I spent the last week in a very special place, with a very special person (my mama) in a little town tucked away on an island in Northern Palawan, Philippines.
What makes this little town so special you ask?
Perhaps it is its quaint and quirky feel; the fact that it essentially only has 3 main roads running throughout; a plethora of beautiful islands surrounding it; or that it takes a 6 hour bumpy and sometimes dangerous van ride from the island’s main city to access this little gem. The long journey there makes the final destination ever more so inviting.
I like that there is no electricity though out the town from 6am to 2pm daily, and that I can walk from one end to the other by foot or take a cheap tricycle ride for only 50 pesos ($1). This town has a certain charisma, its beauty subtly draws you in and begs you to let go and enjoy the simple pleasures of island life. It’s really hard not to be happy in a place like this, and the smile on local people’s’ faces highlights this.
Even the island dogs look happy. (well, some of them)
Small restaurants, cafes, beach huts and pension houses line the beachfront. In the morning you can enjoy a yummy breakfast on the beach (with homemade bread…mmmm), daytime refresh with a coconut water, pina coloda or even a cup of real coffee, and in the evening choose some fresh fish from a selection of the seafood BBQ places lining the beach. The food is fresh and preservative free. I like that. There’s a good selection of local as well as international food options. And lots of fresh fruit.
I like that the town has a certain rawness about it, untouched yet by commercialism, and still a little backwards.
Whenever I visit a new place, I learn something new. Not just about the world around me, but the world in me.
El Nido reminded me how much I love the water. I’m a water baby at heart and couldn’t get enough of snorkelling the coral reefs and just floating in the ocean. Lying on your back, looking up at the sky, surrendering to the beauty of the moment and being in the flow. It’s a beautiful thing. I went diving for the first time, and am now hooked. I found being down under the ocean so peaceful, it almost became a meditation. I make a promise to myself to swim in the sea at least once a week.
I was also reminded of how simple living really is the best, and a life that I so aspire to. We really don’t need as much as we think we do.
I learnt about presence from someone special, and what it means to really be in the moment. I find that I’m always trying to do all these things to be more present (meditate, yoga, blah blah blah), and as much as I love these things, I don’t think I need to try so hard. I just need to be. What else can I let go of to be more here?
I also learnt about the power of intent and manifestation. But more on that later.
I’ll leave you with a quote that I love, and a promise to write more about how we did Palawan.
Happy travelling travellers :-)
“The purpose of travel is not your comfort, but your discomfort.
It pulls you out of your safe places and forces you to face the unknown, raw, unedited life beyond your small and cozy comfort zone.
It brings you face to face with a side of you that you could never meet, understand and love unless it is reflected back to you through the eyes of the world you ignore.
It’s not as much a discovery of the world, but a discovery of yourself through that world.
When you travel, you’re actually travelling through yourself.
You become your own adventure.”