Sole Sisters' Travel Diaries

Monday, June 30, 2014

A blog is a great way to share travel stories, tips and advice. But where does a traveler store her most intimate thoughts and musings? A place where she can be herself with no pretense or judgment? I'm sure most of us still like to keep a travel diary or journal to write down observations, reminders or seemingly incoherent ideas.

When I started traveling, my journals became my most prized possessions. I enjoyed going through the pages, reading my former self's thoughts, and wondering about the places I've been and where I'm headed next. One of my favorite entries was written on my birthday last year.

I was asked to join GMA 7's Poptalk as a guest on their Batanes episode. I had a wonderful time with the crew, exploring what I would remember as the most beautiful place I've visited in the Philippines. But I didn't expect that the trip would last longer than just the 1 week I initially planned.

My backpack, which contained almost all my clothes, laptop and essentials ended up "stranded" in Itbayat, one of the lesser visited islands in the region. And to make it worse, trips going to and from the island were cancelled for more than a week because of bad weather. I ended up spending my birthday in Batanes, which a friend's family. All in all, it wasn't such a bad place to get "stuck" in. I wrote my thoughts down on my journal:

Sole Sister Lois Travel Diaries2

"On Turning 31

I discover that I'm not out to accomplish anything or prove anything to anyone. Not even to collect experiences or souvenirs.

I know everything is fleeting, transitory. My life is constantly shifting, moving and I dance along with these changes.

I stare at the waves and know that I am drawn to their energy, power and grace. Because I am simply a wave in a big ocean. Coasting along, transitioning, moving forward- always. From shore to shore. I have no home but I belong to the vast sea.

I move forward to lose everything- things, sanity, myself even. I lose everything to find myself. Because self is often hidden in the clutter and the noise. You never really see yourself for who you are until you have lost everything.

Sole Sister Lois Travel Diaries3

Light is how I feel. As light as a baby born with nothing. Happy only to be alive. Alive - that's how I feel today- at 31."

Valugan, Batanes March 2013
Sole Sister Lois

I asked my Sole Sisters to share a page from their travel diaries. Here's a peek:

Sole Sister Rica Travel Diaries3

“People in constant movement recognize the value of stillness,” said Pico Iyer during his talk at the Singapore Writer’s Festival some time ago. Finally, after the craziest, most challenging and overwhelming month at work, I’m happy that I can finally put my life on pause this weekend.

Sole Sister Rica Travel Diaries

So I’m okay with staying in on my first night in Seoul, Korea where I’m writing this entry from my hotel room. Sometimes adventure can wait until tomorrow. Tonight is for stillness."

Sole Sister Rica Travel Diaries2

June 28, 2013, in Seoul, Korea
Sole Sister Rica

Sole Sister Lauren Travel Diaries

For over two weeks I traveled with photographer Ben McRae into the heart of Kaokoland, Namibia in search of the nomadic Himba tribe. We awoke each morning, chasing the light as the sun rose over the giant desert dunes. This journal entry was written in Deadvlei, a valley where skeleton trees have been standing for over 1200 years. My time spent in the desert and with the tribe is an experience that I will hold dear for the rest of my life.

Sole Sister Lauren Travel Diaries2

"Rule Number One when traveling in Africa - Drink lots of water. Rule Number Two - Bring a hat! Say goodbye to the dead trees of Deadvlei, whispering history over 1200 years in these desert dunes. We spent three days exploring the red sand peaks of Sossussvlei, camping just outside the National Park. Waking up at 3:30AM to be the first ones in for photographs. Chasing sunsets and the perfect light glowing across the face of the dunes. The first day we walked into Deadvlei I nearly passed out from the heat! Now we drive North, past lichen fields and meerkat homes, old shipwrecks beaten by the harsh waves of the Skeleton Coast."

Saturday, 24th of May 2014, Namibia
Sole Sister Lauren

Sole Sister Adi Travel Diaries2

I’ve been living in an island near Bali, Indonesia for over a year now. Moving here was nothing short of life changing. My existence here is so different from the structured and restrictive “normal” routine that I have been accustomed to. I feel as if I have been given a second childhood to just be myself and play all day.

I practice yoga in the morning and I’m free to chill, surf, explore, hangout with some locals and take travelers around the whole day. The panoramic views around the island never fail to take my breath away. If you drive around, you’ll see travelers standing on top of the hills or on the side of the road, just frozen in awe of the beauty all around us. It’s pretty amazing.

Sole Sister Adi Travel Diaries

There are dozens of secluded and secret beaches within less than an hour’s motorbike drive from our main town. There are so many hills and valleys that you can climb, and every one of them gives you a completely different perspective. 

The colors change depending on the season. During the wet season from November to February, the sky is overcast but the landscape is lush in a million shades of green. The buffalos, goats and chickens turn obese. As the dry season enters on March and stays all throughout October, the ocean sparkles in magnificent shades of blue and there’s not a cloud in the vast, open sky.

It has taken me a year to know the south coast of the island by heart. I have stared into these oceans and mountains long enough to know them like the back of my hand. Now everywhere I look, I see familiar roads and paths where I have happy memories on every single one.

Sole Sister Adi Travel Diaries3

There’s something satisfying about hiking up a hill, you get a bigger picture of how nature is nourishing the whole town and how its people live and work. It’s pretty inspiring. And there’s definitely something liberating about finding a secret beach without a single footstep on the sand, no one around for miles and miles. 

I know I have the world to explore, but this island will always be home.

Sole Sister Adi

Sole Sister Stephanie Travel Diaries

"I feel the most alive when I am traveling. Living like a vagabond with nothing but my possessions in a huge backpack. Moving as my only constant. Anything is possible as I am given a brand new day in a place I have never been. I like having no set plans. I find comfort in just flowing with the universe. Not knowing what the day will bring.

Sole Sister Stephanie Travel Diaries2

This journey has bought me to the most breathtaking places I have ever laid eyes on, amazing people I've met in serendipitous moments, and the most blissful experiences I've ever had in my life. The adventure continues as I learn to surf the waves of Zambales and La Union. Then live my dream of trekking through the Banaue Rice Terraces in the Ifugao Province. I am falling in love everyday, eager to see this world I know so little of. With this insatiable wanderlust and the curiosity to explore."

Would you like to share a page from your travel diary with us? Please send a photo and a paragraph to solesisters.weare We will pick the top 5 entries and publish it on the next Travel Diaries blog. 

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4 sole trails

  1. Its nice to know other bloggers do this too. I think its important to keep some things just for yourself rather than sharing it all with your readers :)

  2. I totally agree Ally. Although sometimes it's challenging to know what to share and what not to :)

  3. Những điều cần biết khi chăm sóc trẻ dưới 1 tuổi
    Công dụng của các loại lá nhà vườn
    Đau đầu nên làm gì?
    Trẻ 6 tháng tuổi có nên
    Chuyển như thế nào
    Các tác dụng của trái
    Một số công dụng của quả

  4. Indeed a must have for every traveler. Thanks for this!

    God Bless!
    JM Kayne |


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