Moment of awesome
The most hedonistic restaurant on earth – the Spiderhouse
After 6 weeks of babysitting with this adorable family in Auckland, the time had finally come to board my much-dreaded 32-hour flight to the Philippines. In an attempt to keep costs down, my itinerary consisted of 3 layovers before getting on a van. To a ferry. To a trike. Fortunately, on the other side of this trip was heaven. A friend invited me to play a frisbee tournament on Boracay, Philippines, stating it was the best tournament in the world. Though slightly skeptical about her claim, I found out pretty soon what she was on about. I found out Boracay is somewhat of a party island, but in a very unassuming way. Everyone and everything is very laid back. My team’s dinner at the Spiderhouse perfectly exemplifies the awesomeness of the island. To get to the Spiderhouse, you first take a sailing boat to the nearest beach. After a 10-minute walk along cliffs and through a cove, you arrive at the end of the beach to find the most hedonistic restaurant you’ll ever witness. As you come in, you are greeted by a family puppies who want nothing but give you some doggy love. After ordering your food, the waitress instructs you to jump in the water from your table. You hang out on the yeti before heading back up to find your food and cocktails waiting for you. As you indulge lavishly you watch the sunset and realize life does not get any better than this.
IT WAS AWESOME!
Read more to see silly photos of me playing ultimate (I’m actually sober in one of them), a romantic sunset with local stray dogs, and my insights from 6,5 months of travel. Read More
For reasons I can’t explain, Ultimate Frisbee has been one of the best things that’s happened to me. I say ‘reasons I can’t explain’, but let me be a rebel and try to elaborate anyway. Everyone who plays recognizes this magical feeling that bestows you when playing a tournament and what it means to be part of the community. While running off the alcohol sweats from the night before, you try to squeeze out as much energy from your exhausted body as possible. Players usually camp next to the fields to keep costs down, adding to the community feel of, “we are in this together” (mind you: I have a passionate hate for camping). Any frisbee tournament is always a blast, but there are a few in the world that just have that extra touch. Last week, I played Boracay Open, which is in Boracay. My team (Currier Island) was made of of random pickup players. We had people from the US, Korea, Cambodia, Turkey, Poland, Hong Kong, France, the Philippines, Malaysia, Slovenia, and some random Dutch guy. This crazy group of people has definitely become my new best friends. Although there were some moments we played seriously (see picture – I was trying to look serious, my opponent not so much) we were best known for winning every party, where you could recognize us like this. In Ultimate there is this thing called ‘spirit of the game’, which effectively means be nice to your opponent and respect the sport. Each tournament rewards one team with the spirit prize and WE WON – taking this picture while unapologetically holding on to our drinks. Playing with this group of people, on a tropical island with such a good vibe was probably the most mesmerizing moment of my trip. What a way to end it!
I arrived in Boracay a few days before the start of the tournament. My last flight had been delayed for two hours so I only managed to get on the ferry to the island around midnight. In the group of 80 that was to make the crossing three Europeans clearly stood out among the Filipinos – me being one of them. An already sunburned Englishman and a Swedish girl complete the foreign trio. I had two days to kill before my fellow team members arrived to the island. The Swedish girl – Kajsa – and I decided to stroll along the beach and explore the island. As predicted, the Englishman couldn’t join as he had gotten too drunk the night before. We had sat our eyes on Puka Beach, a rather quiet beach on the north side of the island. Our mode of transportation was a trike – essentially a motorbike with a cabin attached to the side. A spine-crunching ride later we arrived to one of the prettiest beaches I have seen in my life. We sat down in the soft sand at the end of the beach watching the sun set over the horizon. Half an hour had passed and out of nowhere we had made two new friends (we were not the only ones excited to see them). What an island, even the dogs did nothing but relax!
One exhilarating week at Boracay later I boarded yet another grueling 36-hour flight. This time my destination was a familiar one: Amsterdam. I uploaded a picture of my arrival on Facebook and I was touched by the number of reactions by my friends. It has been somewhat strange to be back where my trip has started. I feel I have been living on top of the world the past few months, enjoying absolute freedom, and exploring the world as much as myself. In all honesty, the transition from Boracay to my hometown (Zutphen) has been most difficult transition of my entire trip. Yet, I’m sure this woman was happy to see me again after 7 months.
I look back at an amazing time during which I learned a lot about myself. My greatest insights were (1) finding happiness within myself, (2) determining the level of freedom I want in life, and (3) the realization there is opportunities everywhere as long as you know where to look. Where some would stop updating their website as their travels have come to a stop, quite the opposite will happen with Saving On Life. I’m more excited than ever to continue adding on to this great website.
Yummy sunset overlooking the many sailing boats at Station 1, Boracay.
Jealous-making scene from the mostly untouched Puka Beach.
A word of wisdom
“Slow down, you’re here”
Bumber sticker I saw on Waiheke Island, close to Auckland.