As of 2017, we have visited 28 countries. 28. I have to keep repeating it for me to believe it. We started Vern & Verniece with reasons that are far from what I ever thought it would bring to our lives. When we combined our blogs almost 5 years ago, my sole intention was to move on from a failed relationship and start anew. I was honestly even reluctant when my mom first suggested it but what came out of it changed everything! Not only did I get a best friend (you can’t keep Verniece and I apart for more than a day!) but dreams we never ever dared dream came true. One of them was to travel for work. Never in our wildest dreams that we thought that at 23 and 24 years old, we would visit 28 countries! :) Ahh!! It’s still so hard for us to believe that it actually happened!
To cap off 2017, we thought of sharing with you our favorite countries. Just for your reference, here are all the countries we’ve been to:
Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Macao, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam. To see the full list of cities we’ve been to, here they are: DESTINATIONS. These are ranked based on our full experience of the city and not solely on what it offers. There were some places wherein it wasn’t as beautiful visually as the rest but the people, food or what to do made up for it. There were some countries we didn’t fully experience so our perception of it might be different from yours! :) So just to give you an idea on what places to visit next, here are our favorites!
1. Whistler, Canada. This was a big surprise to us. Canada was never even on our list of places to visit let alone it topping our list of favorites! Whistler is our parents’ dream destination to visit and spending 9 days there made our family very happy. We’re not the biggest lovers of the heat and the beach so we’ve always preferred seasons like spring, fall and winter :) Funny right considering the fact that we live in the Philippines! haha We’ve experienced snow in a couple of places now but the one we had was just different. It was like the movies! The lakes were frozen, we would constantly wake up to fresh snow, we lived in a lodge and this was the first time we actually did EVERYTHING we could with snow involved. The first time we woke up to snow falling was a magical experience for us, especially for Verns which made the rest of us happier :) The dog sled activity we did as a family was nothing like we’ve ever done before, my dad even said it was like being one with nature. The snow mobile drive we made in Blackcomb mountain gave us an adrenaline rush that beat the scariest rollercoaster we’ve ridden before. Ice skating for free (hehe) in a frozen lake was something we definitely just saw in the movies and doing it was nerve wrecking at first but once you’ve gotten the hang of it turned out to be an amazing experience :) Plus, it was the perfect time for our family to have a vacation like this because Verniece, Vernon and I are at ages where we are making big changes in our lives, our parents are at a point in their lives where they’re holding on to us adults for dear life and every experience that makes us a kid again is something they’ll do no matter what and lastly, Verns is old enough to appreciate and remember :) Ofcourse, nothing really beats traveling with family that’s why I think this is #1!
2. Santorini, Greece. I don’t want to spoil too much on this post about our trip to Santorini but this place was so beautiful. The food was good, the people were nice and the place was a visual feast both on and off our camera lens. There were a lot of places that we visited that were only beautiful when captured with a camera or the other way around. This place was just made for photos and that made the blogger sides of us so happy! Yosi Samra and Steve also did an amazing job arranging everything to make sure we would experience all the great parts of Santorini :) Definitely a must visit whether you’re with your family, friends, your significant other or even alone! You’ll enjoy either way :)
3. Iceland. This country is nature on steroids. Every bit of this place gives you a taste of how God intended the world to look like! :) It’s a bit overwhelming at first because you will feel so small compared to everything around you but once it all sinks in, you’ll be hooked and never want to leave the place. Plus seeing the Northern Lights in person in perfect timing definitely made this place memorable for us! Santorini beats this because Iceland’s food is honestly so bland (for people like us, this aspect is very important!) and everything is so expensive that I wouldn’t visit this place again so soon. Maybe in 15 years when I have kids?? haha! I just hope by then we humans haven’t polluted this place yet. :(
4. London, United Kingdom. We are still city girls at heart and London is our favorite! You would notice that everytime someone would ask me about this place, my whole face lights up! It’s like my happy place that I wouldn’t mind visiting over and over again :) It rich in culture, the tourist spots are worth seeing, The British are one of the nicest people in the world, the weather’s always gloomy (again, we hate the sun), it’s not hard to use their public transportation system, it’s cheap to shop here, The Royal Family, there’s so much to see outside of London and the pace is just right – not too fast, not too slow that you’ll get bored :) Plus, the food is not so bad, their coffee is SO SO SO (!!) good and they have time for tea! Perfect city I tell you. haha!
5. Siargao, Philippines. I honestly never expected a place in the Philippines would land a spot here but Siargao has a magic of it’s own. Let me share with you my Instagram caption here as I finally got to put into words what I mean when I say “Siargao Magic” and why this place “draws you in”. I italicized it because those are probably the answers you’ll hear when you ask someone why they love Siargao so much! You only girl the magic of Siargao once you step foot in a busy city like Manila… the noise that you once learned to shut out now starts to bother you and everything seems to be moving too fast. You start to miss waking up to the sound of the ocean and the endless of greens surrounding this one road that leads to everything you need. And most of all, the feeling of content with the simple things in life.
There you go! We are scheduled to visit 5 new countries, Hawaii, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Russia, in the next two months so let’s see if this list changes then! :)