A destination that I've always wanted to check off my bucketlist was the Philippines. I finally got to visit in November, and proceeded to island hop around El Nido and Coron for most of my stay there.

My days in Coron were filled with a newfound passion, stumbled upon randomly thanks to an old-time favorite of my friends and I: hiking. One of the first activities we did was to hike Mount Tapyas, a known spot in Coron, after a full day of snorkeling. It was a new activity, because our days usually consisted of going to the beach early in the morning, meeting with the person who's boat we rented, and going island hopping and snorkeling until it was time to make it back to shore, before the coast closed.

Mount Tapyas was an amazing experience. Hiking up was so tough, as the stairs seemed never ending. One of our fellow travelers decided halfway through that it was too much for him, and decided to sit out on the journey to the top. N, D, and I proceeded to keep going.

The long hike up was well worth it! The view was breathtaking, and we sat in the grass with other fellow hikers, marveling at the sunset, listening to the crickets and the birds chirp away. Everything was so perfect about that moment, it was as if nothing else mattered in the world. NOTHING. Not our jobs back home, not the fact that we didn't know where we would be staying in a couple of days, not the fact that the living conditions were very much representative of an underdeveloped country, not our worries or stress from back home.

The view was just that breathtaking, and it just made me realize how useless it was to worry sometimes.

Fishermen heading home after sunset
Photo by Xavier Smet / Unsplash

Ever since that day, I've gained a newfound love for sunsets. This has consequently led to me chasing sunrises, but that's a story for another time.

Also, on numerous occasions from that day forward, we would experience the sunset from the boat, while riding back to shore. The experience was surreal. Waves flapping, a light breezy wind, the sound of chit chatter from friends, and the immersive beauty of Mother Nature surrounding us was all I needed in that very instant.