My Awesome 2016 Adventures in Retrospect

*Via Photofy

It's been quite a while since I wrote something a little bit more personal than my usual blog posts. I think it's good to have this kind of post on my blog from time to time so that you who are reading this can confirm that I'm indeed a human being with feelings, lol! Kidding aside, I don't really have anything concrete to write about which makes this post more of a free writing sesh than a planned one.

Before I started writing this post, I took some time to go back to my 2016 year-ender posts and it's funny how a lot of them really happened. Every year, I come up with my Word of The Year and for 2016 it's EXPLORE

And so in my New Year's Day post last January, I wrote --- 

I talked about some big and life-changing decisions and plans I have and how year 2016 is going to be full of surprises, exciting adventures, and endless possibilities. 

To be honest, I've never been excited this much! I'm excited to write more stories, take more snapshots, and make more memories - whether alone, with family, friends, strangers, or anyone I meet along the way.

I also noted that adventures are not only the extremes ones. In fact, that's the kind of feel I want my blog to portray. You know? That even though you're just at home or in your neighborhood, you can always find your own adventure. When there are time and budget constraints, you don't really have to go far because the best adventures are those spent with the people who matter to you most.

Lo and behold, here are the top 7 best adventures of my year 2016! 

1. Surprise, I resigned from my job! 

Below is an excerpt from my previous post. 

We can never be fully prepared of what lies ahead. Life is going to surprise us in so many ways. Like how it surprised me this year when I have finally decided to... leave. I have submitted my 30-days notice of resignation and my last day of work is January 26. Alas, after almost 7 years, my heart is already at peace with leaving the job that I held dear.

I also added...

It's a big and difficult decision. And there are so many reasons why I had to do it. I haven't even considered applying for a new job just yet which is why it's scary. It's scary just thinking about all the things I have to consider financially, that among others. But it's also liberating. In so many ways.

*Last class and last day of work

2. I decided to move back home. 

Yup, I went back to my hometown in GenSan after resigning and had to pull out Reiko from pre-school last January so he could come with me. I also had to leave my husband in Cebu so he could fix himself and be settled with the fact that we're moving. It was a spur of the moment decision to fly back to GenSan with no return flight in mind. LDR for the win!

*Touchdown GenSan

What came next was funny because a lot of my friends speculated that my husband and I split up. I figured that it's because Reiko and I had to leave him in Cebu. Well apparently that wasn't true and we just laughed about it. 

After four months, we moved back again to Cebu. And we don't know yet when we will ever move back again. What a dizzy adventure! 

3. I got the best home-based job. 

When I resigned, I told my husband that I want to rest and not work for one month (no matter how silly that sounds) because I just want to experience being a bum for some time. I've worked my butt off since I was twenty (now 8 years and counting) and although that's not to say I didn't enjoy it, I still just want to rest for one month. Yeah for the heck of it. 

Husband, of course, agreed and so I told him the deal is sealed and that from then on, he could already officially handle the bills. Yehey!

*I was ready for this kind of life, lol. 

But as fate had it, I totally forgot I created a profile on way, way back and one day, someone emailed me offering a full-time online job as a content specialist. Just barely two weeks after I resigned, I already had a job that pays really well and better than the previous one.. plus the advantage of working from home. 

So much for my planned one-month rest! But who can resist a blessing like that?! Of course, I accepted it. It's actually a dream come true for me. If you've followed my blog ever since, you'd find out that all I ever wanted was to get a home-based job that's related to writing and now it's happening! I'm very lucky to have a wonderful and considerate boss and amazing teammates. 

4. Married for 6 years and a mom for 5 years 

I can't just leave this one out because of all the adventures I've had this year, the best rollercoaster ride is truly with my family. I don't usually talk about my marriage on my blog but I guess today is an exception. I can't believe I've been married for 6 years! It's an adventure in itself!

I never thought I could be the "marrying type" so I'm just happy someone actually wanted to marry me even when I can barely cook rice and noodles properly. *Cries, huhu. 

So whatever I do right now, I do them happily because I have a husband who allows me to do them without guilt tripping or whatever. What I wrote last year about being married still holds true until now. Here's another excerpt.

*One of my favorite photos. 

But anyhow, I'm so lucky enough to have a husband who allows me to celebrate my individuality and never complains about my wanderlust. Happy that even though we disagree on soooo many things, I never felt that I needed his or anyone's validations because I think and feel that he trusts me enough. Annoyed that most of the time he thinks I think I'm always right (okay, I do, I think I'm most of the time right but you'll thank me later). Hecckkk

And a mom for 5 years. Every single year, I feel like I'm reborn. Until now, I probably still suck at mothering but when I look at how Reiko has grown through the years, I think I'm not that bad after all. 

5. Backpacking in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand!

Perhaps, one of the highlights of my adventures this year was my trip to Southeast Asia. It's one year in the making because when my friends and I still worked as trainers, we couldn't take leaves together and absolutely not more than 2 weeks. We still had work-life balance but you can say our work life was toxic. 

So when we finally resigned, we found the best time to travel together and fulfill our long overdue trip last October. We backpacked for 10 days and learned so much along the way. It was an exhausting yet fun-filled and amazing adventure. 

*Angkor Thom, Siem Reap

6. A great year for blogging

Since I left the corporate jungle, I've had more time than ever for blogging. I had since refocused my blog to adventures and photography and it's been a great blogging journey. I've gotten closer to most of my blogging friends and we've had some epic adventures together. 

I never thought I'd be active in Cebu's blogging scene because at first, I simply wanted to belong to a community of like-minded individuals but turned out it's even more than that. My blogging friends became my family and super friends too.

(Photos from Kalami Cebu)

I'm also beyond thrilled that I had the opportunity to become one of the leads of Cebu Blogging Community and High Intensity Bloggers. I really didn't know at first what I could offer that would make a difference but I realized that by simply being there and doing my best to be involved is already a milestone. 

7. Winning blogging awards

This year has been awesome for my blogging life. I've been awarded 2nd place for Philippines' Best Blogs - Photoblog Category and I won the Best Cebu Blogs Awards - Photoblog Category. Both were totally unexpected. 

Although I've been blogging for 8 years and counting, it's only recently that I started establishing my blog as a photoblog because I truly want to be better in what I do, which is creating meaningful photographs of my little and big adventures, and writing about them.

*BCBA 2016 Awards Night. Photo from Four-Eyed Laagan

Sometimes I even doubt myself because I see so many great bloggers who take awesome photos. I also think that my co-finalists are equally deserving to receive an award. I guess doubt is an element of faith so for me to believe, sometimes I have to doubt. This kind of feeling also makes me stronger and keeps my feet on the ground.

Of course, I can't take all the credit because the true winners are my readers and people who continue to inspire and motivate me to blog more. 

Bonus! I turned 28 a few days ago, and celebrated it secretly, lol! Grateful for the years I have grown, made mistakes, and learned. Cheers! ;)

This has been a long post so thank you very much to you and cheers to more adventures in the coming year! 

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