Hi! I'm Irka from the Philippines, I grew up in a small fishing village 30 minutes away from Cebu City. I've always lives close to the beach and I can't live without it. I've been working in the Business Process Outsourcing industry for the past 6 years. taking a few months break in between to go backpacking. My destination of choice usually involves a beach or an island. I recently went on a four month backpacking trip with my boyfriend to some islands and beaches in southeast Asia.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COUNTRY SO FAR?
Thailand is my favorite country because it is rich in culture, the food is amazing, the people are friendly, and it is breathtakingly beautiful. I've visited the country 3 times and I usually stay for a month or so, but it is still not enough. Thailand is definitely one of my stops when I plan my next backpacking trip.
WHAT PLACE IS TOP OF YOUR BUCKET LIST?
I would like to go to Pushkar in India, preferably during the Holy festival. Then there is Varanasi, Skeleton Coast, Easter Island, Burning man, Mongolia, and Seychelles.
WHAT CAN'T YOU TRAVEL WITHOUT?
Never travel without a bikini. It can also double as underwear or wear
DO YOU PREFER SOLO TRAVEL OR WITH SOMEONE ELSE?
There are places best traveled alone. But I've learned that it's better to have a friend or someone special to share the memories with.
WHO IS THE PERSON AT HOME THAT YOU MISS THE MOST?
I missed my dog the most. When I got home, he was the first one to greet me. He ran towards me and started licking my face. Haha
WHICH COUNTRY HAS THE MOST FRIENDLIEST PEOPLE?
I've found Balinese people very friendly. My boyfriend and I have made very good friends with the locals in Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceninggan. We were very fortunate to be invited to take part on a traditional Celebration with them. It was a very unique and spiritual experience that I will never forget. They treat you like you'll be friends for life. They still keep in touch with us even months after leaving Bali.
HOW TO TRAVEL ON BUDGET?
Booking flights months ahead saves a lot of money. For accommodation, we used Agoda to find cheap rooms. Or, just walk around and find a guesthouse. We try to save money on those so we can splurge on good food and drinks.
WHO IS THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU'VE MET SO FAR?
I've met a lot of interesting people during my travels. I have to say my favorites would be those who travel for years and are not afraid about their finances, and not afraid to try new things.
WHAT'S BEEN YOUR SCARIEST MOMENT?
A traveling friend once told me in every 10 people who die in Bali, 8 of which are caused by moto-vehicular accidents. My experience with riding a motorbike in Bali was the scariest i have ever been in. Also we got lost somewhere outside Ubud, in the middle of endless rice fields, where no one understands english.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST USEFUL ITEM YOU'VE BOUGHT?
Definitely a good camera to document everything. I use my cameraphone and a GoPro. Extra battery or a powerbank comes in handy as well, specially when you go camping and don't have an outlet to plug electronics.
WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF TRAVEL ADVICE YOU'VE RECEIVED?
To be respectful wherever you go and whatever situation you encounter.
WHAT'S THE LONGEST YOU'VE BEEN AWAY FROM HOME?
About 4 months. I wish to do a longer trip in the future, maybe live somewhere for a period of time.
WHAT'S YOUR DREAM JOB?
I want to work for Discovery Channel or NatGeo. Something that shows the world in an educational and insightful way. I would also like to teach little children how to swim which I have done before as a pastime.
WHERE WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO LIVE IN THE WORLD?
I dream to build a home perched on a mountain with a glass wall facing the sunset. It would be a bike ride away from the beach, and a small town where establishments are independently owned small businesses supporting each other. In a way it would be a self sufficient small community. I need to find that place.
NAME THE COUNTRIES YOU HAVE VISITED.
Aside from exploring my home country, the Philippines, I have visited Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD TRAVEL MEMORY?
My family wasn't into traveling so that's why I have to work hard and save up in order to experience traveling by myself. One day I can take my family somewhere and show them what they are missing.
WHAT IS YOUR UNFORGETTABLE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE?
Trekking through the Forest of Khao Sok National Park. We decided to cross a no entry sign and went without a guide to a waterfall that took six and a half hours to trek. The trail started to fade and disappear as we went deeper into the forest and we got lost at some point. There were a lot of obstacles, wild animals, and beautiful sceneries. We finally reached this waterfall and we were the only people there. We didn't have much time so we took a 10 minute swim and left before the sun goes down.
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU'VE LEARNED?
Learning that my fears and worries are all in my mind and not to let it control or restrict me to do the things i want to do.
IF YOU WROTE A NOVEL, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
It would be about self discovery and rebirth.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM TRAVELING EXPERIENCE.
Free flights to any destination for life!
WHAT TRAVEL SCAMS HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT?
It is very common in Thailand and Cambodia to rent scooters and leave your passport as collateral in case damages are done to the scooter. We rented one in Sihanoukville and paid for it in advance. We returned the vehicle the next day and the person in charge claimed that we had not paid for it. We presented her with the receipt but she insisted that we still pay or she will not give back my boyfriend's passport. After a heated argument in very limited english, we gave up and paid for it again so that we can have his passport back.
DO YOU CALL YOURSELF A TOURIST OR A TRAVELLER?
I once lived in Khaosan road for a month in a guesthouse dormitory with other travelers, share stories, hung out with locals, eat and go to places where the locals are. It's about trying to live in the moment of where you are, instead of cramming as many activities as you can in a short amount of time. For that, I consider myself a traveller more than a tourist.
STRICT SCHEDULE OR GO WITH THE FLOW?
Both have their advantages and disadvantages but I prefer to follow a general schedule and go with the flow in between.
WHAT'S BEEN THE BEST STREET FOOD YOU'VE HAD?
Grilled octopus dipped in very spicy sauce that I found in Bangkok. Grasshoppers come second. And third would be seafood Tom Yum.
WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING THING YOU'VE DONE?
Definitely trekking the forest of Khao Sok. It tested my endurance tremendously.
DO YOU THINK YOU'LL STAY FRIENDS WITH THE PEOPLE YOU'VE MET?
I keep in touch with them from time to time. It would be nice to meet them again somewhere.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING ANIMAL YOU'VE SEEN?
I once went diving to see some Manta Rays and then saw a group of wild dolphins on the same day.
WHO IS YOUR DREAM TRAVEL COMPANION?
My partner in life is my dream travel companion, but it's a dream that has turned into reality.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN 3 WORDS?
Im a "Freedom loving dreamer"
WHAT CAN YOU ADVICE TO PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO START TRAVELING?
For those who never thought they could travel, believe that you can, work on it, and it will happen. Step outside your comfort zone and see the beauty of the world around you.
FACEBOOK : Irka Canseco
INSTAGRAM : Irka Canseco
TRAVELING brings us love, joy, it changes our beliefs and perceptions in life. It can make us better and stronger people. Through TRAVELING we learn to love, to forgive. to broaden our horizons. The best part of TRAVELING is to meet people along the way with whom we share stories, with whom we become friends, for that moment and possibly forever.