It’s the start of a new year and January started off on GREAT note for me! Last year, as you might have already known, I was stationary here in Belgium for over 6 months — not only to work further on my business, Adalid Gear, but to also process my visa.
On the last week of January, I received the best news ever: I got approved which will soon grant me a temporary resident visa here in Belgium. Still and the same though, for every travel trip that I do alone in Europe and in anywhere else in the world, I still have to apply for visas (unless the country is visa-free to my Philippine passport). It sounds like a big pain in the ass but it is fine and dandy for me since I’m no stranger to visa applications anyway.
But of course! The awesome thing about this is that I can finally enter and exit Belgium at any time to travel to anywhere within the Schengen Area! I say this because processing this temporary resident visa didn’t allow me to get out of Belgium for the past months and though this country is amazing, of course I really wanted see other countries too. (So yep, I had to be patient!)
You might be wondering: “Why Belgium?” Jonas and I decided to have this as our ‘home base’ for the next years, and besides, we have already transferred the incorporation of ‘Adalid Gear’ here. Hence, I’m functioning here as a business owner per se, as well as a partner of Jonas (we both run the business after all) which helps me stay here longer. Aaaaand nope, I’m not married nor am I engaged. If I’m ever engaged, you guys will know! But for now, no one’s popping any ring LOL and it’s fine that way since I don’t think I’m ready to settle down yet.
Now, given this predicament, I finally have the chance to pursue the pending partnerships that I have with several tourism boards and travel companies… and well, guess what? I got SO excited accepting invitations!
… that I suddenly realized how my calendar was getting so full. (I had to calm down, decline some other invitations and move them for next year; or else, Jonas will get mad that I’m away all the time).
Anyway, if you’re curious about my travel plans for this year, see my tentative schedule below. For sure, if you’re ever in any of these areas, do give me a ‘holla‘!
POLAND: To meet some friends from the Philippines who are currently on a Eurotrip.
HUNGARY: To do a trip review of a ride-sharing-tour-in-one website called OneDayTrip.com
FINLAND: To do a week-long trip to Helsinki since I was invited by the tourism board: Visit Helsinki! It’s quite exciting because they haven’t divulged yet what I will be doing so it’s all a surprise.
JAPAN: I’m finally going to Japan using my hard earned savings and this is what I’m looking forward to the most out from all of my travel plans. You see, not a lot of people know this but I’m some sort of ‘closet otaku‘ (LOL); therefore yes, I’m a huge Japan nerd. I’ll be staying there for 3 weeks and I’m still ironing out my itinerary. There are SO many things I want to do! If you have any suggestions, do let me know!
PHILIPPINES: It has been a while since I last came back home so I’m stopping by to meet family and friends! A chunk of my readers (you guys) are from the Philippines and some of you have been asking for a meet-up. I’d reaaly love to do it — even though I feel kinda shy thinking about it since it will be my first haha — but I’m still not sure since I will only be there for a few days. Nevertheless, I’ll try to find time and I will let you guys know asap!
INDONESIA: Just this month, I found out that I won a trip with TourRadar. At first I was granted a trip to Greece but I decided to change it into a trip to Bali. It’s still pending but it’s highly likely to happen. I’m looking forward to this because I miss the tropics so badly!
LUXEMBOURG: A small country by the border of Belgium and France, it’s often overlooked by travelers so in partnership with their tourism board, I plan to expose the beauty of this country soon!
MALLORCA: Yet another pending collaboration, and I’m thankful that they are generous enough to give me a villa to try for a week! I would love to experience life in this amazing island — soon!
CROATIA: In partnership with MedSailors, I will be going on my first-ever sailing trip! I plan to learn deep sea swimming before heading on to this trip so that I can fully enjoy the experience. (I already know how to swim now and do some strokes, but I still get nervous when I’m in deep waters so I’d like to do some ‘training’).
FAROE ISLANDS: If you haven’t heard of this country before, it’s time to learn more about it now because I swear to you: this isolated islands northwest of Europe will take your breath away. So for sure, I’m very thankful that their tourism board is sponsoring my trip. I can’t wait!
NORWAY: I have always dreamt of going on a road trip in Norway and it might just come true soon since Visit Norway and I are currently arranging my upcoming sponsored trip to their wonderful country.
SWEDEN: I will be attending my first ever travel bloggers conference in TBEX Stockholm. If you’re also going, let me know!
TRANS-SIBERIAN & NORTH KOREA: I’m not entirely sure if we’re pushing through with this trip, but Jonas and I are planning to do it from Moscow to Vladivostok so that we can also drop by North Korea. It’s not a trip usually taken by travelers; hence, it’s more of a reason why we want to do it!
EUROTRIP: If you remember last year, I mentioned how I was going on a 1 month train trip with Eurail around Europe. That didn’t push through because of my visa issues BUT finally this year, Eurail and I will be collaborating in order to make this happen. I’m absolutely looking forward to sharing my ‘train adventures’ with you guys. Besides, I’m thinking of exploring the places I listed in my top least visited countries in Europe. It will be fun!
ISRAEL: Another pending arrangement that is yet to be finalized, but it’s worth mentioning since I haven’t been to this region yet and I’ve heard a lot of great things about it!
…The other months are left with no concrete plans yet and I think that’s fine so that I can rest in between, haha!
Rest assured, not all of these trips will span a whole month because for sure, that will tire me out. In my opinion, it’s appropriately spaced out, and the only trip I’m missing (which I have also been wanting to do for years) is a trip to the Arctic Circle to see the Northern Lights. I have read articles that they will start to dim after this year, so I’m planning to arrange my own trip for that probably in December.
(On a sidenote, I was supposed to go on a sponsored trip to Antarctica this year, but I decided to put it instead in early 2017! YAY!)
Anyhow, yep… my 2016 is packed with adventures for me and I’m so thankful that I’m finally able to resume my travel spree around the world. I’m also looking forward to sharing it all with you!
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Hey there! I am Aileen Adalid.
At 21, I quit my corporate job in the Philippines to pursue my dreams. Today, I am a successful digital nomad (entrepreneur, travel writer, & vlogger) living a sustainable travel lifestyle.
My mission? To show you how it is absolutely possible to create a life of travel too (no matter the odds), and I will help you achieve that through my detailed travel guides, adventures, resources, tips, and MORE!
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@Eco_Megan haha yeah! I can't stop laughing 😂
@FootlockerWPH Ah no, my family is all in Manila.