Hello! Thanks for checking my page. I’m RM, an adventurer, avid trekker, hiker, backpacker and for all intents and purposes, a budding mountaineer.

Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Bit By Wanderlust

Welcome to Footstep Chronicles.

I’m an ordinary girl who is trying to have an extraordinary life – at least by my own definition. I’m a consummate dreamer. When I was younger, I used to assuage my curiosity about other places and cultures through what were written on books. I remember dreaming about visiting those places someday. Experience their culture first hand one day.

And then seeing more of the world became a dream I wanted to fulfill since I started watching the different seasons of Amazing Race. For the longest time, I have been living vicariously through the contestants. I tried to be content seeing the beauty afforded by the world through their eyes and perspective. I can’t forget one statement that was given by one of the contestants on the said show:

“The Earth is God’s letter to humankind.”

The words were so profound that, if at that point I didn’t want to travel, I would’ve been convinced it was worth making the time and effort for.

Photo by Zai Batua. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

But it hadn’t been so easy just to pack up my bags and go.  There were circumstances that made it quite hard for me just to go and think about myself. The needs were prioritized over the wants.

It was January of 2015 when my wandering muse literally shoved me out of the door. Since then, all I ever thought of was the time that I can afford to travel more regularly. I was impatient to see more and explore more. I refused the idea that working the proverbial “9 to 5″ and read my books on my rest days is the very definition of my life. That’s living narrowly. And I want to live large. I believed that I can do more. See more. Be more. I thought that if I do not do something about fulfilling my dreams, then that’s how it will always be – just a dream. I learned how to be more constructive with my plans. Be more action-oriented so I can make things happen. I learned to have a good work-life balance so I can carve time and earn enough and have something extra for my travels. God also saw fit to put me in the midst of people who have the same passion, who showed me the ropes and made things much easier.

Photo by Joel Agbuya. At one of the old doors in Bayon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Just Another Travel Site

Yes, I know that this is just one of the hundreds of emerging travel sites all over the net. But remember the parable of the elephant and the blind men?  It is an Indian story of a group of blind men, who have never come across an elephant before, learn and conceptualize what the elephant is like by touching it. Each blind man feels a different part of the elephant body, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then describe the elephant based on their partial experience and their descriptions are in complete disagreement on what an elephant is. The moral of the parable is that humans have a tendency to project their partial experiences as the whole truth, ignore other people’s partial experiences, and one should consider that one may be partially right and may have partial information.[1]

Just like the brief retelling above, the elephant in this case, is the world and the blind men are the travelers. Two travelers may have visited the same place but they will definitely have different experiences and perceptions about it. It isn’t always the case that one knows all the information of a certain destination. Consider this as putting in my own two cents on the subject. I’m just another blind man presenting what I felt when I touched the elephant.

My Travel Philosophy

A writer who develops a site should know that the site should be driven towards a certain advocacy – a niche where the writing is wrapped around. I had been stumped by this dilemma for the longest time because I don’t know how to proceed. I felt like I was driving without a destination in mind. I had been pulled to different directions and finally decided that this site will be dedicated and written around these three:

  1. Smart Shoestring Traveling. This site started because I wanted to keep a journal of my story. But more than anything, I would like to share a knowledge or two on how one can roam and travel without putting much of a dent on one’s savings. There are multiple ways to cut corners just so you can visit a place but it is not always wise to choose the ABSOLUTE cheapest option. If you are going to travel, then put QUALITY to that travel. Who knows when you will find time to visit the same place again?
  2. One can hold a full-time job and still can travel. Not everyone can be Digital Nomads nor can afford to resign from their full-time jobs so they can have a Gap Year. There are some people who need the stability of having a full-time job and wants to know where the next paycheck will come from, but can still travel at least twice a year. There’s this category called The Tribe where I compiled the stories of people who love traveling and they came from all walks of life. One thing they have in common? They all hold a full-time, regular, ‘9 to 5’ jobs.
  3. Responsible Exploration. Men have been appointed as stewards of nature. I believe that the Earth is God’s love letter to mankind. And it is such a wonderful letter that deserves to be read by everyone. But just like how we treat and preserve a beloved letter, it should be handled with utmost care.
At Boseong Green Tea Plantation, Boseong, South Korea

I’m a backpacker and I am ever thankful to have been living during the time that flight seats are being sold on sale periodically, making it easier for a common worker like me to see more of the world. I’m grateful that backpacking became a lifestyle so more and more accommodations are offered to cater to such custom.

What travel bloggers say about a person growing in all aspects in life when they travel is true. Seeing what’s going on in the world first hand makes one more sympathetic and compassionate. It gives a wider perspective of the world and humanity as opposed to the preconceived notions brought about by hearsay and prejudice by others who should have known better. I created this site because the writer and journal-keeper in me won’t allow all the things I see, think and experience to be just kept inside. Footstep Chronicles has been developed to serve the purpose of my attempt in capturing and documenting certain highlights in my life when God, fate and life allowed me the experience.