I wasn't able to create a year-end post on the last day of 2012 because I was actually looking forward to summing it all up for my anniversary post! Excuses. But seriously, 2012 was one big blessing and a very big leap that I never thought would happen! It opened so many doors and made it possible for me to rub shoulders with so many great people. Of course, it wasn't a smooth sailing journey but I think that the overwhelming blessings overcome the not-so-good happenings of the past year that I couldn't think of describing it any less than amazing!
It was last year, one year after I started my blog, that I finally bought a .com domain and changed www.theshadesofgreyelal.blogspost.com to www.elaljanelasola.com, but retaining my header, The Shades of Grey. Unexpectedly, the book, 50 Shades of Grey, became famous. Thus, making some of those who landed in my page asking if I got it there. Well, the answer is NO. Haha. Anyway, last year was also the extensive I've ever been to travelling. From 2011 of just occasional out of town trips and roaming 'round Metro Manila, it jumped to a total of 19 trips with several destinations! That's something big from someone who have lived in Negros for 20 years and has not explored the nearby towns' attractions. Haha. In 2012, I've met great companies during those travels and crossed out some of the items in my bucket list like attending the Hot Air Balloon Festival last February, a trip to El Nido, Palawan last July, and first radio interview last October. On a personal level of firsts this year, captured my first lightning and starry night photo, bought a new lens, had my braces and got hair colored. :) As I celebrate those two anniversaries (when I started blogging and when I got my .com domain), let me give you quick run down of how 2012 has been very good to me!
Starting the year with the epic Pundaquit-Anawangin-Nagsasa-Capones trip was definitely one of a kind. And visiting Baguio City for the first time on the last week of January.
Exploring the unexplored Occidental Mindoro and amazed by the many beautiful beaches of this part of the island. I've also attended two of the major highlights of February in Metro Manila, the Hot Air Balloon Festival and the Pyromusical Contest.
The Zamboanga trip was an early start of summer and what made it extra special is that we celebrated the birthday of my college friend in their famous Pink Sand Beach.
Returning to Baguio with some travel bloggers and stayed at Azalea Residences. Then, experienced the heat of summer, again, in a frugal way at the beautiful Burot Beach. And the highlight of going to Camarines Norte visiting the famous white sand beach, Calaguas; surfing site, Bagasbas; and Malatap falls.
Explored the Bicol Region further by going to Legazpi and get awed by the ever beautiful Mayon, visited the three-layered cave of Hoyop-hoyopan, hoped to get a glimpsed of the butandings (whale sharks) in Donsol and wakeboarding at Camarines Sur.
The quick visit in Davao was a memorable one for I have met my cousin whom I have last seen 7 years ago. :) The firedancers there are very impressive! And more importantly, I traveled SOLO. Weeeeee.
Well, what can I say? Even if I got there when there was a typhoon, I still LOVE the place. And I'll visit it again and again and again, if funds permit. Haha Say hello to one of my dream destinations (which I have crossed out in my bucket list this year), EL NIDO, Palawan.
My family actually lives in the nearby town, Sibulan. But I practically lived all my life in the major city in Negros. I'll never ever get tired of the local charm of my hometown, Dumaguete City. And oh, celebrated my birthday there too. :)
Had my first lightning capture and had fun at Baler's different beautiful destinations.
Had my first radio interview and visited Baguio for the third time for a romatic get-away. :)
Was surprised by what Bolinao can offer! And had my first starry photo there. By the end of the month, I loved our view during our staycation at Microtel MOA and the mouthwatering food.
Late November to early December, I was able to go through a 13-hour bus ride! Achievement.
The destinations in Tuguegarao and white water rafting in Kalinga made it all worth it.
Finally, had the longest vacation ever in my home town, again, for the holidays. :)
This new year, I am hoping that as new travels come, I may able to finish all the backlogs of 2012. I wish. And not just post numerous itineraries! Haha. Cheers to my 2nd year of blogging and more travels to you too!
And since it is my anniversary, keep posted for my first give-away soon. :)