Bold Moves

I grew up in a small town in Northern California, surrounded by a barnyard of goats, chickens, pigs, sheep, a llama, and the occasional turkey, duck, or guinea hen. We took family trips up the Oregon coast and through winding redwood forests. My dad coached my Little League softball team and we were never short of fresh fruit and veggies from my mom’s garden. This was my world.

Travel Quote - The More I Travel the Less I've SeenAnd then I got the grand idea to move to Los Angeles for college. Its beaches, cityscapes, and nightlife dazzled me to my country core. Various twists and turns led me to a career in nonprofit marketing, where my new thrills involved crafting brand messages and attending early morning strategic planning meetings.

Since then I’ve backpacked through Thailand, got sunburned in a Singapore indie music festival, and learned how to drive in the Philippines (which is an adventure in itself.)

Still, the more I travel, the less I’ve seen.

  • The more places I visit, the more I realize how little of this world I’ve actually experienced.
  • The more Tagalog I learn, the more I realize how much of the language and culture I don’t understand.
  • And the more I grow inside, the more I realize there is still so much room for improvement.

And with this new understanding comes a new challenge for 2013: To be bold – to collect new moments and commit to positivity and growth.  To explore more of the Philippines, drive in rush hour traffic, or speak Tagalog to family, friends, office mates, sales clerks, or whoever will listen. To avoid the agonizing habit of comparing myself to others; because there will always be that person who has traveled to more countries, advanced their career further, or has a better wardrobe and more cash in the bank.

I’ve come a long way since my days of showing pigs at the county fair. Who would have guessed I’d end up in South East Asia? Take a look below at my favorite moments from 2012. You can click anywhere in the gallery for slideshow viewing.

Thanks for following Mango Mornings. I hope my stories have inspired you to try something new. Here’s to many more adventures, wherever in the world you may be!

Oh, and just for good measure:

Lolete House-011

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20 responses to “Bold Moves

  1. Wow! These are awesome images. Looks like you’ve been enjoying your stay in this sunny side of the globe.

    Glad to know you see the positive things about our country despite the prevailing poverty. :)

    Looking forward to reading your future summer adventures.

    Cheers from Manila! :)

    • Hi Miguel – thanks for the photo kudos. I’m still trying to balance snapping shots and putting down the camera to actually enjoy the beautiful Philippine scenery! I look forward to following your stories as well. :)

  2. Gorgeous photos! I loved what you wrote too! I hope you are sharing all of your adventures with the folks back home…because you are just one wild world traveler to them. Some day, someone in your family is going to look back on the life you are leading now and they will be inspired…to be bolder, just like you! It will be a great legacy!

    • Hi Mrs. P. Thanks so much! Well I started the blog to share these stories with loved ones back home…and luckily the blog has also allowed me to reach out to a totally new audience, which is great fun. Sometimes I still wonder if moving overseas was just too crazy of an idea, but it’s comments like yours that motivates me to keep going. Thanks for following!

    • Hi Jessica – isn’t it so true? After high school and college, I thought I knew and had seen it all. Ha! Not true at all. Thanks for reading! :)

  3. I am so inspired by your words – they are something I also abide by. Growing internally is something that is so so important, and I find it crazy how some people do not seem to acknowledge this non-physical type of aging we go through. I definitely think you made the choice moving – I also will be going to South East Asia, “only” for 6 months though.

    • Hi Olivia – WOW! You are so very brave for heading out to SE Asia on your own. Big kudos to you, I’m sure you’ll learn and grow more than ever! I’m glad to see that the Philippines made it on your bucket list. It’s so beautiful here, and a little off the radar for most travelers. You are going to have a BLAST at the Full Moon Party in Thailand. I went in April last year. Craziest experience of my life, haha! As for Singapore, make sure you feast on the street food and visit Marina Bay. I only spent a few hours at Marina Bay- I could stay there for a week! Anyway, thanks for reading Mango Mornings and I look forward to reading about your travels too.

    • Hi Shawna – haha, that pig’s name was June. :-) Thanks so much for saying that my stories have inspired you – that means a lot coming from you! I hope all is well at TSJ. It’s been a year and, if you can believe it, I still miss it there. I’ve gained such a deeper understanding of poverty now that I live here – I only wish I knew then what I know now! Thanks again and I hope I can see you on my next California visit.

  4. Hey, just wanted to stop by and let you know that I have nominated you for a Leibster Award. Check out today’s post on my blog. I love your blog!

    • Thanks Marylin – yes, I too love grabbing shots of local people. I’m getting braver at asking and find that most people are just fine with it. Statues are fun too – so many cool angles. And of course, you gotta love June. That picture brings back so many happy memories for me. Thanks so much for reading and for taking the time to stop by and say hi!

      • Little tip for you Ms. Liana, Filipinos love having their photos taken. Just ask and they would smile and pose for your pictures for free. Haha!

      • Hi again Rhoda – and my apologies for my late reply. Haha, yes, I’ve noticed that Filipinos love to take photos and get their photos taken – whether it’s nights out, vacations, and especially food, haha! It doesn’t surprise me though, as I’ve learned your culture is a fun-loving one!

    • Thanks! I’m trying harder and harder to push my creative boundaries to take better photos. Anyway, the Philippines is so beautiful, so that makes it easier! Glad to see another expat blogger here in Manila! Maybe we will cross paths one day. I help lead an expat hiking group. If you’re interested in joining, let me know and I’d be happy to send you the link. cheers!

      • Would love to check out the link for the hiking group. Getting ourselves outdoors is a bit more challenging here than it was back home. Thanks!

  5. Hi Liana, this is a nice post! i completely agree that the more you have traveled the less you have seen. I have lived in several countries and traveled through quite a few others and i can tell you the best thing about traveling is the journey towards yourself :) which you seem to know as well. Anyhow, I like your post and I am going to reblog it on mine http://www.xpatnation.wordpress.com, I think you might find some inspiration there too :)

    • Hi Misha – thanks so much for reposting this and for visiting Mango Mornings! So happy to be included on your site. Cheers!

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