Wanderlust is a German word used to perfectly describe travelers who have a great desire for wandering . These are independent, adventurous people. Traditionally, young adults or college students from countries such as Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, America, and Canada used to travel the world extensively before “settling down.” It was considered a rite of passage. Walkabout is an Australian Aboriginal term where young males go to live alone in the wilderness. It’s a traditional part of their departure from childhood to make the spiritual transition into manhood. That tradition eventually became part of mainstream Australian society resulting in many pre-college Australians but also New Zealanders and North Americans traveling extensively before settling down.
Much has changed in relation to international travelers over the past twenty-five years. Air travel was and remains essential in order to cover great distances. Previously reserved for the affluent in society, more people than ever before are now flying internationally. The advent of low-cost airlines have dramatically changed the landscape. These no-frills, airline carriers are efficiently run and profitable. Examples in Europe are Ryan Air, South West in America, Tan in South America, and in Asia, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia whose logo proudly claims “Now everyone can fly!” So which country might best serve the international traveler as a base while traveling in Asia?
It’s redundant to say that before any travelers begin their journey, they should have a clear understanding of what type of experience they want to have. Every country has many attractions, outside adventures, and intriguing destinations to be enjoyed. It’s easy to visit several counties in Southeast Asia. Most are only a few hours flight from Manila airport in the Philippines.
Whenever you view travel blogs or articles about traveling in southeast Asia, there’s usually references to beautiful places in the Philippines and confirmation about the vast archipelago being an excellent place to visit. That factor, and its location in Southeast Asia, are logical reasons for the world traveler to make the Philippines the central point for overall travel in Asia.
Another relevant factor for deciding on an appropriate country as a base for travelers would be the presence or absence of a budget. If the travelers are on a budget or has substantial means, the logic doesn’t weaken when considering to have the Philippines at a central base. The significant difference is the affluent traveler has the ability for direct flights taken in comfort, while the experience of those on a budget is significantly longer and often exhausting.
Time available to thoroughly experience counties is significant. This is where the financial ability to purchase direct flights is relevant. It’s never a good idea to rush through a series of countries spending perhaps only a week in each. Besides, that’s not the way the international traveler operates. That’s no way to understand any culture or country. What’s the point in doing that?
If time is not an issue, the reasoning is even more compelling to make the Philippines, perhaps Dumaguete or Cebu, your central base. Take a week or two in Vietnam or Cambodia, then return to the Philippines. Getting visas to enter the Philippines is easy, so there’s no problem for the traveler to come and go as he or she wishes.
Another important consideration for having the Philippines as a central base is the lack of a language barrier. Practically everyone in the Philippines speaks English to some extent, and usually very well. That’s not the case in any other Southeast Asian country and only to a limited extent in Japan or South Korea. Also, there is a solid but not intrusive aspect of Western culture in the Philippines due to the strong American influence, particularly during the 20th century.
The Philippines is also a good place to buy airline tickets at inexpensive prices. Although the advent of internet commerce has changed the entire airline and hotel reservation process, the physical location of the Philippines makes it an ideal location from which to buy tickets for travel throughout southeast Asia and even to Japan or Australia.
Flight times vary depending on the number of stopovers. If, however, you were flying directly from Manila to Bangkok, it takes three and a half hours, but only two and a half hours to Ho Chi Min city in Vietnam. The direct flight to Taipei in Taiwan takes two and a half hours, and it’s only slightly longer to Phnom Phen in Cambodia. Manila to Peaking in China takes under five hours. Even Japan is within reach with only four and a half hours required to fly to Tokyo.
One interesting development in recent years is the increasing numbers of foreigners who come to Asia to travel extensively but who decide instead to spend significant time traveling among the thousands of islands in the Philippine archipelago. Many eventually decide to settle in the Philippines either because they have developed a special relationship with a woman here, or have simply fallen in love with the country and its welcoming people. Might you be one who visits, but decides to stay? Why not come here and find out?
Are you one of the travelers who want to find the perfect base to explore from? If so retirement in Dumaguete is the perfect place to start. contact us or speak to one of our Ambassadors right away for more info!