El Nido, The Philippines
Every morning I woke up at 6:05am, five minutes after the electricity was shut off in the town of El Nido, The Philippines. This meant, of course, that the cool air from the fan that had been blowing all night was suddenly disrupted; within five minutes I was drenched in sweat. I would usually get up to watch the sunrise over the beach, then walk across the dusty road to get a traditional Filipino breakfast, rice and sweet pork.
There wasn’t much to do with my days in El Nido, other than relax and walk up and down the small stretch of sand overlooking the gorgeous Bacuit archipelago. The water was so still and so warm that you could float for hours and hours, never tiring of its tranquility. For a few days I took water tours, setting forth on a small boat with a gaggle of other tourists to swim in the turquoise ocean and study the creatures we saw underwater: fish of all sizes and colours, urchins, crabs, sea cucumbers, eels. For lunch we would stop on small islands and devour freshly-caught fish, rice, and plantains (called saba in the Philippines).
Back on land, I would write in my journal of travels past, present, and future, read crime novels, drink cold San Miguel while watching the sky turn orange, pink, and finally black, chat with travellers from around the world, listen to the waves lap against the shore, and once again realize that this, despite all the sacrifices, the financial woes, the broken hearts, the tears and the fears, this is why I travel.