After securing a Telcel SIM card at MEX airport—which I thought cost 129 USD until I checked that “$” is also used for Mexican peso—and making sure it was gonna keep me going in the city, I booked an Uber to Biblioteca Vasconcelos for $91.96 and stepped out in ~23 minutes, muttering the palabra one has to know in the Spanish world: Gracias!
I don’t really have any recollection when I started having adrenaline in my junk becoming an adrenaline junkie but I do remember that when a Middle East-based high school classmate did Skydive Dubai with “Beauty and a Beat” in her footage, I didn’t only look forward to doing the same but I also looked forward to what music will be used, which I hoped would be something of the same caliber. (#Belieber?)
Before COVID-19 forced countries to close borders and only allowed the entry of citizens and residents, I just arrived in Colombia for a 12-day trip without a Yellow Fever vaccine. Don’t get me wrong, I had it planned way ahead and the confirmed cases were only few then. And in retrospect, I barely talked to anyone and constantly sanitized my hands from time to time. #defensive
Before you can say “expensive”, let me break it to you that if you want to fly to Europe for less than ₱20,000, it’ll take an error fare for that or a really mad seat sale. That being said, I scored my round trip tickets from Manila to Athens for only ₱22,518.66. “Only” because, c’mon, it’s the Schengen area, which means you can hop to other countries without needing additional visas. (Bloody visas!) Despite the long layovers in Singapore, it was definitely a no-brainer when I saw the deal for a week in Greece. Besides, I got to meet and shoot with my postgraduate folks there. Social as usual, brotha!
And the smile never left my face. That was the only question and answer I wanted to hear when the travel agency called to tell me that my passport was already ready for pickup. After being denied of a Japan visa and even after acquiring one for Taiwan, the fact that you can never really can never can really can tell ever (okay, that was a long one) if you will be granted a visa seems to have traumatized even my hardest bone. In an ambitious plan to give Japan another shot the soonest time possible, I thought of collecting other visas first. And with that, winter in Korea became inevitable.