My First Solo Travel – Siargao, Philippines
I always find it in my heart to go out with a group or at least with someone whom I know that’s the kind of traveler I was until I met a swiss solo traveler named Sarah Gysler. She inspired me to go out of my comfort zone and stop being so afraid of everything. I’m a worrier I admit plus I guess it’s in the Filipino culture where we travel in packs. As I peruse the web for beautiful destinations where I can undertake my first solo travel, I came across this island named Siargao in the province of Surigao del Norte. This little island is known to be the surfing capital of the Philippines! As passionate as I am at traveling, surfing is one of the activities I always want to learn and dream of doing. Hence, I got my bags pack and began my endeavor.
First time traveling alone, I really felt a whole lot mixed emotions. Being on an island with nothing but your bag of necessities and smartphone with the updated map of the location is an exciting and awesome adventure! However, I can’t help feeling a bit of fear: scared of being alone, scared of how the people will treat me when I get there, etc. Then I thought to myself, “How are you going to know if you won’t try. And if other’s can do it, why can’t you?” With that mindset, I pushed myself to think happy thoughts until… touchdown Siargao Island! When I got off the plane and took my first steps on the island, all my emotions suddenly started jumping wild, then I started walking and found a van for hire going to my destination The Footprints Hostel in General Luna. Inside, I get acquainted with some group of people and couples. And yeah, when my fellow countrymen knew that I was just on my own they were amazed! And that boost my spirit all the more. I was just there enjoying the ride and the island view.
There were no skyscraper, no traffic and not crowded then it got me thinking I must’ve been in a paradise. Well, it’s at least my version of paradise. After an hour ride, I finally arrived to my humble, friendly, and all good vibes – FootPrints Hostel.
As I got there, I met the owners David and Apple who are very accommodating and friendly and off course a whole lot of diverse, interesting people and wait bunch of solo travelers.
And to my luck, two of them became my travel companions to my Siargao escapade!
Hanna, a beautiful, friendly, and young German that aspires to be a great surfer one day, is one of them. Oh, I just love Hanna’s spirit, she’s young and smart and talented and we both love dogs. The other one is Keilah, a gorgeous Aussie that can get along easily with pretty much everyone. And trust me when I say this, Keilah, just shines through and inspires people, she got this sense of great positivity, quite an influential beautiful woman. And also Ketoy, a local who has been really friendly and kind in letting us use his surf boards for free and even taught us the basics of surfing.
Hanna and I actually arrived the same day in the island and so we started our afternoon finding the best place to feed our starving stomach. The next day after we started navigating through the island, it was simply amazing; nothing sort of what I have expected. Although we got lost during our traverse, we were able to figure out the way with the help of locals.Well, getting lost is just part of the adventure and it seemed like I didn’t have to worry about anything at all, after all. The people were wonderful, warm, and welcoming. When we got to Alegria beach, we got invited to a birthday party by the locals. Imagine that! First time on the island and was already invited to a wonderful occasion. Alegria beach, although it’s not well-known, but it’s calming and peaceful and you can basically fall asleep under the shades of the beautiful palm trees.
We planned to go to Magpupungko rock pool, unfortunately, it was already late and we were informed that we won’t see the actual pool at the moment since it was already high tide. We passed by Pacifico beach on our way to the hostel.
First time surfing, I was pretty excited. And to my surprise, I caught a wave on my first attempt (I must be a genius when it comes to surfing! haha). Yey Me! Hanna’s way better than me though haha, catching a wave is a whole lot new experience to me, and totally a different kind of fun. The feeling of floating while you were standing on your board on water and trying to glide with the waves just would wanna keep you riding some more. Being in the moment, I ended up surfing 2 more times the following day which beat my body to death! I was so exhausted and my arms couldn’t move at all. I even had to ask my surf instructor to pull me to the deep waters again and again for I still want some more waves however my body can’t handle paddling anymore haha. But that was an experience I would never, ever, ever forget. I certainly wanna do it over again. With just a few hours of rest, Hanna and I were on our way again to our next adventure, you basically can’t afford to waste any second while on this island. At night, we went out together with the rest of our new found friends from the hostel and visited some bars and restaurants. There were a lot of them that we visited, I forgot some of their names. But here are some highly notable spots:
Chillout Siargao at Fatlips
Buddha’s Surf Resort Restaurant
Viento Del Mar Siargao
This might be my own preferences, and I highly recommend that you guys pay a visit too.
Anyway, after this exhilarating night, slept just for a couple of hours ‘til morning, and it’s back to the beach for more surfing that day.
On the last few days of my stay on this beautiful island, Keilah arrived. The next day we went on an island hopping together, first stop was Naked Island, second was Daku Island, and lastly was Guyam Island. For people who like adventures, I highly suggest going to Guyam Island since it is surrounded by a wondrous coral rock formation.
It’s an island which the coconuts grow in the middle part and the rest are pure white sands and crystalline waters.
For a relaxing mood, Daku and Naked Island are the ideal spots. The only difference between the two is that Naked Island, as the name suggests, only consists of powdery white sands and crystal-clear water surrounding it. Now Daku Island is my ideal spot, coconut trees sprouting everywhere just to make a relaxing ambiance.
Even though it is one of the most popular islands of Siargao, it isn’t actually crowded. You can practically doze off on the pearly white sands and wake up at night since you’d be sleeping like a log due to the environment. And to end our island hopping, we delve into a good spa and massage, completing my stay here on the wonderful island of Siargao.
Traveling by myself for the first time, I get to experience a lot of things. I was able to meet a whole lot of other people, both local and foreign, compared to being in a group. Thus, it gives me a whole lot of new perspective, courage, self-awareness and strength. And I get to meet my alter-ego, the other side of me that is more fun and adventurous. Although my stay was short, Siargao Island is the travel destination I will surely remember and revisit.
Bye for now, the surfing capital of the Philippines, Siargao. I left my soul still surfing in your beautiful beach.
Thanks for reading everyone, till my next adventure.