Refocus and Reflect – my solo traveling experience

We all have that one tiny little thought of “what if” when it comes to deciding where we want to go next. What if I do not get enough money for my airfare, accommodation or what if something happens and I won’t be able to go to that place. There will always be uncertainties, not only when you decide to travel, but in life so to speak. But traveling has all these uncertainties because you are moving away from your comfort zone, your home. But doing this, you will eventually find yourself and your happiness.

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Let’s WORK and travel – reality of Business Travel

MORE WORK, less fun.

Business travel is no way comparable when we travel on vacation or leisure, where we can set that out of office message – “Delayed response to email. No internet connection during this period of time”. Business travel is “I will respond to email as soon as I can”. Obviously, these are two different statements. And traveling for work is most of the time no fun at all.

While we enjoy the perks of staying in luxurious accommodation with breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets on the side, attending a meeting the whole day and working at night are physically and mentally draining. Preparation for business travel is not easy either, most especially if we are actively participating in all of the discussions and we have to work on a strategy and presentations. It may sound appealing going on business travel to some degree, but this is more like BUSINESS over travel, not the other way around. Some people may look at it as pleasure or leisure, but people who do it quite often know how taxing it is.

I am a random traveler. Which means that I am not traveling full time as most of the travel bloggers out there. I have my regular office job and find time to travel for leisure 2 or 3 times a year.  My job requires me to travel and most of the time I love it, but there are times it can be really draining and tiring.

This year, I already had 3 business trips. I went to Jakarta earlier this year to meet my affiliates in Indonesia. I normally spend 2 to 3 days providing updates about our processes, organization, support and service we offer, all the likes. Presenting, talking and listening to the affiliates the whole day really makes the whole trip tiring but fulfilling in the end. Apart from meetings, I have spent half of May attending two weeklong conferences back to back. I am not complaining about these opportunities though I had to give up my two weekends to travel. I went to Siem Reap for the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) Meeting and Bangkok for our company Regional Meeting. As I write this post, I am off to Germany for a Regulatory Team Meeting.  While these consumed my energy that much, going home with new experiences, knowledge, and new people met in between the networking breaks outweighs the much-needed rest.

So, what do people going on business travel do? Mind you, it is not just boarding the plane and off we go, there’s more to it than business class, champagne on air, luxurious accommodation and buffets.

Here are some of the things we do or perhaps most of us do:

  1. Meeting Preparation. Most of us prepare the materials and presentations before the meeting. We study the report, we formulate presentations (or ask somebody to prepare) and we ready the answers to possible questions from the audiences. And these takes a lot of effort, time, and resources.
  2. Talk, Participate and Listen. We don’t just sit and do nothing in a meeting. Most of the time, we are actively participating, interacting and listening. We go to meetings not only to meet people but to learn, provide information or update, explain technical information and provide strategy. We need to be on our toes, most especially if we are presenting and questions are being raised after your presentation. It is not easy.
  3. Work at night. Of course after a whole day meeting, our emails will pile up and these need to be read and replied to. We have our customers waiting and we cannot lose that, can we? So, after a very long day, we need to do our regular work before dozing off for the rest of the night.
  4. Feedback and report. It does not end right after the meeting. After our active participation and finally going back to home base, that much-needed rest will come after we finish our report and feedback to our team or to our boss.

Does it sound FUN and EXCITING? Of course, it is. For us, this is the life that we chose and we love the challenges that come with it. It may take us away from the norm but this is the life we are living and it takes a matter of time to get used to it.







Chasing America – San Francisco, California


Blue sky, cool and breezy weather, stunning scenery of sunset and mountain ranges, and contrasting city vibe – made this trip interesting, memorable and a dream come true.

When I was younger, I have always thought of traveling but never imagined that this time will come. Traveling made me realize that I am living an extraordinary life. Not everybody has the chance to see the beauty of life and how amazing our world as I see it now. Slowly, I am realizing hidden dreams, to discover how amazing the world is and to live life to the fullest.

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Travel with me to Victoria (Australia)

A glimpse of the Great Ocean Road (Victoria, Australia)
A glimpse of the Great Ocean Road (Victoria, Australia) from Teddy’s Look Out

It was only a dream, a dream that seemed to be so far- fetched and impossible. Through time, I was able to accomplish a part of that dream little by little. I am still dreaming but planning and pursuing at the same time, because you will never know, what seems to be so unreal and impossible becomes the other way around. ~ Jhes

It was my first personal travel out from my own pocket and I was so glad that my friends and I decided to take our first trip to the Land Down Under – Australia.

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My longest 3 hours – an experience worth every second

If only I could make 3 hours into 3 days, I would have done it. It would have been a wonderful experience. My feeling for this trip or place is beyond words, but this side trip is really worth every second, every step and every sweat!

I must admit, I am not a Sound of Music fan (I am not a musical fan, in general). Have I seen the musical? movie? cartoon? I have seen the cartoon version, Yes. I cannot even remember whether I have watched the movie. I am not a classical music fan either, I am not familiar with Mozart, I only encountered his name from one of the literature subject I took a long time ago.

Without any background or whatsoever, will I enjoy?

Why Sound of Music and Mozart?

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South Korea – Hiker’s Haven (Dobongsan)

It was that time of the year again to reflect, restart and refocus and the place I called my second home, South Korea, was the choice of destination.

I went back to South Korea to restart my life button and experience Fall. Without a full itinerary on hand and only listed 2 activities, the rest was unplanned and unexpected.

What better way to breathe and free your mind than to be one with nature.

That’s what I did last October 2015. I hiked Seoraksan and Dobongsan mountains to experience Fall Foliage and I was not disappointed.

Seoraksan Fall Foliage Photos:

I hiked Seoraksan twice back in April 2014 and last year October 2015 (see my previous post here), the expectation of the level of difficulty was known as I had done it before, while Dobongsan was harder to climb because of its rocky hiking trail according to the reviews I’ve read.

Dobongsan is located in Bukhansan National Park and very accessible via subway train (Dobongsan Station). It’s one of the most popular hiking trail for locals, so if you hike during weekends, this hike is pretty busy with local hikers.

Despite the level of difficulty I headed my way to Dobongsan and began my Fall Foliage journey.

I was never fully geared (wore my favorite running shoes) for hiking, except the hiking stick I bought at one of the stores along the way. Thank goodness, I read somewhere that hiking stick is a must so I bought because I don’t really know what to expect, and true enough the trails were far more difficult to climb.

There were a lot of local hikers when I started, but in the end the crowd went by and I was left alone traversing the trail and enjoying the different fall colors.

Local hikers passing by
Local hikers passing by
Don't leave me
Don’t leave me

As I went farther and farther, exhaustion and frustration nearly got in my way. The rocky trail made it so difficult to reach the peak, although I had lots of rest in between (and some cursing) and my 1.5-liter bottle was nearly empty not even half-way through the journey. But after a while, the weather seemed to hear my rambling and the wind got cooler and somehow eased my discomfort as I moved on.

After almost 2-km and more than an hour hike, I’ve reached the first resting spot, Madangbawi Rock, with an exquisite panoramic view. This was not even the peak and the view was already breathtaking. The pit stop was crowded by hikers. I joined the rest of the hikers and sat down for half an hour, ate my gimbap, having second thoughts whether to continue to Jaunbong Peak or not.

Since the goal was to really go on top, I decided to continue the journey. And glad I did. As I made my way to the top, the Fall Foliage was absolutely stunning. If only I can sit down and enjoy more of the scenery, I will spend more time just looking at the maple tree leaves glittering from the rays of the sun. But time is running out and still have not reached the peak and I need time to descend as well.

With my aching feet and arms and after another hour from Madangbawi Rock, I was damn shocked that I still have to climb (almost vertical) while holding on to the rustic steel bar drilled on the rock to reach the top.

I sat down and watched as the hikers made their way up and down to and from Jaunbong Peak. I was observing the other hikers how they climb up and when I was comfortable enough, I mustered the courage to try myself. I finally reached the peak with relief and awe on yet another stunning panoramic view.

I thought the trail going up was hard enough that going down will be easier, but I was TOTALLY WRONG. As I went down the rock, the footholds are wide apart making it more difficult to go down, obviously I don’t have long legs to reach one foothold to another. I slid down slowly on the foothold while hanging on to my dear life.

It took me almost 1.5 hours to descend from the mountain following the same route. I was exhausted, my arms were so tired, my legs almost collapsing, I reached the ground after a very long almost 5-hour hike.

That was it for the day! Headed back to the hostel, ate my dinner, cleaned up, had my face mask and slept soundly through the night for the next day adventure!

Somehow hiking clears my mind and makes me refocus to what is more important in life. While on top of every peak, it is as if I am closer to God, and I always whisper how grateful I am for all the blessings He has given me over the years. Forever grateful for being able to witnessed such beautiful creation.