Thursday, December 31, 2015

Salut 2015!

I always meant to write a thank you *insert year* post but half way into it, I find the posts way too cheesy. I ended up scrapping them after reading a couple of times.

It was a year that came after a year that was very tough to follow.

The year 2015 was a continuation of what a great year 2014 was. I was grounded. Locked relationships. Racked up my savings account. Paid debt. Invested. 2015 was indeed a year of fostering connections, self-discipline, and self-awareness.

Although the past year may sound not bad at all, it has been very challenging for me, 2015 did raise a huge question for myself. What's next for Justin?

I have been a champion for change. Change is something that I do not fear. I understand that uncertainty is a part of life and I intend to keep it. Change keeps things exciting. I think that 2016 will be a year for changes. I can feel it.

For this past 2015...

To my friends and fam...

Thanks for being a great support system. I may not see everyone all the time but I can always feel everyone`s love and support. Especially to the ones back in my base country. 

To my work and Voguefit fam...

Thanks for introducing me to this art and sport. To pushing me to be strong and healthy. To elevating me to knew heights, figuratively and literally. For challenging me every day. 

I can feel it. 2015 was a great year over all. 2016 will definitely be so much better. 

Much love. < 3

Friday, May 29, 2015

Cuba with Love

Unlimited food, unlimited drinks, both alcoholic and non. Sunshine that burns, and pretty much a time in your life where you have people to treat you like kings and queens.

I have always had a very strong opinion towards all-inclusive vacation trips. I have promised myself, that I will only buy a package like such when the need arises. That need being when I am old enough to not be able to carry a heavy backpack, or there's a milestone in a friend/family's life that we needed to celebrate with a drink or a thousand.

One of my cousins is getting married next year(congrats Sam and Ed!) and a part of her pre-wedding last hurrah is a trip to Cuba with our closest friends. We stayed in an all-inclusive resort in Varadero, Cuba where we spent most of our time within its blue waters and fancy marbled gates. We got stuffed by food cooked and served by nice locals; we bought tour packages which includes, swimming with dolphins(which I highly recommend only if doing with a large group of people that you know), and city and snorkeling tours; we spent our nights getting drunk with infinite local alcohol; and we slept in suites where our bed was already made by housekeepers.

I must say, I never thought that I would have so much fun in an all-inclusive resort at this point in my life. I have had the pleasure of travelling nine countries before where I got to see cultures and paid my accommodations per night This trip to Cuba is just something different. I have said many times that travel could be from a simple walk to the park or a plane ride. Travel is a matter of learning from a journey where our hearts and minds end up feeling fulfilled. Travel is an experience where we go home feeling exhausted because of our sleepless nights thinking about what we have learned throughout that day, planning our next destination, or simply observing our surroundings in order to get comfortable in the foreign land we were currently exploring. Travel is cruising smoothly in airports, packing lightly and smart. It is going in a place with an open mind, alone and eventually meet people you already knew, came with, or will be knowing.

I went on this trip thinking I am going on a vacation, I ended up leaving Cuba and going home feeling that I have traveled. I felt exhausted from the laughs I shared with close friends. From all the info I have taken from the tours we all went together to. From the hangovers. To exhausting our wallets giving tips to resort employees. To dancing endlessly. To watching colourful Cuban shows. I could not enumerate them all because experiencing it is just something different. No words will be able to express what we all felt and shared.

My point is, travelling is different from a vacation. You are not wandering if you stay inside a hotel. You are not travelling if you complain that your drink is too sweet, or your bed is not soft enough. You are not travelling if you complain at all. A huge part of travelling is still feeling joyful although you are more than experiencing anything different. Please see the difference.

Until the next travel adventures with these people. Thanks for making this trip a traveling one instead of a vacation.

Much love. <3 p="">

Monday, October 20, 2014

Come with me.

It doesn't have to be your 5th time on a plane, you can just hold my hand, or I'll make sure you're comfortable.
You don't have to know what to say to that taxi driver, we would rather take the bus and get lost together.
Your funds need not to be millions, as I'm sure we'd be sharing treasures.
That hostel bed need not be soft, as long as I know when I wake up you'd be there. 
We will sleep till 10:00 AM some days, but greet the early mornings the other. 
For this is when we can witness the quietness of a sunrise, combined with the busy hustle of a morning market. 
We also need to catch that bus that will take us to paradise.
Your shoulders need to be strong because we'd be carrying our house. 
Your arms will also serve as your bungee cords just in case we needed to hang outside that chicken bus. 
I will give you that seat when one becomes vacant. 
Just please don't vomit. I know the smell is foul, but I swear, our destination will be worth it. 
Don't look at me with disgust when our bus takes another route and takes us somewhere else.
For when you are frustrated, I'll just smile at you and give you a big sweaty hug. 
At this point we needed to be smart and use our bargaining skills and hail a cab. 
We still need to get to that paradise we were intending to see. 
You stop a taxi, and I look at you and can't help but admire your efforts. 
Efforts of speaking a language you only knew a few words of. 
You definitely tried to communicate, but your broken words just won't work. 
You catch me staring at you and gets mad a little because you think I'm having fun seeing you struggle. 
I get inside that cab, unsure if you even got anything settled with the driver. 
I don't care because for some reason, with you, I always feel safe. 
Our taxi driver drops us off in a nowhere land and told us it's the start of the paradise we want to see.
We get off and you pay for the ride. You're just better with finances, really. 
We start to hike. A four hour hike.
Halfway through, we see a small hut that sells fresh coconuts.
Your self-confidence convinces me not to buy one. 
You told me you'd rather climb the infinite number of coconut trees and get the fruit yourself.
Your energy excites me. 
From one feet above the ground, to gathering tourists around your tree.
You got off that tree, got close to me, and gave me my own fruit.
The cheesy-ness does not stop there. 
You went to your wallet and got a few bucks and paid the small hut. 
My insides are screaming and at that point I am so convinced you're a dream.
We continue our hike and we stop to take pictures whenever there's a good view.
A few hours later, we reach nowhere land. 
We see nothing but each other, the white sand, the sunset, and the sound of waves cleaning our tired feet. 
We set camp. Eat the boiled eggs we packed and the canned tuna we set aside.
We go for a swim using goggles you brought yourself.
I can't help but focus my waterproof camera on you. 
The night goes by and again we didn't have the softest bed. 

I need you to be ok with uncertainty. 
For with this we will reach places where wheels wouldn't even turn.
I need you to be fearless. 
For with this we will both experience unimaginable things.
I need you to be giving. 
For with this, we will change the world. 

Or you can scrap everything.
I just need you to have an open mind. 
For with this, we will both conquer. 

I just need you. 
Come with me. 

Much love. <3 div="">