Hey everyone! My name is Randè Daquiado and welcome to Randè EnRoute! I am born and raised in the Philippines. I am 27 years old and I am gay traveling solo for over straight a year now. When I was a kid, lying on my bed every time, I’m always wondering of beautiful places. More often when I opened up the windows of my bedroom, I just look out to the Palm trees watching them waving with the wind while my dogs are haunting frogs, I also had a man-made hammock to spend time at the backyard. Indeed, kid’s imagination is limitless!
Okay, let’s move on a bit onwards. January of 2015 when a friend of mine Joel invited me to visit him and his family in their home which was situated on the island of Mindoro, the Oriental part in the Philippines. That was the time where everything just flipped and changed my perspectives entirely. When I was on the way on board the bus, I’ve seen wonderful views such as mountains, plains, forest and everything and I was like “Wow! This is cool and beautiful”. For the second wave, I didn’t expect that his place in the island was more exquisite than I couldn’t have ever imagined. It was breathtaking! The place is so nice. It was like something inside me wants to come out and I knew it later that it was my wanderlust spirit.
A year later, while having a break from work, I’m in my rented room in Manila, it was around 7 in the morning, I woke up to the noise of my email notification. I signed up before to every domestic airline so that I can be notified if there are cheap airfares and points earning. So the email popped up on my phone’s screen showing an almost 50% percent airfare promotion, it was really cheap to think though. There are plenty of destinations to choose from but I booked the one going to Puerto Princesa in Palawan, the Philippines. I packed up so quickly trying to get to the airport by 12 noon. When I about to check in, an airline employee approached me if what is my departure time and I said “Oowhh… aaahhnnmm… It’s at 3 pm”. Then she gently spoke to me if it’s okay to move my flight earlier since they have also a flight to Puerto Princesa at 1 pm and there’s still room for passengers too. I was in doubt not because of whatsoever but the gate will close maybe before I can get there. But still I made it; the gate was transferred so I am able to make everything smooth. Thanks, Cebu Pacific!
After spending almost a week in Palawan – El Nido, I headed back to Manila and to get a Visa for Thailand. January 29, 2016, I booked a flight to Bangkok via Singapore. Feeling nervous and excited not only because I’m going away from my family again but it was my first ever solo backpacking out of the country, it’s basically normal for the first-timers. I landed in Bangkok at 10 am the next day and it was amazing!
I spent a couple of days in Bangkok and took the early train to Aranyaprathet-Poipet border to get my way to Siem Reap, Cambodia. I arrived in Siem Reap around 6 in the evening. I explored the temples around Angkor Locale especially the majestic Angkor Wat and the ancient city of Angkor Thom the next morning. This Cambodian town is really a hit with travelers and indeed very rich in Khmer history. After spending much time in Siem Reap, I went straight to the Capital of Phnom Penh, a city with a relaxing and peaceful ambiance but on the other side, there’s nothing to do around aside from the Killing Fields, Prison S21, and some popular temples.
February 9, 2016, not really a good weather at all that morning but I still managed to book a ticket right on the spot and crossed the border again for the second time to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was a long 7 hours of traveling by bus. Arriving at around 4 pm in just the time the Tet Holiday or the Vietnamese New Year started. Vietnam is pretty good and I was absolutely amazed at first glimpse.
The day after Valentine’s Day of 2016, I returned to the Philippines and after nearly a month I flew to the Middle East to get back to work. I was a seafarer for 5 stable years. It was October 14, 2016, I came back to the Philippines after 6 months of serving onboard an Oil Tanker ship as a 3rd Deck Officer, I decided to quit my job and began traveling. That was my most awesome decision I ever had in my life. ‘Twas really a total freedom for me!
On the 7th of November 2016, I packed my bags and took the ultimate journey that I will see and satisfyingly be living for the rest of my life. I traveled in my home country for 2 months, covering 10 provinces without taking any flights. January 23, 2017, I flew to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for the second time to start my long adventurous trip across Southeast Asia alone. Everything seems so good that I ended up for a couple of weeks hitting the southern and central part of the country. I would say Hoi An is my favorite place in the country. Owwhhh! Banh Mi? I know some of you loved this food!
It just came out on my mind to just cross the border and head to Savannakhet, a very quiet city in Southern Laos where I wandered for 3 days seeing only 5 of us foreign nationals roaming around. I would consider it’s my rest time while in town. Time flies and I reached as far as Luang Prabang in the North. After a couple of weeks in Laos, I decided to cross the northern border to Thailand. This time it’s my second time visiting Thailand. My plan was intentionally revolved in the north including Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, and Mae Hong Son and pull stakes to Mae Sot, stayed there for 2 days and walked over the bridge to get my way to Myanmar.
My 10 days in Myanmar was not really enough. The reason why I got out of the country was the dilemma of carrying cash at all. I tried to use my master/visa cards but it’s totally not working taking the assurance that the problem is not on my card, it’s with the banks and I only have a few hundred bucks left for exchange. Myanmar is more on the cash-to-cash basis in terms of tourism. Hope you’ll take this as an advice from me. Anyway, I returned to Thailand for the third time. I did some volunteering and teaching English to high school students.
Can’t get enough with my story? Like and Follow my social media accounts for current updates. THANKS!
______ * ______
Travel is one of the greatest human freedoms ever! That is why we need to travel at least once a year to experience somehow the freedom that we all deserve.
It is my 430 days on the road when I finally updated this writing.
______ * ______
______ * ______