A few weeks ago, I hopped on a plane to Manila for a long weekend. Why Manila? Well, for no other reason than it was the cheapest flight out of Shanghai on that particular weekend, as listed on Vayama. So often, the best memories are created out of experiences that you never intended to have.
It had been years since I truly traveled alone. In the past few years, I’ve traveled either with friends or family. This was the first time in a long while that I embarked on a new destination completely alone. I was exhilarated by this, and was excited to explore a new country. I enjoy being able to take my time and photograph my surrounding at a pace that I enjoy, or decide where I would go or what I would do at any moment. It’s an entirely different way of traveling, and I find it very necessary.
I arrived in Manila around 7pm and took a taxi to my hostel. The taxi driver and I had a nice chat. Chatting with taxi drivers is always a great way to get a glimpse into the local life. Also, a good way to make sure he doesn’t rip you off. When we arrived to the destination, he charged me less than what the price shown on the meter. He asked for my name, and I said, “Wendy”, to which he replied, “oh, like the burger.”
I am not sure how often people associate my name with the fast food chain, but this was the first time someone had pointed out as a way to remember. Wendy’s, as it turns out, is extremely popular in Manila. As we pulled up to my hostel, there was one right by it! Talk about globalisation! I’m not sure how I feel about my name being associated to a burger chain, but if it helps people to remember it, then sure…
I stayed at Our Melting Pot hostel in the Makati district of Manila. It’s a small, but very friendly hostel. There is something really magical about traveling alone and staying at hostels. Even if you don’t interact much with the fellow travelers, it’s still really cool to know that you are there with like-minded individuals who think picking up and going to a random place with minimal planning is the best idea ever. There is a vibe about hostels, a wandering spirit that is oh so contagious!