Though I try to post mainly on leadership, it’s hard not to post sometimes when you have a vacation of a lifetime. Still, for those interested in Four-Hour-Work-Week or Mr-Money-Mustache living — that is, needing little — you’ll be glad to see that working only one or two days a week can bring you to one of the world’s top-rated beaches — Boracay!
Last week a friend and I planned to visit another friend in Manila. Ten days of monsoon rains flooded that city, so they suggested I check out Boracay, an island I’d never heard of, but was a short, cheap flight away.
Below are some pictures. They couldn’t capture two of the island’s best features.
First, in the ocean. The fish and invertebrates were incredible — neon bright, numerous, and happy to swim right in front of your goggles. We snorkeled, but we could just as well just look in the water and see them the water was so clear.
Second, the food was amazing. We found one place the first day that was so good we kept going back for local foods. My friend, of course, wanted seafood, so we did all-you-can-eat seafood for her while I suffered not-very-good vegetables they didn’t seem to care about making delicious as much as the clams, lobsters, etc.
So while Manila recovered from monsoon rains, we enjoyed soft white sand beaches, crystal clear water, comfortable breezes, and the sound of lapping waves. Though near the equator, it was cooler and less humid than Shanghai, so it felt great.
We walked along the beach to what looked like the end, but the rocky shore had a path through and around it, in case the beach wasn’t beautiful enough.
Past the rocky shore was another beach, more secluded. Past that beach was an exclusive luxury hotel, Gaudi style, where we elected to stay, watch the sunset, eat dinner, have a few drinks, and meet people there.
We stayed at the more modest Eriko’s House, which I recommend. Visiting off-season meant low prices and smaller crowds. The weather was the same — only fewer people. I guess when you don’t have hundreds of vacation days a year you have to take what your company gives you. Anyway, since our plans were so last-minute we just walked around until we found a place we liked and bargained until we got a good price. The searching took about an hour, which I count as exploration time.
Boats everywhere, mostly catamarans. Very peaceful. We took them diving, snorkeling, and to more secluded beaches where we ate and walked around.
Last month I answered a reader’s questions about my fitness beliefs and habits. I didn’t have any before and after pictures, but here is an after picture, I guess. For the past eight months, my main exercise has been the burpees as I described in those posts. I eat everything I want — no meat and very little processed stuff. My friend mostly complained about how skinny I am, which this picture doesn’t show. Girls don’t seem to like guys being skinnier than them.
Are crystal clear water, white sandy beaches, deep blue skies, puffy white clouds, stunning fish and water life, and amazing food at reasonable prices not enough for you? How about some stunning rock formations then?
On the way out we left through a small airport a ninety minute drive from the island through lush tropical countryside. Here is the view from the patio of the restaurant across the street from the airport.
My first ever hand-written boarding pass. For “Joshua” — why burden ourselves with last names when they aren’t necessary?
Another first: fifteen minutes before our flight was supposed to start boarding, they found us and told us to board right away. Somehow the flight was about to take off. We made sure the plane was going to Manila, which it was, so we boarded. The plane took off fifteen minutes before scheduled and landed forty-five minutes ahead of time. It was only a seventy-five minute flight!
I guess small airports where we’re all on a first-name basis can do that.