2016 was like a prequel of what’s right around the corner in 2017. It was a roller coaster ride of adventures, miseries, and realizations. There were highs, as well as lows but I was able to get back on my feet and go rise above it. Besides, there’s too much to be grateful for this year.

Let me share the highlights of my 2016 through this post (to which I can look back in the future) before I moved on to 2017.

2016, I found my travel half.

Being friends for 8 years, I could not even believe how we became closer this year after 3 years from when we graduated in college. Imagine having someone who understood even the dustiest corners of your mixed-up soul.

2016, I fell in love with Malapascua’s sunset.

The first out of town trip Michael and I did, where we got drunk with some Israeli guys we met on the island who later became our good friends. It was funny though seeing all those Hebrew writings on my skin by the next morning.

2016, I stopped asking myself why I am still single.

Tinder took a big part of my dating game. It drown me into the idea of being in a relationship when it should not be forced. Love should always start with you. The time we have to be single should be the time we should be good at being alone and of knowing more of our preferences. Cause until you get comfortable with it, you will never know if you are choosing someone out of love or loneliness.

Not an easy thing to do, but this should help: The Art of Moving On and Finding Love

P.S. I stopped using Tinder already, totally uninstalled it.

2016, I found the right set of people to hang around with

One thing I did right about this year was sorting out my circles. I didn’t waste my sunsets with people who are gone by sunrise. I reconnected too with some good old friends whom I have lost contact with for years. But something that made this year unforgettable was being part of some big events in their life (the weddings of my two bestfriends, which I can’t believe). No pressure on me!

2016, I traversed Negros and Siquijor with a pack

You know how hot it is in the Philippines that you'd rather chase waterfalls than bummed yourself in the beach.

A post shared by Charmaigne @ WanderingPeople (@charmaignenavaja) on

It was the first time I’ve done my travel with a pack. The last minute changes on our plans, the overnight bus rides in Negros, those waterfall cannonballs and cliff jumping in Siquijor, but the best was the sunset confession we did which made this adventure one of my best memories in 2016. Know more about how we did it by reading 5 Days Negros and Siquijor Backpacking

2016, I conquered the Ilocos region

I was not sure how we made it possible to travel around this region in a span of 2 days. We were down to an overnight bus ride to Vigan from the country’s metro, strolled Calle Crisologo at dawn, rode the 4×4 in Paoay’s sand dunes, explored Laoag’s city gems, saw the giant windmills at Pagudpud and got the chance to look at Marcos in Batac before he was buried later this year. It was a crazy and hectic itinerary but we totally killed it!

2016, I got my first tattoo on my solo travel.

And it was nevertheless from Apo Whang Od. It was painful but worth the secret I have behind having it. But I got so scared in Tabuk, Kalinga after wasting 2 hours looking for a van or bus that goes by the drop off point which leads to the Butbut tribe’s village.

I did share my story in A Mark of What I Have Become

2016, I discovered my passion

Back then, taking photos was out of being addicted to Instagram. Michael taught me how to pose as I was too conscious. I only got used to it after I stopped comparing myself to anyone. Later on, I bought my own camera to pursue my hobby of making people smile at me.

Catch a glimpse of my portfolio, Baby Sofia’s Pre-Birthday Shoot

2016, I went back home to Siargao twice

I always have this notion to never go back to any place I have already visited, but Siargao broke that perception twice. I just feel that I belong there.

2016 was getting over those heartbreaks

I don’t know how some people can go on with their lives knowing they are hurting somebody. More than once have I hated myself for giving chances to the wrong people. It’s okay to be kind and see the good of others but I should have never disregard my own value. I am more than worthy to receive the kind of love I deserve.

I’ve had too many heartaches that one day I wrote, Don’t Fall In Love With A Passerby

2016 was upholding the Filipino culture

A French friend told me how lucky am I to be part of a culture that holds their family dearly. We give unconditional love when it comes to our family that sometimes it leads us to setting aside our wish to chase our dreams.

2016 was when I got my second life

The biggest scar I have ever had in my entire life which reminded me about patience. Read more about this story in No Rush! You’ll Get There Anyway

 

You were one for the books 2016! I could go on about everything that’s happened but one statement can suffice what you have been all about:

I am okay now, thank you!

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