Sydney, Australia

When Air New Zealand was having a sale to Australia back in September 2018, I booked my ticket for June 2019 to Sydney. I wasn’t sure what I’d be doing after 9 months from the date I booked the ticket. All I know is that it’s Queen’s Birthday on the 3rd of June which is…

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Fiji Getaway

This country in the South Pacific has been in my bucket list for years. Having live in New Zealand made it more possible for me to set my foot in Fiji. The day before my last day at work, I called Flight Centre to see what they can offer me for a short getaway. The…

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Dunedin, NZ

Dunedin is one of the places I didn’t get to visit when I was backpacking New Zealand for 6 months in 2016. In April 2018, I met a co-worker who’s also a traveler and we spontaneously booked flights to Dunedin for the middle of May. We luckily got a $100 per person roundtrip flight from…

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31 in Japan

I started doing something big for my birthday when I turned 29 in Peru. I had my craziest birthday ever when I turned 30 in New Zealand. Last October 2017, I turned 31 and I celebrated it in Japan, the 17th country I visited. I applied for my Japan tourist visa more than 2 months…

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Sky Tower

Sky Tower is an icon of Auckland's sky line. I recently did the Sky Jump. It's basically base jumpimg by wire 192m off the tower. I have done Skydiving and the Kawarau Bungy Jumping last year so this Skyjump was just okay but still fun. I must admit I still freaked out at the start…

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Northland, New Zealand

Retreat 2 90 Mile in Ahipara is a nice, relaxing place to stay when visiting Cape Reinga.  The sunset was just perfect!  Ahipara town is about 2 hours drive to the northern end of New Zealand’s North Island.  Cape Reinga is believed to be the place of leaping for Maori spirits to begin their final…

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12 Days in Taiwan

I decided to welcome 2017 in Taiwan when I found out in October 2016 that Philippine citizens can now enter Taiwan with just a travel authorization that can be applied online (with certain conditions), I immediately  applied for one since I currently hold a valid NZ visa.  The process took just about 5 minutes and…

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My 30th Birthday

My 29th birthday last year was my best birthday ever because I was on top of Machu Picchu in Peru which was my top dream destination then. They say “life begins at 30” so I decided to start mine crazy. I had the craziest birthday ever on my 30th. I initially wanted to do Skydiving…

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Skydive at 30 

I wish I got to do this Skydiving on my birthday itself but due to the weather, I ended up doing Bungy Jumping instead. However, mother nature gave a lovely weather couple days later which allowed me to Skydive. That’s right, I DID IT! Skydiving has been in my bucket list for a long time…

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Fox Glacier, NZ

I stayed in Fox Glacier for total of 33 days doing help exchange at the Lake Matheson Motel. I apparently liked this place a lot since this is the first time I stayed at one place for more than two weeks during my travels. This small town boasts a beautiful view of Mt. Cook and…

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Westport, New Zealand

This town is famous for gold and coal mining. I think there is not much to do here in Westport but I stayed here doing volunteering work for a week anyway. Aside from my wonderful Punakaiki trip that I did while in Westport, I liked the Denniston Experience which is just around 17km from Westport.…

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Punakaiki, New Zealand

Punakaiki is located between Greymouth and Westport on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It is best known for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes which are both a picturesque must-see when visiting the West Coast. I was staying in Westport when I went here. It’s about an hour drive and some…

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Murchison, New Zealand

I spent two weeks in this little town in Tasman region of the South Island. Murchison is also known as the “whitewater capital” of New Zealand due to nearby rivers.  I stayed at The Lazy Cow Backpackers which is an excellent, cozy place. Right across is the Ultimate Descents where I’ve done my first whitewater…

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Ryshel The Explorer

For those of you who doesn’t know my story, I spent almost 8 years being the breadwinner of the family. I supported my two younger sisters from high school to their college even though I didn’t get to have my own college diploma. Thanks to Call Center industry in the Philippines which paid well so…

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Nelson, New Zealand

I started my South Island trip in Nelson on August 15th. I stayed here for two weeks doing help exchange. I previously posted World of Wearable Art and Classic Museum and my Abel Tasman Full-day Trip. I’d say that they are my top two favorites here. But aside from that, I also loved The Centre…

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Abel Tasman National Park

Located between Golden Bay and Tasman Bay at the north end of the South Island, this national park in New Zealand is definitely a must do specially when you are in Nelson. I availed the full day trip package from Nelson for NZD 67 which was absolutely worth it. Details below; When we arrived in…

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Hawke’s Bay Region, NZ

Hawke’s Bay is the renowned wine-producing region in New Zealand but I went there on the first weekend of August which is still winter and unfortunately, it was raining most of the days I was there.  Napier is a coastal city known for art deco. I stayed here for 3 nights with the hope of…

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A roadtrip marking my 1st month in NZ

When I arrived New Zealand on June 15th, I got to go on a really nice roadtrip in Wairarapa Region on my first weekend; https://iamryshel.com/2016/06/20/my-first-roadtrip-in-new-zealand/ And after completing a month, I got to go back to Wairarapa Region on July 16-17. This time, I visited Castlepoint.  Castlepoint is a small beachside town on the Wairarapa…

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The Thermal Wonderland of NZ

Rotorua is famous for hot springs, mud pools, geysers and interesting Maori culture. As I am a budget traveler, I didn’t get to see a lot of what this geothermal city has to offer but I sure had a great time here.  I first visited Redwoods where I spent at least couple of hours in…

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Mount Maunganui, NZ

I hitchhiked for the first time from Matamata to Mount Maunganui (Tauranga). Within 3 minutes standing on the side of the road, a car stopped. A lady named Linda who happened to have visited my country, The Philippines before. She was very kind. She even gave me her number to call her in case I…

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Matamata, NZ

I luckily found a couchsurfing host in Matamata (well in the suburb actually). I didn’t expect it would be in the so this is like a dream come true to me since I’ve been wanting to stay in the farm.  This is the house!  Simon gave me this room for 3 nights with an awesome…

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Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

I’ve never read the book nor watched the movie but I did this tour anyway.  I booked my ticket through Naked Bus company when I booked my bus online from New Plymouth to Matamata where it is $9 cheaper compare to booking it through Hobbiton Tours website. I got the 2pm tour which seemed to…

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New Plymouth, NZ

So what’s in the major city of the Taranaki Region? I guess the Coastal Walkway is one of the biggest attractions here which I visited first. It’s a 13km path which is good for bicycling or walking or just simply enjoying the breathtaking view of the west coast. The pathway includes the iconic Te Rewa…

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Karori, New Zealand

As I was walking around Central Wellington yesterday, it made me want to go somewhere where there are less to no buildings and traffic. Karori showed up on Google so today I got up and bought my first Snapper card for NZD 11.00 (just the card).  I took the yellow bus 3 which dropped me…

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Happy Snail Hostel Singapore

If you want to feel homey and comfy, this is the place to stay. Run by a lovely couple, Mike and Christine. They just come over some time during the day so this is pretty much an independent hostel.  The hostel has a minimum stay of 2 nights and the rates are below through hostelworld. …

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The Indian Wedding

I remember when I first visited India in 2014, I desparately wanted to attend an Indian wedding but there was none.  April 2016, I had to go back to India for the wedding of my very good Indian and Filipino friends. It’s such a previlege to experience this culture.  First night was all about dancing.…

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Medellin, Colombia

I chose to visit Medellin for 3 days to spend my last week in Colombia. As many people know the history of this city, I did not feel unsafe at all. The city is definitely more laid back than Bogota. I liked Medellin a lot. Here are some photos as I cannot give much details…

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Northern Colombia

It’s my last month in Colombia and I chose to go to Santa Marta for a week. First impression right when I got out of the airport? Lovely! The bus station is right in front of the ocean. As I am behind on my  blog. I can’t say much details so I’ll post photos instead…

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Proud same sex couple…

While waiting to board my plane back to Bogota from Santa Marta, an inspiring couple was sitting next to me. Two men who weren’t ashamed of their relationship. They were holding each other’s hand and they were kissing from time to time. I couldn’t help but approach them to ask for permission if I can…

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Laguna de Tota

Just 3 days after my Cartagena trip https://iamryshel.com/2016/03/01/solo-travel-to-cartagena/, I traveled to Laguna de Tota in Boyaca with two of my students, Richard and Luis.  It took us about 7 hours to get to our destination. We arrived late at night.    The whole purpose was to camp so yes, we slept in the tent.  This…

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Solo travel to Cartagena

Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th is a holiday in Colombia so I decided to take an extra day off from work for a 4-day weekend. As usual, I impulsively bought a roundtrip ticket costing around USD 93 from Bogota to Cartagena through my favorite affordable airline VivaColombia.  I heard so much about…

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Solo Travel Changed Me

June 2014 was when I started to do the real essence of traveling, solo! https://iamryshel.com/2014/09/26/i-am-a-backpacker-i-am-a-filipina/ I was backpacking for around 10 months where I got to visit total of 9 countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka). I visited the famous tourist spots but I spent most of my time in…

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Peru Hop: 3-day Tour From Lima

After my Machu Picchu Adventure https://iamryshel.com/2015/10/29/the-best-birthday-ive-had-so-far/, I headed back to Lima with extra few days before I fly out to explore the city and to relax but my plan changed when I saw Peru Hop’s advetisement in my hostel offering to discover the southern coast of Peru which sounds pretty interesting.  Peru Hop offers safe,…

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Cusco to Aguas Calientes

https://iamryshel.com/2015/10/26/my-dream-peru/ I was going to buy my ticket in Lima airport but they only accept credit card there. As soon as I arrived in my hostel in Cusco, I went to Peru Rail office to purchase my ticket and the representatve Isabel was very nice when assisting me. I got the Vistadome class which cost…

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My dream Peru! 

The main reason I came to South America is because I wanted to go to the site of an ancient Inca city, high in the Andes of Peru—Machu Picchu.  I originally applied for my company’s branch in Peru but they sent me to Colombia instead. At least, I was closer to my dream!  I have…

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The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

Catedral de Sal de Zipaquirá is a catholic church built within the tunnels of salt mine 200 meters underground. This is one of the most popular tourist destination in Colombia.  My dear friend Nelson and I decided to visit this place one weekend. We took a bus to Zipa from portal norte trasmilenio station. The…

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Mount Monserrate by foot…

According to Wikipedia, Monserrate rises to 3,152 metres (10,341 ft) above the sea level. My friend Aletta agreed to join me to hike Mount Monserrate last Friday. We started walking from Las Aguas transmilenio station at exactly 9:50AM.     Well what can I say? Bogotá is already lying 2,640 meters (8,660 ft) above sea level.…

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