I belong to a generation in love with traveling and unlike generations before me, it’s not just traveling for leisure, but traveling as a way to get to know one’s self and have an adventure.
Vibrant and brimming with life, my good friend from high school, Anna Faustino has long committed herself to a life of adventure. I have always admired Anna’s bravery to drop just about anything and explore life for what it is: raw, challenging, and adventure filled. When she first told me about her desire to quit her day job to travel the world, I was scared for her, but she did it, conquered, and then some.
This is the reason why I wasn’t surprised when Anna’s blog, www.adventureinyou.com, which she started with her boyfriend, Tom Rogers, is quickly gaining traction as one of the Philippines’ most visited travel blogs. Anna is the epitome of a person who breathes travel and you can see it in the way her eyes sparkle.
And it’s also interesting to note that Anna and Tom’s love story began with a travel story. Anna recalls, “We met while we were backpacking in Vietnam. Tom was literally rolling down the sand dunes in Mui Nei when we met. I was on the tail end of my yearlong trip and Tom was 6 months into his. We ended up traveling together all over Vietnam and Thailand. I had to go back to the Philippines for work while Tom had the rest of the world to see.” But unlike other travel love stories, this wasn’t meant to be short-lived, Anna continues, “After a couple of months apart, Tom arrived in the Philippines and never left! He ended up getting a job here until we take off to travel again.”
When asked what made him risk it all to stay in unchartered territory, Tom was quick to say, “As mentioned we met when we were traveling and when I got to the Philippines; I wasn’t even half way through my planned 2 year trip to see the world. When I arrived, we spent all our time together exploring when Anna wasn’t in work and soon after that, we began dating. After traveling together through different countries, we got to know each other really well. With that being said, within the first week of being here and spending time with her, I knew I was going to be here for a long time. Being that both of us are travelers, we were both quite skeptical of love, both having been hurt before. This time though it was different, and we both knew it. I flew back to the UK as a surprise for Christmas. After almost a year of being away, I turned up on my doorstep (wearing a santa hat), knocked the door and was shockingly greeted by my mum with, “Where is Anna?” I couldn’t stop laughing. My mum was so overwhelmed and confused to see me that this is what came out first. I had been talking to her when I was away and she was keen to meet the reason why I stopped moving around. So yes, my first reason for risking everything was Anna. I was later luckily approached and asked to join a great start-up business where I currently work. I’m continuously surrounded by positive happy people and I love it! I don’t regret my decision at all.”
The love story soon led to a joint travel blog, when asked how it started, Anna explains, “ Our blog was the brainchild from one of our many conversations about traveling. Both of us are wildly addicted to traveling, in fact, we met while we were both backpacking around Vietnam. We wanted to write about our many (mis)adventures to get others inspired to travel as well. When we travel, we like going off the beaten track. This way, we get to see what other people don’t normally get to experience. During our recent trip to Palawan, instead of hanging around Coron town like most people, we rented a motorbike and drove along the coast, stopping in small beaches, sleeping in local fishermen’s houses and living the way they do. We even tried our luck in fishing for food, except that only ended with me falling in the water and almost capsizing our tiny fishing boat.”
Their blog aims to look at life from a different perspective, the way traveling does. It’s more than just having a vacation but truly allowing one to experience life.
Traveling, Anna says, is what truly molded the person that she is, “Traveling has changed us in ways we both cannot describe. We have become happier people who live to make the most out of each moment. I think this is one of the main reasons why we started our blog, to motivate people to inspire and unleash their inner adventurers. Best part about traveling is getting out of your comfort zone. You gain a wider perspective of how people live, which in return, makes you more grateful for what you have around you. Aside from that, traveling gives you a complete sense of freedom. Freedom to live and enjoy life the way it’s supposed to be. We were both blown away when we realized how much more there is to experience. It opens up your world to endless possibilities which gave us a clear perspective on what is really important in life.”