"It's so bright here" I said to Stavros, the manager at Salt on Milos, a Greek island in the Cyclades.
He was walking me to my room while I was squinting my eyes looking at the sun glancing over the ocean on one side and the white suites on the other, feeling pure bliss before even putting down my backpack.
I love arriving in a new city. It's the thrill of something exciting and unexpected that keeps me going from place to place, always hoping the next one will offer something I haven't seen yet. New people, new food, new everything.
But then there are all these little incidents that won't make it onto my Instagram feed. Being scammed by a taxi driver because I didn't know how close my hotel was, getting lost in the middle of the night, dragging the backpack through the city looking for a place to stay...
That's why from time to time, there is nothing more enjoyable for me than returning to a place that I liked. Where I can tell the taxi driver where to turn and where my phone connects to the wifi without asking.
After an amazing month in the Philippines my last stop was Manila.
Z hostel had invited me to stay with them and as design hostels are my favourite kind of accomodation and the Philippines have some of my favourite places in the world, I knew this would be good.
“What do you bring to a lonely island? Not in a “the bible and a flashlight”-way, but really, what do you bring?” I asked my friend Natasha.
I was about to be picked up from Coron town to stay at Two Seasons Coron on a tiny island for a couple of days. I came to Coron for wreck diving but what else do you do in a luxury resort on a private peninsula? "Uhm... bring sunscreen?"
El Nido has been on my list for ages. One stunning beach next to another, amazing diving and beautiful cliff surroundings? Sounds like my kind of place.
So on my trip through the Philippines, I made sure that this was my first longer stop.
The lovely people at Spin Designer Hostel invited me to stay with them, which obviously made my time in El Nido even better.