Achievement, Mindfulness and Meditation, travel

Travel to the Philippines

Hello there civilization!

I was hoping to write when Monel and I were on vacation but I didn’t get around to it. We were very busy visiting with family and friends and traveling all over the place. It was great to view the different places within the Philippines while we were there and to meet so much family and get to know all of them. Family is key in my life and as well as Monel’s life. Which is why it was so important to me to meet her family and get to know them better.

We visited to multiple different places and saw most all of the family on her Mama and Papa’s side. While in Manila we met up with quite a few friends and Monel participated in a wedding of one of her best friends. It was beautiful to see a Filipino wedding and to watch it in the Manila Cathedral.

For a few days her and I had a mini vacation to Boracay and visited a number of different areas while we were there. While there we stayed at the Blue Lilly Hotel right on the beach. We had an awesome experience with multiple activities. ATV riding, parasailing, snorkeling, helmet diving, visiting Carabao Island (also called Romblon), and eating some amazing food of course!

We stayed on another island towards the end of the trip with a four of her friends (now our friends 🙂 ). Where we went was called Coron on the island of Palawan. This island is a lot less industrialized for tourism at this point in time so its a bit more of a fun trip for us. We really enjoyed the island hopping we did while visiting Coron and I would love to go back someday and visit another portion of Palawan to see El Nido or Puerto Princesa.

I will have more pictures, videos, and stories to share later on once I get more time to compile them into a better format and edited state. Please bear with us on that one :). there are some photos and videos up on my instagram already but a full on video is in the works to show better where we went throughout the entire trip and to explain our story. This truly was an amazing journey and I look forward to sharing more with you later.

Stay classy and travel often!

Adios (for now),

-Mark

travel

It’s more fun in the Philippines! 

Well we are adjusting to the time change difference still but it has been quite an experience so far.

I’ve gotten to meet many of Monel’s family and a few of her friends. It has been a great time meeting all of her extended family and seeing how they all interact together. A lot of surprised faces to see that her mom came to visit as well. 

The similarities between Mexico and the Philippines are crazy. Some of the architecture and many other things in daily life, like the traffic and seeing people that are walking around or waiting for the bus 🚌. They have a lot of transportation options for the people to get around instead of having to rely on driving themselves around, if they don’t have a car or easy way to get where they’re going.

Like many other countries I’ve been to that have heavy traffic and higher population density, there are a lot of small motor bikes riding around weaving in and out of traffic and riding between the lanes of cars. It’s a very efficient way to get through the traffic in Manila for sure.

Today we are traveling yet again, but this time heading to Boracay for a few days of a mini vacation. It’s a tourist type of area and has been industrialized a lot more to accommodate foreigners compared to Coron, where we will visit later in the trip.

Uber ride to the airport to fly to Boracay
travel

Travel day!

The day is finally here!!!

Monel and I are traveling to the Philippines today! First I am now in Troy, MI getting on the train and heading to Chicago to meet up with her at the airport. Then it’s time to get a move on to the other side of the world. 

I am nervous and excited all at once. Never have been to the Philippines before so this will be awesome to experience a new place. Parts of the trip will be new for both of us too.

Stay tuned for more updates during our trip, I promise the pictures will be awesome! Monel surprised me with a early birthday present, a new GoPro Hero 5!!! I am stoked to use it 😁. 

Stay classy!

Adios,

-Mark

Daily Prompt, Thoughts and Questions, travel

Daily Prompt – Sail

Sometimes the day can feel like it’s just not moving anywhere and other days it feels like you didn’t even get a chance to breathe. 

Taking the time to tighten the lines of your sail and catch more wind to power up your day can seriously give some great benefits. The same goes the other way though, to release some line and let things slow down a bit. Take some time to relax and enjoy the day. 

Whether you’ve got too much wind in your sail or not enough, make sure you enjoy it!

Life is a great journey and it should be enjoyed best as it can. 

We leave for Manila in 3 days!!!

Stay Tuned!

Stay classy!!!

Adios,

-Mark

Daily Prompt – Sail

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sail/

Thoughts and Questions, travel

The trip is finally almost here! 🇵🇭

Finally the trip is almost here. After a long time of planning, the trip for Monel and I is right around the corner. We have one week to go and at this very time seven days from now, we will be on the airplane ✈️ heading to Manila.

We are both so very excited to be able to spend another long flight together and to be able to experience traveling in the Philippines. I’m very grateful to be able to take this time off of work and I feel blessed to have a boss who will allow me to take off some extra time off while also getting some work done while there. It will both help me enjoy more time on the other side of the planet as well as not be far behind when I get home. I am going to make sure that I completely disconnect while I am gone though for at least a good portion of the trip.

Unfortunately, we have gotten some bad news recently that Monel’s grandfather is not doing very well right now and he is ill. The timing happens to work out almost perfectly that we will be able to see him while we are there but it is a shame that he is ill right now.

I’ve been having many thoughts and prayers for him and his health so that I can get the chance to meet him when we are visiting. My outlook for this trip is very positive, we are both very excited and I am still a bit nervous, but I know that the trip will be great. I have a great person to guide me through the Philippines and I’m trying to learn a little bit of Tagalog as well, however, I cannot speak it fluently so I will need her assistance of course.

While visiting we have some extra trips already planned, which I am stoked for. Visiting Boracay and Coron will be absolutely amazing!

Stay tuned for more updates and pictures!

🇵🇭 🇵🇭 🇵🇭

Stay classy!

Adios,

-Mark

travel

Travels in Los Angeles and San Diego, California

Earlier this year, Monel, Phoebe, and I took off out of Chicago for a week of vacation in Southern California. It was the first trip for the three of us, and it was a great one. We got to grow and bond together, which was really nice. Monel’s sister and her husband live out there so we stayed with them while we were there along with one night at her cousins place in L.A.

We got to see some amazing things while visiting the area and I had no idea how much there is to do in the San Diego area.

Visiting the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and Sea World were all amazing sites to see. Of course we got to visit Pacific Beach where we played on the beach and got some sushi 🍣 and other delicious foods. I got to try Uni for the first time, it was very good. Unfortunately Monel had an allergic reaction to it, so I had to run to the store and get some medicine to help with that. 


We got to ride the big air balloon at the safari park:

Here are some pictures from our dolphin 🐬 encounter at Sea World:
We also got to see a 4-D movie of Ice Age while visiting:


We went to Balboa park a few times and got to enjoy some of the great sites there. Here are a few pictures we took inside the park and inside the zoo:


We had a lot of fun in the area and hope to go back someday and see some more things. One of the other great spots we got to visit was in La Jolla. There were Sea lions and tons of sea shells that Phoebe was collecting. 

When the trip was coming to a close we ended up going to see the naval museum for the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier. It was great to see inside the ship and learn about the way that the sailors lived on that ship. 

On our way back to L.A. before we had to fly out we went and explored around Hollywood. It was pretty interesting to see the walk of fame and view Madame Toussettes Wax Museum. Some pretty interesting things to see in Hollywood but I must say it wasn’t as nice as many would think. We of course had to get our picture taken with the Hollywood sign as well because why wouldn’t we 🙂

We found the only star that you can’t walk on! 😁😁😁⭐️
We did get some delicious food for breakfast on one of our last days along with all the other tasty food we ate. 

Overall it was a great trip and got to see a lot of the Southern California area while visiting. I would definitely recommend visiting if you haven’t been before to explore and see what it has to offer. There is so much more that we didn’t even get to see but maybe another time we will.

Hope you enjoy this post and all the pictures!

Stay classy!

Adios,

-Mark

Achievement, Mindfulness and Meditation, Thoughts and Questions, travel

Travels: Near and Far

Recently I was asked by Cross Country Life to put more information out about where I’ve been and the things I have seen.

There are many great places around the world that I have been. Some are for work, some are for pleasure, and well I enjoy them all of course.

To start with the shorter of the two lists, my work travels of course (I will write separately later about my personal travels this far). I have been to Queretaro, Mexico on various different occasions. in 2016 I visited 5 times and 2017 this is now my 2nd trip that I am on while writing this very post. Previous to my travels to Mexico I got to visit Shirley/Birmingham, UK and Telč/Dačice, Czech Republic back in December of 2015. Prior to that was my first true business trip while working for ZF TRW. My first trip was the great journey to Seoul, South Korea and Daegu, South Korea. That trip is the one I met Monel on randomly in our airplane leaving Chicago O’Hare International Airport. I had no idea I would be sitting next to her or that we would even end up talking at all. Now here we are, almost two years later and going strong.

Mexico

Mexico has been a wonderful place to visit of course you can see that in my post from earlier. Here are a couple of pictures from today to show you some of the things you can see in Centro Historico district in Queretaro if you ever come to visit. The food featured in the picture is at a restaurant called Chucho El Roto, pictured is the Chucho El Roto Molcajete along with the appetizer of Grasshoppers (yes, grasshoppers). It is a wonderful restaurant that I have been to a couple of times in the past and absolutely love it. The food is fantastic and in a wonderful location right downtown. Also the Aqueduct is a famous thing to see while in the city. It was built to carry water down from the mountain into the city many years ago. While visiting this time there was a festival going on and you can see pictured a clown and a tiny car (they had an old Volkswagen car show going on). If you ever have the urge to visit central Mexico, I highly recommend checking out Queretaro.

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UK and Czech Republic

Moving along to the UK and Czech Republic visit I did back in 2015 (December), I stayed in the UK for about 9 days and then went to the Czech Republic for 4 days.

While staying in the UK I got to visit a number of restaurants. One of the favorites in that area was the Miller and Carter Steakhouse. If you are in the area and looking for a good place to eat, highly recommended by me. 🙂

We also got to do some checking around the area and enjoyed looking at the different types of buildings. Another great place in the relative area is The Red Lion Tavern. It is an old style tavern but definitely worth checking out if you’re into that kind of thing. They only accept cash so make sure you’re ready for that.

While visiting over the weekend we went and checked out London, which was amazing by the way. Seeing Big Ben, Tower Bridge, the London Bridge, and various other great buildings. While visiting we made sure to get as many pictures as we could and see as many sights as we could. One of the more interesting parts of that visit was the protests outside of Big Ben.

The Czech Republic came next and that was like entering another world of its own. The language was hard to understand and driving there was difficult because of that. However, we did get around just fine in our Skoda car. A lot of open farmland and beautiful country side by the area we were staying in (Telč/Dačice). Telč has an awesome old style castle town which has some interesting little shops and things to see. There isn’t much in the town itself but our hotel Hotel U Hrabenky was awesome! Great food served at the restaurant and wonderful beers as well. Dačice is where our plant and test facility was located so we drove there everyday to work and found the drive was quite easy but there isn’t much there (even less than in Telč). If you’re planning a visit to the Czech Republic, I would highly recommend staying where we did in Telč but make sure to spend some time in Prague, I have heard it is amazing but we didn’t get to spend much time there other than in the airport.

South Korea

My first business trip was to South Korea. Obviously I mentioned above that it is still one of my favorite trips for very good reason :), I met Monel on my way there!

First when I arrived there in the airport at Seoul, Monel and I were very tired from talking throughout the entire 13 hour flight from Chicago. I loved the entire flight, but I was also looking forward to getting some sleep at the hotel near the airport. The next day I woke up to find out that the person I was supposed to be meeting didn’t actually end up coming, so I met up with two of the other people I was supposed to meet anyways and we got ready to take along train ride to Daegu (southern South Korea). In Daegu is where we stayed for the two weeks of our trip while working with our supplier on assembly line equipment. I learned a lot during that time, both about myself and about my work. Daegu is a great city and I would love to go back and visit someday. I had a friend I knew through work who lives in Korea who showed me around during the weekend and a few extra days that I stayed there. It was great having him show me around to the different parks and hiking on the Bukhan Mountain. He also showed me the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) between North and South Korea. I will say that was a very interesting and peaceful thing to see, even though it was closed the day we went to see it.

One of the great things I loved about Korea’s restaurants is the service. They don’t come and check on you every 5 minutes while you just stuffed a bunch of food in your mouth. Instead, they have buttons on the tables (at most restaurants) and when you need something you can push the button and next thing you know, someone is at your table to help you.

The Korean people have a high regard for being hopeful and positive towards the future by placing their faith in different objects. I learned this while hiking one day with my friend and he showed me a few different instances of exactly this.

Hiking with him and conquering the mountain was amazing! I had a great time as I always do while traveling.

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Let me know what you think of this post and I hope you enjoy my future writings. I will be posting some more information about personal trips soon.

Stay tuned!

Stay classy and awesome! You Rock!

Adios,

-Mark