We will start with my two day journey across the globe to this island called Cebu in the Philippines. My first flight from Hawaii departed on Wednesday at 1:45 PM, unfortunately this also coincided with my work orientation. Quick side note, for whoever doesn’t know I will begin my new job in October, working for an incredible Hawaiian nonprofit called Kupu. This organization focuses on environmental conservation and restoration, teaching environmental education to Hawaii’s underprivileged youth, and celebrating Hawaii’s unique culture. I will be working on Mokulo’ia, which is more commonly referred to as Coconut Island where I will be working for the Hawaiian Institute of Marine Biology. Yes, my daily commute will be to an island where I can teach kids about the ocean and help with current research projects taking place on the island, sounds like a perfect job for me!
So yes, back to Wednesday, I had to leave orientation early to catch my flight. This was the only of the three day orientation where all of our direct bosses came, and of course I had to leave early. If you know me you know I absolutely hate being late, I would be happy getting to the airport gate three hours and just chilling if it means I didn’t have to rush. But we were going over our job manual, which was supposed to be over by 11, and I was going to leave at 11:15, but it kept dragging on inducing some major anxiety. I painfully waited until around 11:45 when I excused myself and met my dad at the car. The first flight was Honolulu to Narita (Tokyo) Japan. It was a long flight but I was pretty exhausted so I slept a good chunk of it. I loved having a layover in Japan, it is most definitely a place I would like to visit someday. People thought I was local and tried speaking Japanese to me, and I felt like an idiot not knowing the language, but its okay. I walked around the airport, bought a few snacks, and even saw totoros for sale. My next flight headed to Taipei, Taiwan. It was only a few hours, so I watched some movies. Made the horrible decision of watching Me Before You, and ended up balling just as they turned the lights back on. My layover in Taipei lasted 10 long hours, from 9 PM until 7 AM the next day. Fortunately the airport was really nice and had a place for transfer travelers to sleep and even shower! I slept soundly for about 4 hours wrapped in a couple of airplane blankets I took from the previous flight. How that airport works is you have to transfer and go through security again to get to your next flight. But because it was the middle of the night this security wasn’t open until 5 AM so there was a huge line. And classic traveling, the door was jammed. We watched like 30 airport staff run back and forth trying to fix it. And 45 minutes later 6 security men managed to open the door. Unfortunately this resulted with a line a mile long. But I made it despite a little stress. Oh also forgot to add the stress that there was a freaking typhoon going on, and I was so stressed I was going to have my flight cancelled. Luckily it moved north to China by the time I arrived, which means I probs flew over it. Anyways, the whole door dilemma made this flight delayed and then I had the stress of switching terminal in Manila looming over me. Manila airport is known to be absolutely insane, with long lines, crowded rooms, and you have to take a taxi between terminals! I ran out of the plane so fast, got in front of the customs line, sprinted to a taxi, and ended up being so early for my final flight to Cebu!
Kylie and Erin greeted me in Cebu (thank goodness they found me because I had no way of contacting them). We found our driver along with two other women I had met in a terminal in Taipei because I noticed they Hawaii shirts, which they informed me is their home. Small world, as they were staying at the exact same resort as us! We took different cars, and began our long drive to Moalboal. Our driver was absolutely hilarious, asking me to say words in Filipino and he would crack up cause my accent is so horrible. He was laughing so much, and attempting to teach us the language. It was so fun. The streets were absolute chaos. Motorbikes weaving through traffic, lane lines seemed to have no significance whatsoever, and people just scooted around eachother. No surprise, we waited for traffic for a while because of an accident. The roads were super colorful and lively. We passed some poverish areas which were very sad to see, even whole communities living in trashpiles near the sea. After we drove out of Cebu city we enjoyed the amazing sights of the jungle. Lush banana trees, huge mountains, and some gorgeous scenery. We even stopped at a little market for banana chips and coconut milk, YUM. I was exhausted from this long few days of traveling, I was so happy to have arrived at Magic Island after about 4 hours in the car. We got settled into our beautiful room, with a fantastic ocean view, and then got some dinner right at the resort. It was an early bed time for us.