2013 was the most unpredictable yet most adventurous year we’ve had so far. We’ve stayed in fewer places for longer and realized just how much we liked that setup better. We’ll have slow, lazy days any day instead of jam-packed trips, but we also found ourselves doing both at one point or another. And it’s good. Variety is good. That way, travel doesn’t wear the traveler out, because however rarely that happens, it does.

These photos remind us of those moments that make traveling just as fascinating, just as worth it, as it was the first time.

TWO2TRAVEL: Malapascua, Cebu
For moments that humble to no end
Malapascua, August. We hopped on a bike and drove north of Malapascua on a Sunday, and found a cockfight, a lonely beach, and a family scouring the shallows for food.

Malapascua, a long way away | On happiness | Scuba diving with thresher sharks

TWO2TRAVEL: Apo Island, Negros Oriental
For moments that remind us to push farther and farther, and to always, always carry a bucketful of wonder
Apo Island, January. We were trying to look for sea turtles and mustered enough courage to let go of our life vest in the open seas. And then suddenly, a new, beautiful world seemed to open up. Being in the ocean would never be the same again.

Tips for your trips: Apo Island | Apo Island Underwater | Scuba diving at Apo Island

TWO2TRAVEL: Whalesharks of Oslob, Cebu
For moments that remind us just how small we are in this big world
Oslob, August. The world’s biggest fish—too many of them to count. In that water, there were the whalesharks, and us. Everything else did not matter.

Tips for your trips: Oslob, Cebu | Swimming with the whalesharks of Oslob, Cebu

Bulusan Lake, Sorsogon, Bicol Region, Philippines
For moments that make us realize that the most beautiful is often the most unassuming (and that you have to wake up really early to see them).
Sorsogon, April. Bulusan Lake was pretty in the early morning, but this boy. This boy just made all the difference.

Bulusan Lake, Sorsogon | The rest of Bicol

TWO2TRAVEL | Batan Island, Batanes

For moments that come to you without asking
Batanes, October. We were on a trike on the way home, and we only had enough time to see this woman turn an alley and disappear into view. We had to run after her and ask her to smile for the camera.

TWO2TRAVEL: Itbud, Batanes
For moments that just need to be chased
Batanes, October. Somehow we wanted to go around Batanes on our own, and found ourselves pedaling for half a day along cliffside roads and hills. We hiked for two hours along unpaved roads (think the road up to Baguio, but with landslides and only patches of unfinished, impassable roads).

Batanes, the perfect trip | Guide to biking around southern Batan Island, Batanes
Biking for 12 hours in Batanes | Timelapse: Breathtaking Batanes from sun up to sundown

TWO2TRAVEL: Diniwid Beach, Boracay
For moments that seem to have been waiting for us all along
Boracay, June. It was my first proper Boracay sunset atop Diniwid Hill, having missed it on previous visits. This would also be our first sunset at what would be our home for a month on the island. It was by far the best Boracay sunset we’ve seen.

Boracay on the cheap | MNL Beach Hostel Boracay | Dakong Amihan Boracay | On the other side of Boracay’s White Beach
On the island, everyday’s a Sunday | Diniwid Beach, Boracay | The rest of Boracay

Sardine Run, Moalboal, Cebu | Two2Travel.com
For moments that are simply breathtaking
Moalboal, August. It was one thing to see billions of sardines dance to a rhythm only they know; it’s another to swim towards them and reach a point where you can see nothing else but sardines all around, and the sun streaming from a blue hole above. Best P1,100 spent EVER.

Why Moalboal is one of our favorite places in the Philippines | Video: Moalboal’s amazing sardine run

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For glorious fleeting moments, new mornings, new beginnings
El Nido, September. It was the morning of Owen’s birthday, perhaps the only rain-free hour of the day. It had rained for the rest of the day and week, and before we can even see another glimpse of sunshine, we were off on a bus, going farther and farther from Bacuit Bay.

Timelapse: Moody Bacuit Bay

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For happy endings
Benguet, December. A magical sunset shows itself on the drive down home on our last day in Baguio for this year. We pulled over and did what we knew best.

We don’t know exactly how 2014 will turn out, but we’re leaving this year in high spirits, knowing that a year ago, we’ve made virtually no plans and ended up with so much. 2014, we’ll eagerly wait it out, cup of coffee in hand.

PS. This song is lovely. And inspiring. And it makes us want to pack our bags and go somewhere with gorgeous falls. <3

Thanks for sharing 2013 with us! To another year of everyday miracles and adventures!

Owen and Nikka

  • docgelo

    awesome photos!
    happy 2014! God bless.

    • http://www.two2travel.com/ Two2Travel

      Thanks Doc Gelo! Happy New Year to you too, and God bless!

  • pinaytraveljunkie.com

    Yes. Variety is awesome! Your photos guys always, always make me drool. Hope to meet the awesome duo someday!

    • http://www.two2travel.com/ Two2Travel

      Thank you Gay! Hope to meet you and Luna too! More happy trails to your family! :)

  • cathlyntria

    I love this post. I love the photos. I love the words. I love you. Charaught! Kidding aside, I really love Two2Travel. Every so often I find myself visiting your blog to get inspired to travel and explore :)

    More power in 2014! <3

    • http://www.two2travel.com/ Two2Travel

      THANK YOU Tria! You just made our day. Hehe. Hope to travel with you and Toto this year! Just let us know where, we’ll most likely be available. Hahaha. More travels for all of us! :D ~Nikka