde. That's when we decided to look for the ever elusive Paris parking spot and go check out the Christmas Market.

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I felt giddy like a little girl because it was my first time to go to a Christmas Market! 

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Paris Christmas Market4

It was very cold but we hardly felt it because of all the festivities. Everyone was smiling and feeling the holiday cheer. I wanted to try all the candied apples, sausages and crepes. There were so many shops that sold everything from handmade soaps from Marseilles to colorful light balls from Thailand!

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Paris Christmas Market9

We also found a few artisan shops that sold handmade goods: from greeting cards to jewellery, pottery to leather crafts.

There was even a brightly lit ice skating rink with 80's music where you can maneuver your way around trees and stuffed animals.

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The weather was close to freezing but the atmosphere was warm and festive. We saw Parisians and tourists alike strolling with us, peeking in to see what’s on display at the chalets and enjoying delicious foods from all over the world or warming up with a hot cup of wine or tea.

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Paris Christmas Market16

After our stroll down Champs-Elysées, I realized that there were also a lot of shops that sort of strayed from the Christmas spirit. We found techno shirts, tourist souvenirs, even Russian dolls! I wouldn't totally recommend it for shopping because most items were overpriced and not really of good value. It is Champs-Elysées after all, so it's totally expected.

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But the memory was still magical for me. 

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We drank some warm apple cider, sampled cheese raclette sandwich and wolfed down hungarian meat dishes.

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We marvelled at all the Christmas lights and decorations. We smiled at strangers. I took a lot of photos.
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It brought me back to a time when I was still excited about Christmas.

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How to Make This Trip Happen:

-This Christmas market is not only one of the largest in Paris, but is also the earliest to start. It's open daily from November 14, 2014 to January 4, 2015.

-The shops are along the avenue of Champs-Elysées from Place de la Concorde to Rond Point.

-This is just one of many other Paris Christmas markets. You can check out this guide from Expat Edna.

Staying warm,
Sole Sister Lois

Lois has traveled extensively and has called the Philippines, USA, Germany, Switzerland, Thailand and France, home in various stages of her life. She just recently got married and now has a healthy baby girl. She is currently based in Europe trying to find a home base for her small family. She is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of We Are Sole Sisters.


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For millions of people there’s nothing quite like the exhilarating feeling that comes from skiing down a fresh snow-covered mountain. There’s no doubt that this is one of the most pleasurable sports, and if you’re considering a first-time skiing holiday there are plenty of benefits to be had.

Locations, mountain air, a glow from the sun and an improved physique are just some of the attractions of a skiing holiday.

View from the Top 2
Photo Credit: Colin Capelle

Shaping up

Most of us go on vacation to relax and rejuvenate but skiing is a winter holiday option that not only provides massive amounts of fun but also numerous health benefits. This sport is one of the best for toning the stomach and improving your coordination. As a bonus, it only takes six hours of skiing to burn off 3,000 calories. Walking up and pounding down those slopes will also elevate your heart rate, meaning you’ll receive a terrific cardiovascular workout. Your major muscle groups are constantly targeted with this activity, so you’re likely to see lots of people in good shape on the slopes.

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Photo Credit: michael warren

Locations galore

A major bonus on this type of vacation is the variety of choices available when it comes to ski resorts. Popular European locations include Obergurgl in Austria, which offers a long ski season, unspoilt village atmosphere and some of the best conditions for beginners. You can ski there at a height of 3,082m. It’s also excellent for advanced skiers and for families.

For some of the best Alpine slopes, head to St. Anton in the Tyrolean Alps where you can enjoy skiing at an altitude of up to 2,811m. The longest run at St. Anton is 10.2 km and you have over 22km2 to practice those snowboarding and cross-country skiing skills on. Don’t forget to check out Alpe D'Huez in the central French Alps, one of the best skiing locations in Europe and which has almost 250 km of fabulous piste to enjoy.
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Photo Credit: michael warren

Fun off the slopes

Of course a ski holiday isn’t just about those daytime activities. All of those resorts will have a range of after-ski facilities. You’ll enjoy cool bars, restaurants and nightclubs as well as a fun atmosphere and plenty of socializing. Families will be well catered for and the kids certainly won’t grow bored, thanks to activities such as ice-skating, sightseeing and children’s clubs. The accommodation is also second to none with a wide range of hotels, apartments and chalets to meet both your taste and budget.

Skiing is a skill that, once mastered, will provide a lifetime of fun and it can certainly open up your vacation destination choices. As a winter holiday option it’s something to look forward to each year. If can’t wait for the ski season, you can always try some summer glacier skiing, which is an awesome experience in itself.

Lunchtime drink, La Plage de Nieges, Alpe D'Huez
Photo Credit: Ian Gratton
Annalise Wall is a tour guide with a passion for adventure sports. Her favourite sport is skiing, but when the summer comes she loves to go paragliding.


Main photo credit: stevecadman


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I often find a lot of women travelers online who show me a piece of myself: They're fearless, plan-less, guilt-free with a head full of dreams. One of them is Trish of P.S. I'm On My Way. I got an email from her a few months back introducing herself and I was truly impressed. She's an inspiring Filipina in Latin America who is slowing making her way and defining her own version of success. Here's our interview:

When did you start a travel lifestyle? What inspired you to take that big leap?

It all started when I came to Milan to study fashion. While studying, I was also undergoing an internship with an international fashion brand and they sent me to different cities to attend the Fashion Week. Paris and London, to name a few. During my free time (which is really rare if you work in fashion), I got to explore the cities and I've met a lot of backpackers doing long-term travel. By talking to them, I learned how they do this kind of lifestyle. 

At first, I was like, "Is that even possible? I mean not living somewhere and just moving and moving? How can you live like that?" After a year, I found myself wanting to do the same thing. I went back to Manila, had freelance fashion jobs and decided to quit my life in the Philippines. It was scary. I didn't know how to do it but I got inspired by the travellers I met. Thinking that they can do it means I can too. I didn't put any limit to my capabilities. Another thing that inspired me to travel is football. I am a hardcore football fan. Every year, English Clubs conduct their Asian Tour in China, Thailand and Malaysia. I always see to it that I get to watch these games. I stalked each time country by country and that made me realize that it's not that hard to travel.

Trisha of P.S. I'm On My Way1

How long did it take for you to prepare for this (South American) trip and what steps did you take?

I did not prepare for this. I was here by fate. Last year, me and my ex boyfriend wanted to try travelling together so we went to Africa. After a few months travelling the North of the continent, we realized that we are not a good team in terms of travelling and then we separated. Literally, just waking up saying "What are we doing? This is not working." We're both different when it comes to the travel department and if you cannot travel with your boyfriend, I am telling you, break up. There's no way that the relationship will work.

He's been travelling for almost 10 years so he was fine when he travelled on his own after Africa. Me? I was devastated. Yes, the break up killed me but what killed me more is that I don't know anything about travelling long-term. Where will I go? Back then, I didn't speak French nor Arabic so when we separated ways.

I was clueless. I couldn't travel more in Africa because of safety precautions and visa issues so I thought of a place where these things are not a problem -- South America. I sent a couch request to a Brazilian girl (who's one of my bestfriends now) and she accepted it. From there, I travelled to Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, back to Brazil, Uruguay and now Argentina. I don't know, things just happened! It just worked out for me very well and after 17 months, I am still here.

Trisha of P.S. I'm On My Way14

What kind of work allows you to live and travel in other countries?

To be honest, my blog has helped me a lot travelling. I earn enough money from my blog/writing. It's not a lot but it's enough to keep me on the road. After all, I am not asking for too much in life anymore. Being here, being able to travel, is more than enough. I also have a part-time online job where I do social media marketing which adds up to my savings. I use the money I earn from this company to treat myself -- birthdays, christmas or shopping. I don't really pay for holidays as my blog helps me land a sponsorship with travel agencies, all expenses paid in exchange for extra online exposure.

Trisha of P.S. I'm On My Way12

Tell us about your current mission and how it has evolved through your years of travel.

My mission was to travel to all visa-free countries for Filipinos but then it evolved to finish travelling Latin America. In South America, Filipinos can travel 6/13 countries without a visa. But as an explorer myself, I tried to apply for visas to those countries which are not on the list and it worked. Even if I am not in my home country, I was able to apply for a visa to Panama and Uruguay in Brazil; and a visa to Argentina in Uruguay. Even if I've been told that it's impossible, I did it. I received responses from the consulates via e-mail saying, "you have to be in your home country to be able to apply for a visa." But I didn't stop there. I visited the consulate, explained my situation, what I do in life and voila, they all granted me a visa.

Trisha of P.S. I'm On My Way5

Did you encounter any naysayers? How did you deal with that?

Nada. Zero. Zilch. I am a part of a beautiful family and a very supportive community and I am really thankful for that. But what I am having difficulties with is explaining how I do it. I keep a blog, yes, but the posts are not in chronological order. People would still ask, "How can you afford this?" And most of them assume that I am an heiress of a very rich family so I can afford to travel. If they only knew there were a lot of times I had to sleep on the streets, they would be surprised! I even encountered someone who was borrowing money and I am deeply staggered by that thought. I was like, "What made you think I have money?! Because I am travelling, is that it?" This person surprisingly said, "Yes."

I just think that people in our country look at travel as a luxury and not everyone knows that they can do it in a simpler and cheaper way, if they want to.

Trisha of P.S. I'm On My Way11

Is there anything you still miss about the Philippines? Name 3 things.

The Philippine sun (there's nothing like it!), danggit (dried fish) and the place where grew up and first started dreaming- Subic.

Trisha of P.S. I'm On My Way4

Have you ever fallen in love on the road? Share your story.

HAHAHAHA! No. After me and my ex broke up on the road, I realized that you cannot have it all. You can travel the world, yes. But that doesn't guarantee that you will be able to keep a strong romantic relationship with the other person. You can't have both! You just have to pick one. 

Travelling, or a stable relationship? Of course, you can fall in love but there are things that you need to prioritize. I actually really liked someone but the feeling of staying where he is wasn't running in my head. I can never imagine myself stopping to travel just because I am in love with a person. With the men I met or dated on the road, the case was always that I have to be the one who stays. Why can't they go travel with me? Why do I have to be where they live? 

One dude told me, "Because that's what normal people do, Trish. They date, fall in love, live together, etc. There's an order." Well then, consider me abnormal. I will not do these things just because society says so. I don't want to do things in chronological order.

Trisha of P.S. I'm On My Way15

I dated a few, yes. But it always ends up tragically. They end up hating me. 

They say I don't have emotions. Or maybe I was traumatized with my past relationship, stuff like that. If you think men will always end up breaking your heart, in the past year, that didn't happen to me. I was always the weird one. I was the one who didn't want to receive flowers or go on a formal date because when they do that, it means they're serious. Men are too serious, I can't even believe it myself! I remember one time when a guy gave me a gift and I am really bad with surprises- let alone receiving gifts. I was just laughing and I didn't say anything. I totally offended him. I think for me, laughing was the best way to escape an awkward situation but deep inside, I was really uncomfortable. 

I find it illogical to fall in love with someone who is travelling, who has no permanent address or who doesn't even know where she's going. It's obvious that I am travelling and I didn't need to warn them. Sometimes, things just happen, emotions just burst out of nowhere and get out of hand. It's a pity though -- we all could have been friends if they didn't let their emotions control their logic.

As for me, I know my place in the world. Sure, call me a rock with no feelings but through the course of travelling, I have handled myself well when it comes to dating men. Love can wait. My travel has to happen now. It has to go on without interruption.

Trisha of P.S. I'm On My Way3

What kind of skills or know how would you consider necessary for someone who is thinking of long term travel?

A lot of things, actually. When I left home, I didn't know how to cook anything and it was one of the most important skill you have to have when travelling. I mean you save more money when you cook, right? It was then that I started learning from friends and over the internet. After a few months, I found myself cooking for my host families and co-volunteers. I really love cooking now!

Most years of my life, I never lived simply. I was always in the most comfortable state and I get agitated when I am not. Travelling taught me how opt for simpler things, to live with that you have and not ask for more. I slept on the streets, bus terminals, took 5-day bus trips instead of flights to save cash, wore the same clothes for 17 months, etc. These are the things I didn't do in my old life. My parents were quite surprised as well.

In order to travel long-term, I think you just have to be a cowboy -- someone who can be anywhere no matter the living conditions may be.

Trisha of P.S. I'm On My Way2

Do you think you'll ever put down that backpack and settle down somewhere?

Of course but I haven't thought of that yet. It never crossed my mind in the duration of my travel. I prospected some places like Lima and Buenos Aires but there are still much places to see and get to know. However, no matter where I've been, living in the Philippines is still on top of the list. I have a different view of the Philippines now. I don't want to live in the capital anymore, to be honest! Maybe Boracay or Baler? Living in a tent, writing a book, maintaining a blog? I am not sure! Or most probably, back in the city where I grew up and carved my dreams.

Trisha of P.S. I'm On My Way7

As Filipinos, travel can still be challenging for us. What advice can you give for someone who feels they can't do what you've done?

I am not finished travelling Latin America and I have yet to discover things that will make each Filipino empowered and inspired to travel. I think my main advice would be: If it fits, it will work. I believe in the saying that "When you really want something, the Universe will conspire for you to achieve it."

We are all interested in travelling but it has to be converted to loving it and achieving it. We cannot just sit down on the computer all day looking what other people have accomplished in terms of travelling. We have to do something about our dreams! This also goes for those who want to travel but feel trapped from societal pressure -- if you don't love your job, quit. You will not die quitting this. Do something that you really love and ignore the negative people who are telling you that "You should be working a 9-5 because this is the normal way of life."

There is no rule how to live life. It just says, "live life." Nothing more.

Trisha of P.S. I'm On My Way16

Trisha is a road scholar who loves learning languages, burgers, cats, football, hot sauce and coffee. She is the author of the travel blog, P.S. I’m On My Way where she writes about her long-term travel adventures, volunteering, learning languages and encouraging women to travel solo. Follow her on Facebook.

Want more? Read other features on Sole Sister Spotlight.

Do you know of travelers who conquer the world one country at a time? We would love to interview them for Sole Sister Spotlight. Please send us an email at solesisters .weare@gmail .com. We look forward to your suggestions!

Searching for other sisters who make travel happen,
Sole Sister Lois



Get a FREE copy of the Sole Sister Guide to Planning an Epic Trip by subscribing to our newsletter. You can also hang out with us online on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram
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It's always a joy to meet like minded people who have similar ideas and dreams focused on Passion and Freedom. 

I met Nathan of I Dreamed of This at a couchsurfing party 2 years ago. He was not blogging at the time. But I was curious to know how he could afford to relocate to different countries every now and then.  I learned a lot from our short conversation. Little did I know that he would venture into the world of blogging later on and would achieve success and popularity in such a short span of time. 

I reconnected with him recently via email and here are a few thoughts he had on achieving the freedom lifestyle:

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What's your version of freedom?

Due to my intense love of travel, freedom to me means being able to pick up and relocate virtually anywhere, at a moment’s notice, and stay indefinitely. I want to be able to live in the moment, and take advantage of good weather or last-minute recommendations from other travellers. It’s not always easy, but it is my goal.

Share your back story.

Interestingly, my path to freedom started with something I love - music. I have played piano, drums, bass, and guitar since I was child. Eventually I started creating and releasing my own music (which at one time shared the top mp3.com charts with Nelly, Snoop Dogg, Q-Tip, and Mad Professor, but that is another story:) It was fun, but eventually I realized it was easier for me to be self sufficient by helping other artists create their own music.

I started a modest recording studio in my home in California, then artists around the state began to come to record with us. Some even came from neighboring states. That, too, was fun…but eventually I grew restless. I wanted to find a way to do my work from anywhere. I left the studio and took a cross-country road trip - formulating a plan for freedom along the way.

Nathan Allen2

What steps did you take to achieve freedom?

This is the hard part. I wasn’t making much money at the studio, but I was so happy to be my own boss, and more or less be working on a schedule that I created. After diving in and trying to take my work online, money was scarce. Actually, at first, it was non-existent. People probably thought I was mad, and I don’t blame them. I just had tremendous faith in the idea - not to mention a strong determination to make it work. I realized it probably wouldn’t make me rich, but knew even then that freedom to travel was all the wealth I needed.

I cut my expenses wayyyy back. This meant re-evaluating what was truly needed to get by in life. I am a very practical person, as those who know me can attest to. Eventually I dialed things in and business began to slowly grow. I limited my travel to places that I always wanted to see, but wouldn’t break the bank.

How long did it take for you to live free?

It probably took at least a year of working very hard before I was even close to being able to generate enough money to be (modestly) location independent. This is why many people can’t get past this stage of the process. They are caught up in the (reasonable) expectation of working X amount of hours, and receiving X amount of pay. I would work longer hours than many of my friends, and for 1/4 of the pay.

However, I always felt like I was building something, and not just spinning my wheels, like it felt when I worked for somebody else. Keep in mind that if one spent this time devoting their energy to something more lucrative than music, they would obviously be much better off financially. I believe the key is doing what you love, and are very good at. I could have sacrificed my happiness for more money long ago, but taking the “happy road” is something I have never regretted.

Don’t buy into the idea that pursuing your own happiness is selfish. I believe you can’t be good for others until you are truly good to yourself.

Today, one year after I finally started my travel blog “I Dreamed Of This”, it’s hard to believe the number of people around the world that have been positively affected by it. Being free to gather inspiration out in the world and share it with my readers has been the most rewarding experience of my life. It all started with one crazy idea - and a lot of determination.

Nathan Allen3

What was the biggest challenge you've faced?

To this day, the biggest challenge I face is generating enough money to achieve my goal of limitless travel (and preparing for the future). Still, I have this seemingly absurd faith that everything will work itself out eventually:) Plus, I’m out here having the time of my life while I’m doing it…

What advice can you give others who want to have the freedom to live life in their own terms?

My advice would be to think this over VERY carefully. This life is certainly not for everybody. Many people get frustrated with their current boss and dream of a life free from that kind of stress. However, once they dive in and realize the insane amount of patience, discipline and motivation that is often involved (not to mention a huge pay cut), they quickly throw in the towel and go back to the 9 to 5, where they find much more security.

Very often what people actually need is a change of position or company, not to try to go from being an employee to an employer. They are very different mindsets, and you have to be a bit crazy to go down the path of being your own boss. Some people don’t realize how much they appreciate having somebody tell them to show up at this time, do this work, and take this pay check. At the end of the work day you can just flip the switch off and enjoy your evening until you wake up and start over again. The line between work and not-work blurs when you have your own business. You’re always “on”, and you have to create all the structure and motivation yourself. I just happen to be one of the crazy ones who thrives on these kinds of challenges and uncertainty.

The bottom line is: If you truly have the mindset of an employer, you will do anything to make it work. Sometimes that means scrapping an idea and starting a new one. It definitely means getting used to failure, and even learning to see a “failure” as just a lesson to learn and grow from. I believe that is how you will see your dreams through.

Nathan Allen1


Want to share your freedom story? Send it to solesisters.weare [at] gmail.com or leave a comment below.

Nathan dreamed of a life full of adventure, wonder, and most importantly, freedom. He was after the "good life" - One that minimized stress and maximized smiles. He began to focus tremendous energy on his passions. With a lot of dedication and a few BIG sacrifices, the life he dreamed has become a reality. He doesn't have much money, but through these experiences, he is a wealthy man. Follow his dreams on his blog.


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Somewhere in your journey, you will find places. Places special enough that will make you want to stay for a while. Places that will make you dream of having a piece of it to your own one day. Places that you’ll want to keep forever. These places are rare. Because our wandering feet can’t stay still so when we find something like this, something that begs us to stay, it makes our hearts quiver and grow roots.

Here, in this lush green island. I found my place. There’s just something about it, something about its energy. Something that makes my insides feel like there’s no gravity. An impetus so strong it continues to tug at your heart strings even when you leave.

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1. Caub Island.

Lagoons. I’m a sucker for them. For greens, azure waters, and the stillness. So when we took a boat out to Caub Island, rode through narrow passageways, into a hidden lagoon, and saw the hut right in the middle for the first time. Chills went up my spine and the magic overcame my entire body. This place is so beautiful I don’t think words or pictures could ever do it justice. I hope one day you find yourself here.

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It was pure magic. 

Singing along to music in a van brimmed with good company. Taking boats through the mangroves and hidden islands until we get to a house in the middle of the lagoon. My sweet an vibrant friend Bri leads us through a beautiful yoga practice and as we breathe and move I am in disbelief that we are here and that this is real.

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Jumping in the blue, swimming and paddle boarding through crystal waters. Eating fresh fish and sweet mangoes with our bare hands like animals. Sunbathing with Freia on the deck as we sing and laugh and every ten seconds we exclaim at how beautiful everything is and how much we god damn love this island.

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On our boat ride back we all watch the sunset in silence. Passing rum and looking at each other and smiling because we all know we’re in it. Completely in it. At night we eat and karaoke, singing badly as our voices echo through the starry night sky. Morning came and I lay on a hammock listening to the rain, letting everything seep into my veins and fuel every cell of me. This island is drowning me beautifully. And I let it.

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2. Sohoton Caves

We took a two-hour boat ride to Surigao Del Norte with good company. Sunbathing and napping in between. We get to the lagoons and stop at a cave to dive under to get to an enchanting illuminated cave.

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Explored another one and followed the light out. The only way back to our boat was to jump off a platform, so we jump. Freedom is always on the other side of fear.

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3. Waves

This is what the island is most known for. Wave chasers from all over the world gravitate to this place, addicted to the stoke that Cloud 9's glassy barrels give them. I'm a beginner and only surfed easy and little breaks a few times. I'm not much of a big wave chaser, but maybe one day I'll have the courage to do it. But even just watching people carve the waters like hot knife on butter I get a high from it. Always in awe by the power of the sea and feeding off the passion of the wave seekers.

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4. Motorbikes rides

Whether you're driving it or riding in the back of one, ride a motorbike/scooter around the island and explore. The open road, the wind in your hair, zooming through the greens, stretching your arms out and making waves with the wind, bobbing your head to epic music, laughing with the person you are sharing this experience with and watching your friends chase each other as they carve through the roads. You will find freedom in it.

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One day we ride in motorbikes out to explore around the island. We stopped on the side of the road and walked through a little jungle that led to a gorgeous empty beach. Got caught in the rain and we smile and laugh and stretch our arms out feeling every bit of rain drop shattering on our flesh as we look up and watch it fall through the coconut trees. We drive and drive and drive until the rain is gone and we feel the warmth of the sunshine on our skin. We ride through small towns and see locals jumping up and down, smiling and waving at us as we laugh and wave back at them. Everyone is always smiling. Happy light always beaming from their beautiful faces. We drive until we get to the rock pools. Jumping into the clear blue as we float around the rocks and forget that we have bodies. Beautiful, freckled-face Freia always does this as a joke between us but to also remind ourselves how beautiful everyone always is so she asks me again, “I’m happy! Are you happy?”. And I say, grinning from ear to ear...

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“I’m happy Freia. I’m really damn happy.”

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5. The vibe

There's just something about this island. A certain energy that my heart and soul connected to. Many other kindred spirits have felt this too. You drive to the north to little villages and towns and find locals jumping up and down waving and smiling at you. The coconut fields that seem to go on forever. The people you make friends with, the ones who feel like your island family. The little local children, the friendly and hilarious local surfers and their laughter. Good vibes all around, always. And so much more but you won't feel this unless you book that plane ticket.

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So don’t you dare come here. 

You will fall in love with this island, meet lovely souls, get lost in time, drown in its beauty and get stuck here for a while. When time catches up and your plane is calling for you to leave, you won’t want to. And when you finally do, you’ll miss it when you’re gone.

The road knows this. It knows that you will see things you’ll want to keep forever. But even if you want to stay, even if you love every place so much it aches, no matter who or what keeps pulling you back, the road will keep calling you. And you must go.

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Infinite thanks to my friends at Cebu Pacific Air for sponsoring this trip and making it happen.

*All images by Stephanie Dandan

Stephanie is a nomadic photographer, wanderer, adventurer, dreamer. She lives for capturing moments of bliss, wanderlust, inspiring hearts, reigniting spirits, and infinite moments of Satori. Follow her journey at Infinite Satori.


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