Seeing the Islands with Rum in the Blood: The Cebu Booze Cruise

Traveling isn’t all about drinking tremendous amounts of inexpensive rum with strange interesting people while cruising around a vast turquoise sea in tropical heat where the water is just as comfortable as the air… but it’s one sweet aspect of it.

Though I am an advocate of travel for the sake of expanding one’s boundaries and the incalculable benefit that comes from understanding the cultures of different peoples… I still like to drink rum and jump off boats from time to time.

So the Cebu Booze cruise came as a welcomed pardon from the day to day working life in Mandaue City, Philippines. This event is organized through the Couch Surfing platform and they have a Facebook page. If you’re in the Philippines, I’d recommend checking it out. It’s a blast.

Here, I made a video, check it out:

Some Tips if You Decide to Partake

  1. You’re not in Kansas anymore. The Philippines is a great place to spend time because you are free to do and act however you want. That being said, things can get out of hand out there and there is no one to hold your hand like in Australia or the USA. Keep your wits about you and don’t drink tooooooo much.
  2. Mayan is the organizer of the event. She is an beautiful, honest and caring person. You can trust that she isn’t trying to rip you off. She does the cruise as a volunteer so you should give her a gift because she is doing you a favor!
  3. Hydration is super important. Drink lots of water. This will help you in more ways that you can imagine because drinking rum, swimming in saltwater and laying in the sun is a great way to get dehydrated.
  4. Be respectful. It’s important that no one does anything stupid like throw bottles into the sea or drown. No littering dummy.
  5. Stay out of the sun. Everyone seems to get bad sunburns on this trip. Be the smart one that avoids this and you’ll be happy the day after.
  6. Have a blast. This is a fantastic way to really cut loose and enjoy a day on the water.
  7. Thank Mayan and buy her something nice.

Walk With Me: A Trip Around Cebu City, Philippines

I used to wake up every morning to the sounds of motors roaring in the Philippines. It’s an amazing place to live and I enjoyed the madness of it more than is easy to describe. Every moment of life is filled with noise and interesting things to do.

The Philippines is an excellent place for those seeking to build out a business online. You can live there hyper cheap while you build, whatever it is that you imagine to bring enough money to keep you on the road.

Here’s a plan to get started with a life of travel. First, go to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. You can save money and see the world while working your way around Australia picking fruit. Then, once you’ve saved up a bunch of $ – Go to the Philippines. Those Australian Dollars will go a long way and then you can build a business on the internet to get you moving towards a long term asset development.

I made a YouTube video about a day in the life of an entrepreneur trying to get work done while living in Mandaue City on the island of Cebu. I hope you like it.

A Day in the Life Cebu City, Philippines:

If you have any remarks, please feel free to tweet it!

Transcript:

Hey! This is Ian the Intern.
Today I’m going to show you around Cebu (Philippines.)

One of the things about the Philippines is that you can’t drink out of the taps. So everybody drinks out of these things. Theres all sorts of these refilling stations around. Basically, I’m going to show you how I get mine filled up. It’s just right down stairs.

Yeah, so this is pretty much what happens every day here. You have got to get a big old thing of water and truck it up the three sets of stairs.

to get it back. Now I’ve got drinking water. One of these containers lasts me about three days.

As you saw, I gave her about 25 filipino pesos for this container to get full and nice and sterile and everything. Twenty five pesos, that is about fifty cents.

You get a little glass of tea, some rice and an egg. What else could you want?

Alright so I just got a good meal and I’m going to go. Basically, there are three types of public transportation here in Cebu. You’ve got your taxis, and your motorcycles which are like the motor trikes and then you’ve also got your Jeepneys.

So right now I’m going to jump in one of these trikes.

As you can see here, these trikes are all sort of home made. Each one of them has it’s individual differences. This one that I’m on is different than those other two that we just passed by.

So there are a lot of supermarket style stores here but… one of the ones that I wanted to show you is this outdoor tent market up here.

This is right at the end of Cabancalan and I’ll show you around; this is a pretty interesting spot.

So as you can see, that place is pretty sweet. I especially like the fish market I like it because it has such interesting things going on there.

Anyways I’m going to walk around the corner now to a little bit more of a western style shopping mall. Here is one of the things I think is really cool about the Philippines; they’ve got these things called the Jeepneys.

Jeepneys are basically just like busses and everyone pays individually. The main thing that makes a Jeepney so cool is that they are always dressing them up individually.

There are thousands of Jeepneys and each and every
one of them is different and unique.

Here is another one, check this out. When night comes along, all the Jeepneys have these different colored lights and they glue old CDs onto the outside so they shine off all these brilliant lights.

It looks like something out of this world.

It’s a really colorful public transportation system. Anyway, I made it here. This is the more western style mall that you see. This is the kind of place that I like to come and chill, use the internet and drink a cup of coffee. These more western style shopping centers are a bit of a breath of fresh air, after you’ve been struggling your way though the depths of Cebu on the back of a taxi or a trike. So this is one of the great places that I like to hangout. Right in front of us you see the Emerald Isle in Cebu which is the Irish Bar here in Cebu that is really great.

Hey I hope you guys liked this little video of my little neighborhood here in Cebu. I just wanted to show you around. I’ve been working all day and now I’m going to get back to it. Thanks very much for watching, and I’ll see you on the other side.

Snow Planet – Auckland (North Shore), New Zealand

Indoor Snow Sports in a the Northland (No Snow)

When people think of New Zealand they think snow. The truth is, the North Land doesn’t have lots of snow. Actually, the Northland of New Zealand has no snow, except in the SnowPlanet warehouse.

The Lads and the Yank At Snow Planet

A Strange Feeling – Ski Lodge in the Subtropics

It was a strange feeling going from the subtropical cool feel of Northern New Zealand into the old freezing snow weather that I was once accustomed to. The feeling of being at a ski area is un-forgettable and it is bizarre to be transported to this place immediately after a weekend of swimming in the Bay of Islands.

We approached the place wearing short sleeved shirts and jandals (for those of you who don’t know, jandals are what kiwis call flip flops.) Inside the warehouse they have a perfectly picturesque ski lodge with a gas fire and a hearty bar. They even have ski food like burgers and chips (fries for the Yanks out there.) Its a perfectly legitimate ski area lodge. The biggest difference is that the snow is also inside and you can look directly out onto the whole hill from your seat at the bar.

Review

I grew up in Tahoe so skiing is second nature. This place is just a measly hill.

When I got here I was expecting this but because I had been traveling in warm places for the last three years; I have to admit: It was fun. I actually had a blast.

Though the place is just a hill; if you’ve never skied or snowboarded before, this is an excellent place to get the knack of it. Everyone here is either a beginner, or they shouldn’t be there. It’s really fun to breath the cold air and get that freedom of falling on soft snow.

Snow Quality

The snow quality is nice. In Tahoe we describe it as “spring corn.” It’s great stuff to learn on. You can set an edge in it, roast your friends with it and when you fall it doesn’t hurt at all. Really fun quality snow, but not the best for snowballs.

Toys

I took advantage of this bad boy:

They have three of these things just chilling in the locker room. Feel free to grab it. This badboy made my day. Check out the action shots on the video above.

Bottom Line

Look if you’re an expert snow rider, don’t go here. Get a bus ride to Queenstown. If you’re looking for a day of fun in the snow while your bored in Auckland; this place is perfect.

You can find out directions and buy tickets at the Snowplanet website.

Rotorua, New Zealand: Skyline Luge

The Rotorua Luge is mean. We had an awesome time with the family. I used the GoPro to slap this video together:

Honestly, I had my doubts about doing this. It seemed a bit overly family friendly for my radical roots, but I was wrong. The high speed corners led to adrenaline filled skids and I almost rolled a few times. One of our party did roll.

“Rotorua Luge vs. Queenstown Luge” No real competition, the Rotorua Luge is better. I heard this straight from the mouths of a few Kiwi fellows who have visited both Luge locations more times than they could count. Word is, the Rotorua Luge is better quality, longer and faster than it’s counterpart in Queenstown.

We really had a great time. It’s a lot like a short day at the ski area, but not quite so cold!

Thanks for reading!

The Farm: Whangaruru, New Zealand

I love this place.

Let me introduce: The Farm

The Farm is the product of the youthful minds of Mike and Ellen Bennett.  The house that you see above is their home/hostel/book warehouse/halfway house/retirement home/play house.  At the beginning, there was only the green building on the right.  The building is growing like the Little Shop of Horrors with a life of it’s own by continuing to grow farther and farther to the south east.

Mike and Ellen run this beautiful 1,000 acre dairy farm just outside of Whangaruru, New Zealand. It’s a long drive from the nearest town.  If you plan on visiting them and you don’t have a car, it’s important to contact them through the website before you try to head out there.

Mike and his sons are motorbike crazy.  Their shop is a skeleton yard of motorbike pieces scattered about.  It’s a hectic mad scientist spot. They keep a well protected  motorbike magazine collection of everything available over the past 20 years.

When divinity was designing this land, there must have been a specific effort to make the place perfect for riding dirt bikes.  From the lookout just above the house, there is nothing but steep grassy hills and muddy tracks as far as the eye can see (out to the ocean.)  They have loads of people come to the farm to ride dirt=bikes with them all summer long.  Lots of people go and play on their huge motorbike track.

Ellen on the other hand is an exceptional natural horsewoman. She has a way with horses that I’ve never seen in anyone else.  She can go into a corral with a young “never been saddled before” horse and be sitting on its back with nothing but a blanket within two hours.  I watched her do it.  She is amazing.

Besides the horses and motorbikes, the Bennetts have a slew of activities at their door step.  The river is a short walk away and you can grab a kayak and take a trip down the river all the way to the ocean if you fancy.  There are nice surf beaches within a short drive from the Farm.  If you don’t have any cash you can just go for a hike around the area.  It’s stunning and out of the way so you can expect to find solitude out there.

The Bennetts are really welcoming and I unconditionally recommend the Farm as a destination to anyone going to New Zealand.  It’s only about 2 hours from Auckland.  Have a blast.  Tell them Ian Robinson sent you.

I even got to eat a huge worm!

I got to ride a dirtbike!

V got to ride a horse!