It all started in 2007.

I was forced by my mother to undergo an interview which brought us to Manila during my second grading period examinations. It was on short notice but the price was a 2-week all-expense paid trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.

I passed although up to now I still can’t believe that I was chosen because other applicants were from prestigious schools in Manila and I was a bit intimidated by their colloquial English. Looking back, I think it was my being probinsyana and honesty that got me the spot. The interview lasted 30 minutes and the panel members were not exactly kind.

It was my first time to travel abroad and I was without my family for that matter. I remember ugly crying and wanting to quit during our pre-departure orientation somewhere in Quezon City. You see, I was a sheltered person. I didn’t like new things. I went only to places that were familiar because the unknown scared me.

Rani in 2007. Simmer, darker, uglier and a
Rani in 2007. Slimmer, darker, and a “metalmouth”.

I had a lot of regrets…Not regrets, actually, just little things I wish I did differently. I wish I brought a better camera with longer battery life, took tons of pictures (in my two weeks, I only had less than 200 shots. Boo.) of wonderful places and beautiful people, tasted everything whether I can pronounce the dish or not, and most of all, made friends with other participants. Anyway, what’s done is done and I am still very thankful to Japan, AFS, and God for my experience.

I was always teased by my relatives a “monk” when I was younger because I very rarely go out but that trip triggered something in me. I became curious and I realized I wanted to see as much as I can of this beautiful world. Unfortunately, I was not born into a filthy rich family so I cannot go on vacations in different continents (yet). But as the saying goes, a thousand miles start with a single step. I’ll start small. Besides, travel is different for everyone. The simple act of going to new places no matter how near is already travelling in itself.

I wanted to document the journey and everything that came along with it because I forget easily. Hence, this site and my bucket list.

Inspirations: videos (MOVE, LEARN, EAT, BOOM DE AH DA), and bloggers Everywhereist and NomadicPinoy.

In Joey De Leon’s words, T.I.T.E. lang yan. Trabaho. Ipon. Travel. Enjoy.

Plus, thanks to a good friend Edra, I now have this awesome shirt which I am thinking of bringing with me to my escapades. :]

Roving Rani
Rani in 2011.

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