Over the past two and a half years I have lived in 4 different countries, with my shortest stay 3 weeks and my longest a year and a half. I have recently come to see myself as a kind of ‘citizen of the world’. About a week ago I set off from my latest home base (an Island in the Philippines where I was living for 9 month) to do something that I haven’t done before: to travel for two months.
Even though I have been living abroad for the past 2 and a half years, I always stayed in one place for longer periods of time instead of hopping around from place to place, city to beach, temple to bar every day or two. I was always a local, whether I was a new-comer or someone who has been there for a while.
So after a particularly devastating good-bye I left my home in Palawan and set off to be a traveller for two months. My first stop was Coron, chosen because it was an easy step closer to Manila and also, very much, for the wreck diving that it offers.
In true backpacker style I was doing everything ‘cheap and dirty’ and pre-booked a room in one of the cheapest hostels I could find. Although the hostel was clean enough, it was build out over the bay (this, I later learned is a much a result of limited building space available on Coron, as well as the fact that buildings over the bay are not subjected to paying tax) where poor waste disposal left interesting smells mixed with a whole lot of trash floating around at low tide.
For the first time I interacted with travellers as one of them instead of a ‘local’. After 5 days in Coron moved on to Manila.
*A version of this article first appeared at www.scubadiverlife.com