The things we take with us when traveling to strange places are pieces of home—the familiar, the comfortable, the secure. Most of us yearn for adventure—it’s what traveling is about, yes?—but before we even get a foot out of that door, we yearn for assurance first, and we take that with us on our backs wherever we go.
And that’s when we begin to experience the joy of stepping on strange lands, becoming friends with people whose language we know just one word of, tasting food we can only pray won’t let us stay in the toilet for the entire duration of our stay. Everything is overwhelmingly, beautifully new.
So how is it for travelers like these people who are gracing our pages now (THANK YOU, guys!)? They scale mountains, dive to the depths of the seas, ride waves, take photos. They lead different lives but they’re all bitten by that travel bug just like all of us. What travels with them?
WWF-Philippines Communications Officer, Advanced Open Water Diver
“No travel is ever complete without opportunities to commune with the locals.” Although she did add that her most essential travel companions are “lists and charts coupled with a sense of spontaneity to make room for unexpected adventures.”
Sophie’s favorite destination: Tubbataha Reefs, Palawan
Surfer & Owner, Surfista Travels Philippines
“I believe that a SMILE is one of the most important things you can bring with you when you travel, if not THE most important – because it sets the whole mood of your trip. It helps you get by when things don’t go according to plan, makes you appreciate the simple joys of travelling and helps you make new friends. A smile means the same thing in ANY language and it’s something I always bring with me and take back with me wherever I go. :)”
Elaine’s favorite destination: Every island in the Philippines & every country in the world
Yoli Anne Elnar
Adventurer who goes by the name Yolanda Explorera
“Aside from gadgets such as cameras and my iPod that I normally need, the single most important thing I can’t travel without is my rashguard. It has always been with me from summit to shore; it never fails to protect me from heat and cold, insects bites, thorns and dirt. Surely you don’t want stains on your clothes during adventures. Rashguards are quick to wash and dry, and stains are easily removed as well so I’d say it’s a must for every adventure-seeker like me.”
Yoli’s favorite destination: “The virginity of Romblon and breathtaking Benguet”
Melody de Jesus
“My answer to this is of course, CAMERA. I consider this the most important travel buddy since I love taking photos and capturing moments. When I travel I like to shoot anything that relates to where I am, like their culture, events perhaps, the people, and whatever catches my eyes. These photos are not just for viewers; they are also treasures for myself, reminding me where I have been and what I have seen.”
Melody’s favorite destination: “Preferably the beach. Zambales, my province and Baguio since there are a lot of nice subjects. Thailand for the amazing temple structures.”
Jeff Basilan, mountaineer
“I guess it would be my 70 + 11 liter bag. It has been a tradition for us mountaineers to travel and have our things fixed in one giant bag. It’s kind of heavy but it’s still worth having. Sometimes they call it “frigider bag” hehe ‘coz it’s just like the size of one big refrigerator on your back.”
Jeff’s favorite destination: Mt. Guiting Guiting in Romblon, Mt. Cristobal Traverse
WELL, how about us? Thank you for asking! :P
Favorite destination: Cebu
“My trekking shoes goes with me in most of my travels because it’s lightweight, sturdy, and is good in most terrains. Thankfully TNF came up with a quick-dry rubber sole, so I also use mine in places/activities that involve water. I managed to summit my first mountain Pico de Loro last year with it.”
Unfortunately Owen travels without a face.
Favorite destination: Coron
There are lots of products I trust when traveling but if I have to choose one that gives me the most comfort, it’s got to be my Headware, a thin piece of cloth I use everywhere. It lets me sleep during long bus trips and it keeps my hair out of the way in most other occasions. I’ve used it while scuba diving and I love how it put my hair in place throughout the dive (can’t afford to look like Ursula underwater, right?). Plus it kept the chills at bay while underwater when I covered my ears with it.