I’ve really grown to love writing these mini posts while we travel. I prefer writing when things are fresh in my mind and I find these posts a perfect way to wind down for the day and to reflect on the day’s adventures.
Today it was hard for me to choose which mini topic to write about, because the first day in any new country is always hard for me. No matter how well I try to prepare myself and no matter how excited I am, I always suffer from a bit of culture shock when we first land. I suppose it makes sense, given that your first few hours in a new country are filled with firsts, but I always hate myself for being so overwhelmed. Dave often has to remind me to be easier on myself because I get so frustrated with my mind and body for not doing exactly what I want them to do!
Although I spent a good deal of today resting, hydrating and trying to stay cool, I still did get some blogging material. 2 things really stood out on our first day in The Philippines.
#1 – Water Refill Stations
Our hotel didn’t give us plastic bottles to use while we are here. Instead, they offer a water dispenser and reusable mugs. I love this idea and strongly feel like this needs to be something practiced worldwide.
Because plastic doesn’t break down, every piece of plastic that has ever been made is still on the planet. This is a huge problem, especially for the oceans. It amazes me when I hear that wealthy countries like Canada and the US are doing so little to reduce the waste, but poor countries like Indonesia and the Philippines actually are.
#2 – “Everything Stores”
We’ve learned over the last few years that having a usable cellphone while you’re traveling is about so much more than being on Facebook or Wechat. Having access to Google maps etc when you’re on the road really simplifies situations.
Best of all, when you’re in South East Asia, you don’t need to go find a cell phone provider to get set up. SIMS are sold pretty much everywhere, and prepaid phone cards are dirt cheap.
I was looking to stay close to the hotel due to reasons I mentioned earlier, but luckily, a little store right outside our hotel sells SIMs. And rice. And flip flops. And earrings. And is a bakery….
These little stores are very popular in Asia and it always baffles me how one store can possibly hold so much product, but they do.
Look closely at my pictures and see how many different items you can find in this one tiny store! Leave me a message about the item you found most surprising in the comment section.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stories from The Philippines!