flip’n travels on korrespondent magazine ukraine
We will be total douche bags if we say this news did not made us crap a bit in our traveling pants. We were ecstatic and giddy that we almost punch the faces of the person next to us when we got the pictures of the pages of the 44th issue of Korrespondent Magazine. Come on, how many times in this lifetime can you claim that you shared a page with no less than Barack and Michelle Obama? It is like scoring cheap holiday deals amidst fecha de peligro of holiday bank-shed season. So allow us to brag a bit and slap this roll of glossy issue to you tooshies. *wink
Last month, Inna Pryadko, a journalist from Ukraine interviewed us about the trends of travel in our side of the world. We don’t really know what was her criteria for choosing us out of a pool of talented travel bloggers and writers who are way more renowned and bolder in terms of branding.
The magazine is in Russian, so we are hoping they are not saying things like “Travel ng travel mga mukhang hampas-lupa naman!” Also, when we scanned the pages we have seen numerical figures like 40 and 43, we are just hoping they are not guessing our ages, or body mass indices.
While we are still waiting for the actual translation of the published article, we decided to share the excerpt of the interview transcript. So here you go:
1. Tell us a bit more about yourself? Name? City you live in now? Age? Occupation?
Monette Fernandez is from Manila, Philippines. A Training Manager for a US-based third-party healthcare provider in Makati. Ron Cruz is a Filipino based in Singapore working as Medical Investigation Officer. We are both are freelance travel writers and bloggers of FLIPTRAVELS.COM and we’ve been traveling together in the past 4 years.
2. Which countries did you visit over the last 2-3 years? Which cities and places did you manage to see?
Over the last three years, we’ve managed to see majority of Southeast Asian countries except for Brunei and Burma (there is nothing to do with both countries starting with ‘B’:-)) We’ve also squeezed in trips to China, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. We used to be the kind of travelers who suck the life off of the places we visit, cramming all possible cities and sites into one or two weeks of vacation leaves. After some time on the road, we’ve learned to gather moss in one place.
3. Which of them were the most impressive? What kind of journeys do you prefer?
Some of the most impressive places we’ve been are Siem Reap because it simply arrests you with awe. The train rides in China are life changing experiences. Being in Hoi An in Vietnam is like walking in a dream with age-old houses trickled along the side-streets. Pai, Thailand is a hallucinogenic pill you just had after a hammering hangover. Luang Prabang, Laos is the silent prayer you utter after seeing a hundred monks go by. Bali, Indonesia is the petal that falls on the ground in the morning of offering. Bhaktapur, Nepal is a quiet ageing of a wooden temple held us in suspended animation. These places have left an imprint in our lives that will never be forgotten.
And as most of the travelers would say, we were never fans of package tours. And we will never be. Planning the trip by ourselves is actually part of the journey we would never want to miss, even if we miss a couple of buses and trains because of miscalculation or drunkenness.
4. How do you usually choose destinations for your trips?
As far as we can remember, our destinations are chosen on a whim, mostly with the extent of our budget. We also cannot discount the history lessons we were made to read and memorize when we were in school. The drive to see the things we used read about appealed to our sense of escapism.
5. What do you like most about traveling to emerging countries like Cambodia, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Borneo? What did you expect to see and to feel there?
Traveling to emerging countries in Asia makes us closer to history. We may be speaking with partiality but it is the one thing that we may never feel if we travel to big cities in the US, for example. The places we’ve been to may have long been trodden by backpackers from Western countries and other rich countries in the region but as travelers coming from the Philippines, it gives us a sense of preserved culture that we are missing back home. We wanted to see culture perfectly preserved by people who know where they came from, thus the pride they show visitors when they welcome travelers to their country.
4. If you could compare your trips to emerging countries in Asia with travels to the developed countries in Europe or even Hong Kong and Singapore, what are the main advantages and disadvantages of them (in terms of economic, cultural, and service differences)?
Traveling in big, developed, and urbanized countries means that we’ll experience efficient transportation (all forms of it), get hold of practically anything we need in the next-door convenient shops, find a restaurant and eat anything that is not from the country we are in, and sleep mostly in acceptable hotels even with the smallest budget. But we also risk the absence of human connection as cities are notorious for transforming the most amiable of people to zombies.
On the other hand, traveling from Hanoi to Hue on the week of a national holiday meant sleeping in a three bunk train that caused us back pains for two weeks. A road in Kandy left us no choice but to buy spicy curry rice (the only menu the store had) from a make-shift cart on the side of the dirt road. Six days in Kanawa Island gave us the bare-necessities for island living. And while sitting on a dusty and neglected streets of Kathmandu, we were approached by an old Newari lady who offered cheap bread and a heart-warming story to tell back home.
Thanks to Inna and Korrespondent for this… er… Eastern European debut appearance.