After two weeks of traveling with my friends and family from back home, I am officially once again a solo backpacker. We checked-out of the hotel in the late morning and went back to the Mall of Asia to have lunch at the same Korean BBQ restaurant that we had dinner at last night. It started out as a joke, but Kathleen and I both agreed that the food was so good that we could eat it again. So we did.
We walked around the mall for a minute to get some last minute pasalubongs and then headed back to the hotel to collect our stuff. I said my goodbyes to Kathleen and JC and then walked down the street to my next hotel, the Remington Hotel. I had stayed there previously in January when I came to the Philippines, so I knew it would be a good place to camp out on my last night in Manila. I got checked-in then came up to my room and had lots of time to relax for the remainder of the day.
I walked across the street to Resorts World Manila to grab a banh mi and Vietnamese coffee for an early dinner. Then, I pretty much spent the rest of the evening watching the New Zealand series from Karl Watson Travel Documentaries. Karl Watson is a filmmaker and backpacker that created a series called HK2NY, where he and his mate, James, backpacked for 9-months through 20 countries and across 4 continents. They started in Hong Kong and ended in New York (hence the HK2NY). This is the series that inspired my entire trip. I first came across HK2NY on Youtube when I searched “backpacking New Zealand” and suddenly I fell in love with the idea of a long-term travel adventure. It’s a great series, and I spent countless hours rewatching the episodes over and over again on Youtube in preparation for this trip. Tomorrow is my last day in the Philippines. I feel like I have been at home, even though it’s still a foreign country, but I have been so lucky to be surrounded by family and friends for the past 2 weeks. Onto my next destination … Tokyo, Japan!