It was about this time of the year. Three years ago, R and I left Taiwan to travel and volunteer trough Helpx. We wanted to travel. But we wanted to do it differently. We wanted to somehow help the locals, to give something back to the people of the places we would visit. Something more than tourist money.
We wanted to experience a new (at least to us) kind of traveling. We knew that we wanted to travel slowly and that we wanted to spend quality time with the locals. We wanted to take a deeper look at the places and the cultures of our destinations. We were looking for a more enriching traveling experience.
We came across Helpx. We didn’t know a single person who had done this before. At that time, Google gave me only 1 or 2 results of real people’s blogs who had volunteered through this website. We were nervous, anxious. We didn’t know what to expect.
It didn’t help that some of our family members, who were literally on the other side of the world (over 18,000 km. away), were even more nervous about our decision to leave Taiwan for such an uncertain adventure.
We did it anyways. And I’m SO glad we did!!! It’s been -by far- one the best things I’ve done in my life.
Our first stop was The Philippines. I had never been there before. R had been to Manila once and only for 24 hours. We flew from Taipei to Manila on a rainy night. I remember that. It’s not like rainstorms are unusual in Taipei, but I still keep the memories of the wet streets and the umbrellas I saw through the taxi’s window on our way to the airport.
Right after we landed, we hopped on a bus that would take us to our first host, the “Happy House Farm“, which is located a few hours north of the capital. We stayed there for two weeks with David, Carol, and Kyra -our hosts- and a bunch of other helpers (yes, there were other travelers doing this…. what a relief!).
This is an album of daily life pictures I’ve gathered from that time. Most were taken by me with a Samsung Galaxy S2, so bear with the poor image quality. A couple of them were taken by some of the friends that you can see in the photos. I could tell you many stories from the days we spent there, but I’ll keep it short and use captions instead.
If you are thinking about going on a trip like this and have questions about how everything works, or just need some advice, feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email. I’d be more than happy to help you plan your journey!