Day 12. My first video.

I spent most of Friday editing my footage from Lima.  It was good to relax and not worry about traveling or doing tourist stuff. I spent the day in my room writing my last post and trying to figure out how to edit videos.

My friends at Droneworks, who make and edit videos as their business, gave me this tip to edit and make a video as soon as I shoot it.  You can make tiny little episodes while you  travel.  The opposite is shooting a bunch of footage then at the end of your trip, which is a year, and edit it all into a movie.  I prefer the first way because of the amount of footage on the back end would be overwhelming. I would end up procrastinating all of it.

The goal of making videos is to document my trip through my own lens. This is what I saw and I remember the feelings I had when I shot it.  I can look back when I’m 50 at some tangible piece of video instead of a million photographs. What is movie anyway but a collection of moving photos?

I used GoPro Quik.  I tried using Black Magic Divinci Resolve 12 but that was way too difficult.  I think my SurfacePro  4 was working really hard while that program was running too.  I will do more research for my next video.

I write, take photographs, film, train Jiu Jitsu, practice Spanish, eat local food, have travel diarrhea, see the sites, wash my clothes in the shower and other travel stuff that’s done behind the scenes. I piece of me wants to simplify it and only do one thing, like write and photos. But I’ve wanted to play around with film for a long time.  I feel like this is the perfect time to do it. Unfortunately it’s on the road with a bunch of things I also enjoy doing.

It sounds like I’m complaining which I am. If anybody has any advice on the video, editing, or life. Please let me know.

Day 11

I was on 11 hour bus ride from Lima to Trujillo.  The bus was extremely comfortable compared to Greyhound in the US or even a bus I took in Spain from Bilbao to Santander. Our seats were able to lean back and we had our own entertainment. It was a double-decker bus and each row had three seats. We had ample space to stretch.  We were given lunch and snack time with a service attendant. We had a pillow and blanket on our seat waiting for us as we boarded.  It felt like first class for buses. I have never had first class but I imagine that’s what it would have felt like. The scenery was very contemplative. It was full of desert coastlines and driving through little towns.  For $43 USD it was great deal. It had drawbacks though.  You weren’t allowed to defecate in the bathroom, it was only for urinating.  I didn’t understand the explanation if it was broken or if that was normal. The roads were bumpy for more than half the ride paired with the stop and go traffic. The trip took 11 hours.  I wasn’t used to being on a bus for that long.  I will think twice next time I take a bus anywhere.

img_0137
Franco telling us a story about women wearing tapadas on balconies.

To bring it back to Lima.  On my last day I took a free walking tour of downtown Lima.  It was good to meet other travelers.  The only other contact I had was my host Jiu Jitsu gym and the hostel workers.  The night before I decided to be more sociable and meet people. By nature I spend a lot of time by myself when I’m at home but I don’t mind because I have a house full of my family.  I’m naturally an introverted person who doesn’t like small talk. I had to force myself to go out and go on the tour.  So I met a few German girls, an Argentine couple, and Franco, our tour guide.  I felt better to talk to people.  I enjoyed how I could speak with everyone and ask questions in Spanish/ Castellano.  If my German was conversational I would be even more happy with myself, but I spoke English with them. The Germans, Mona, Katy, Lea, and Gesa, were going to Cuzco later in the month. The Argentine couple were from a city north of Buenos Aires, I don’t remember the name. They were on a three month car trip ending in Ecuador.

Franco telling us about Taulichusco, the first “alcade” of Lima.

I recommend looking into any free walking tour if you’re ever in a big city.  I took one in Barcelona and Madrid.  They are always a good way to meet other travelers and hear the history of the city.  I have heard about the Spanish Colonization of South America but hearing some of the details and atrocities that took place. It’s very sad.  It’s one thing to hear the story in Spain and another in Peru.  It gives the city you are visiting a personal touch. You may have observations/questions that are not covered in the guide’s normal spiel.  I had a question about the facades of the cathedral having three different styles.

img_0140
Lima had earthquakes so they reconstructed the buildings they were in different styles. 

Please see this blog post about introverts https://youngadventuress.com/2015/01/travel-introvert.html

It’s hot in Huanchaco but it’s a beautiful beach though. More to come.

Just outside my hostel is the Playa of Huanchaco. 

Day 3 Lima, Peru 

Day 3 The walk there was the adventure. It became less and less populated the further I walked away from my hostel. The streets got darker and dirtier. I became more and more worried about my safety. This is why I came. To step out of the complacency. My family is filipino so I have been to the Philippines a few times, but never have I walked alone in the rough parts. I always had local family members or taxi drivers to chauffeur me around.

Then I come into a mat space 20×20 with a pillar in the middle. No tatami mats here just old school puzzle mats. It gets the jobs done. The training was very detailed and specific. I we went over anaconda, darce and a choke I didn’t know the name of. All from turtle. We drilled these moves then we did several rounds of 3 minutes. It was a good first gym in Lima.

17155618_263795130728256_4599024648132916802_n
Enrico and I rolling.

Enrico was a very knowledgable teacher. His understanding of the techniques he was teaching us was very detailed and concise. I appreciated how he broke stuff down in English for me, especially the details. I has a brown belt in jiu jitsu, for reasons I couldn’t decipher in Spanish/Castellano.

The walk home was fine.  I was soaking with sweat still, I sweat a lot. I got some street food for 7 soles. I have no idea what the meat was but it was tasty.  I felt like a local after jiu jitsu class walking home.  It was a good end of the night.

I wanted to travel and do jiu jitsu since I was a white belt.  I’m glad I’m a purple belt traveling.  I think you can travel as any belt but they all have some pros and cons. If you’re a white belt, you are so new that you may not understand the techniques or positions. I think blue and purple belt is a good belt to travel with. I’m not brown or black but my assumption is that you have to prove your belt where ever you train. More than likely you will outrank the majority  in the gyms you encounter.

If you are able to travel around the world and take your hobby with you. Do it. There’s a special feeling where you get to share what you love with strangers. You may not speak the same tongue but you do have a common language.

Books: I have to finish Lolita.
Google maps: you can download maps and use them without being connected to wifi. Useful when you’re walking around foreign countries looking for Jiu Jitsu gyms.

Thanks to BJJ Musashi Ronin Club in Lima, Peru. and BJJ Globetrotters for my travel gi.

17015835_10154857021300325_2790503480038947539_o

One World Jiu Jitsu

 

One World Jiu Jitsu. Newark, CA

Good place. good people.  It’s always weird when I roll up to a new gym.  I think I always feel a little stand offish. Probably because I know not all gym environments are a good place.  As far as One World Jiu Jitsu in Newark, CA. It is a great gym to be apart of.

Why do I feel stand off-like when I train in new gyms?  Jiu Jitsu is a combat sport.  I think you naturally size people up by looking at your training partners. How tall are they? Muscle mass? Belt Rank? How seasoned is their belt? Cauliflower ear? Hands? You can tell a lot about someone by looking at their hands.

After awhile it turns into your gym.  Which is a really good feeling.  It becomes your second home.  You don’t feel like a stranger to it anymore. For someone that traveled around a lot, that feeling of home is something you always want to come back to. Something you are always searching for. 

2 more days till Peru.

Open mat Sunday Nights. Newark, Ca

 

Camino de Santiago IV

My last post about the Camino. I’m currently in Lima, Peru. I had to finish this subject before I continue my travels.

As I write this I’m in Lima, Peru. Traveling around from place to place is different from walking the Camino.  I don’t have to pick up and leave every morning which is a good feeling, but there’s a sense of urgency when you have a goal while you’re traveling. A sense of mission is common with all the other pilgrims. To continue walking whether your goal is Santiago or not.  In a normal hostel, it is a motley crew of backpackers, travelers, and tourists with different motives. Lima is no exception. It makes me miss the Camino and Spain. It will be something I will wrestle with but I digress.

I walked with Thomas and Maria for more than half of the way.  Thomas is from North Germany, near Bremen.  He is studying wood engineering.  He is a good person to walk with.  I appreciated his honesty and company when we conversed.  He has very good travel stories and dreams to travel more.  I will see him again in Dresden.

 

img_2716

They were a  few days where it rained constantly. We just went with the flow. Eventually we got past the rain and the weather was beautiful.  Seeing the coast is an amazing feeling when you have been walking inland for many kilometers.  Through rain, mud and drinking Sidra. It was some of the best parts of the Camino.
img_2715

img_2717
last 100 KM

These two German ladies had stopped us and gave us all beers to celebrate the last 100 kilometers of Camino Norte.  It was a good feeling to celebrate with beers at 830am.  The last few days were just too fast to remember. Before I knew it we were one day until Santiago. It’s an amazing feeling to get to the end.

img_1908
Mark(Me), Parti, Thomas, Soren, and Maria in front of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

By the last 4 days or so, I walked with a core group of people. Parti, who was from Switzerland, Thomas, from Germany, Soren, from Denmark, and Maria, from South Korea. We had dinner in Santiago then Maria took a bus to Finisterre.  Parti took a bus a few days later with his girl friend to Muxia. Thomas took a bus to Bilbao for a flight back to Bremen. Soren, Thomas and I had a few going away beers his last night.

Soren and I walked to Finisterre in two days from Santiago.  It was a beautiful walk with spectacular views.  It was exhausting though. Why did I walk it in two days? Off a bet and because I wanted to push myself.  It was a hell of a last day. Soren walked with me the entire way even though he won the bet.  He said he would stop at the town before Finestera. I’ll always remember that. The fact he kept going even though he didn’t have to. That’s a friend. We parted ways the next day. The next morning I walked to the end of the world and had some long thoughts.

14449942_10154388132240325_7256753656123031074_n
It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting – The Alchemist

Originally when I finished my obligation with the Navy I was going to move to Spain.  After finishing the Camino, I changed my mind.  I want to travel to more countries before I want to settle on one place again.  I really haven’t seen the world on the terms I wish to see it. So I decided afterwards I will take a year and travel the world. I will see all the countries of most of the people I’ve met on the Camino.  So far its going well. In fact most of the contacts around the world are either through the Camino or Jiu Jitsu.

El Fin. A part of me wants to walk it again.  For the friendship and camaraderie in walking.  Maybe a piece of the Basque country, that was my favorite.

Camino de Santiago III

 

Fast forward to a year later.

It is September 4th, 2016 and I’m in Bilbao.

I returned to Europe on a military place because I was active duty at the time, cheap flight. I traveled from Palm Springs, Ca – Baltimore Washington International- Rammstein Air Force Base- Frankfurt, Germany- Madrid, Spain-Bilbao, Spain.  It amazing to experience  travel in such a quick time frame.  I had to make a quick connection when I had a connecting flight in Madrid.  My bag was lost.  I stayed in Bilbao for a few days waiting for my bag.

I saw it as a omen to see and experience Bilbao for the three more days. The airline eventually found my pack and brought it to me on the first day.  I had two more nights at the hostel. It was the same hostel, Bilbao Central Hostel, that I walked two Austrian girls at the end of a night the year before.  I spent all night charming one of them and the Danish dude does a quarterback sneak and he makes out with her at the end of the night. (Sigh)

img_2713
Bilbao to Santander. Regma Ice Cream.

 

 

 

img_2712
La Isla 

The freshness is gone when you continue the Camino.  It did for me when I continued that day in Santander.  I knew what to expect already. Follow the arrows.  If I’m lost. I know enough Spanish to ask for directions.¿ Por aquí o por allí? ¿ Dónde está el camino? ¿Puede ayudarme, por favor? Estoy perdido. Soy Peregrino.  The locals were so helpful even if you didn’t speak Castellano/Spanish. Walk into town and find an Albergue shower, eat, mend you injuries, meet people, wash your clothes, sleep, wake up, walk, repeat. The magic of being a novice to walking the camino is gone vs those who walk it and finish it in one go.

img_1672
Looking back after sunrise. I met Sebastian, Kristiana, and Søren soon after this photo. 

At first I was just walking.  I didn’t talk to anybody the first two days because I was racing some Hungarian dude.  It was exhausting because I never stopped to enjoy the scenery.  As soon as I let it go and just let my journey run its course I started to have fun.  I met two Germans, Sebastian and Kristiana with a Dane, Søren. That group made me laugh and reminded me what the camino was about.  I forgot about walking when I started conversing and laughing with them.  We parted ways several hours later.

Pendules.  I came upon an Javier’s Albergue, which was recommended by my guide book. That Albergue was one of the best.  All of the pilgrims broke bread and shared a vegetarian meal that Javier made.  We sat along a long wooden table and shared songs of our native countries in the respective languages. German, Polish, South Korean, Spanish except American. I really can’t sing. It’s really embarrassing how bad I am. Javier was asked” Why do you do this? (hosting pilgrims in his home and treats them like family) Amongst the laughing, singing and drinking vino tinto with people from all over the world. Javier answered” porque los moments como este.” I smiled because its a feeling that can’t be described without experiencing it.

img_2711
Maria and I looking super cool in our ponchos. 

The next day  I met Maria.  Here’s where I think everything happens for a reason. Our paths intertwined many times on the Camino.   I enjoyed her company more than anybody on the camino.   I enjoyed our conversations and her company.  I spent the most time with than anyone else.  We met up in Madrid after we completed it. It felt reminiscent of Before Sunrise.  I said I would visit her in South Korea when I get out of the Navy.

Next is Camino De Santiago IV.

 

Camino De Santiago II

Camino De Santiago Part II

img_2197
San Sebastian. Donostia in Euskara.

I set my goal.  I left for Spain in July 2015.  I arrived in Rota, Spain.  Then I went to Seville. Then to Madrid. I spent three days there if I remember correctly. It was an interesting experience with tours and wondering around. It’s difficult to remember when I look back.  I lot has happened in those memories.

I was able to speak with a beautiful Madrileña on the train to Irún, the starting point of Camino del Norte.  I was so proud of myself for having short conversations with her in Spanish.  She was very patient with my Spanish.

I remember I arrived in Irún late and I didn’t have lodging.  I spent an hour walking around looking for a place to sleep. I finally settled on  a pension.  I thought to myself. “Tomorrow I will begin my journey.” I remember that I was very timid with my Spanish.  Now when I think about it. I feel more comfortable to be in a situation where I need Spanish to help me.

It’s unfortunate that I’m writing this part of the journey more than a year ago.  Many of the details are lost in my mind.  It was an amazing experience because the journey was so new and refreshing. The views were so beautiful.

img_2200
Zarautz, la madrugada

I met some wonderful people on that Camino.  I met French, Swiss, Spanish, Catalan, Danish, Belgian, Austrian, Italian, and of course, German.  Everybody had their own reasons for walking the Camino.  Some were newly graduated college students, established adults with a career who saw the Camino as a convenient holiday, or other people who were looking for answer to a life decision.  The last reason was my own. img_2204

My first impression of French people came when I visited Paris as a 21 year old.  It was not a great experience.  It was a strange unwelcoming feeling for an American.  I saw the landmarks but the language barrier and the inherent unfriendliness towards tourists left a dent with me. That impression was shattered when I met a very friendly French man on the Camino. His name was Olivier, from a city north of Paris.  I stopped for a break and he joined me for his break.  I shared some of my orange with him.  We decided to walk to the next town together. Olivier had a wonderful idea of eating sashimi for lunch.  We went to the grocery store and bought our picnic food. We ate on top of green cow pasture above Zumaia looking at the Atlantic Ocean.  We communicated in English, which he spoke very well, and he told me his story.  He was mid 40’s, divorced, two kids. It seemed he was on the camino like most, searching for an answer through meditative walking.  I don’t remember much else from the encounter except that he has upgraded my impression of French people.  There are unpleasant people everywhere from every country, but there are good people everywhere as well.

img_2279
Isabel, una madrileña(izquierda) , yo (medio)  y Charlie, una Americana (derecha).

I left 13 days into it.  I stopped in Santander.  It was a one of the best days on the Camino.  We left Güemes and there was a light rain. I remember the day being rainy and miserable but I didn’t care because I knew that was my last day. So I just enjoyed every second of it. Especially the misery. My favorite memory of that day was when we stopped around 11am at a beach bar before Santander. I changed my socks and we ate some food.  I bought some “chupitos” for my group. Then we walked to Santander with a nice buzz.  We took a small commuter boat to Santander.  We had Regma ice cream, Santander ice cream, right after the boat ride.  We parted ways soon after.  It was the best day of Camino because of company I was with.  The most important part about the Camino for me was meeting wonderful people.

img_2325
It was said that this was the best Albergue on the Camino, Güemes.

I returned home when I got to Santander. I finally continued my journey in September 4, 2016.  See Part III

Camino De Santiago

img_1570
My family visited my in SFO airport during a layover before I go to the East Coast. 

Camino de Santiago Part I

I recently completed the Camino de Santiago in the north of Spain.  It’s a religious pilgrimage in Spain that has starting points from all over Europe.  All of the routes end in the city of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The English translation is “The way of St. James.”  James was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, his tomb is underneath the  cathedral in Santiago.  People come from all over the world to walk the Camino.  Pilgrims, anyone who walks the camino, come from all over the world to walk the camino.  The reasons why one walks the Camino are as many as people in the world. This is my story.

There two popular routes of the Camino de Santiago, Camino Frances and Camino Del Norte, the latter being physically harder and less pilgrims because of the numerous elevation changes but more scenic. I choose the road less traveled for several reasons.  The scenic views of the coast, my affinity to water, and the cities of the Basque Country, Bilbao and San Sebastian.  The challenge of choosing a path the majority do not attempt enticed me.

The origin of the idea of walking the Camino was when I watched “The Way” with Martin sheen.  Without spoiling it, is about a man who walks the Camino with his son.  The story was so powerful, it affected me with the goal as soon as I finished the movie.  I messaged my close friends to see if they would be interested.  Nobody showed interest in the endeavor.  At the time I started to teach myself Spanish and I visited Spain once already.  It was a good goal for myself.

img_1826
Una Playa Después Tapa de Casariego. 

So I set my goal.  See Part II.

Resolutions/Goals

2016 Post 1

Many people make resolutions but not many people keep them.  I am one of those people that will keep them.  Thats the only way to become a better person.  I am not trying to be a someone else.  I want to be a better version of myself.  Which means all the things that I am good at I want to be better.  All the things that I feel are my short comings I wish to make those stronger.

IMG_0899

  1. Live in Barcelona, España in 2017.  This has been a goal of mine for a long time.  It will take a lot of planning and action for this to become a reality.  There’s really nothing thats going to stop me.  It will take money, visa approval, school acceptance, a grasp of the spanish language, which I am at a basic level now.Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 20.32.03
  2. Finish the Camino de Santiago. I left the Camino in Santander, Spain.  I will continue this summer from Santander to Santiago de Compostela.  My goal is to finish during my 30 days work holiday. My maximum amount of time is 25 days.  5 days for travel.  It will take money, logistics, more Spanish language practice, training, and a guide book.  Summer 2016.
  3. Blog every week.  I want to be a better writer. I want to be a travel writer/ journalist.  So I have to practice and experience life.  Starting now. 52 posts.
  4. Visit New York. This goal is fairly easy. It’s about $1,300 trip that number can probably go lower.  It’s figuring out what to do.293332_10150426212890325_1231698224_n
  5. Ragnar Relay. SoCal and Norcal. I need a team, training schedule, logistics. Easy. I’ve done this before but being the captain takes a lot of extra work that most people don’t want to do.  It’s the most fun I have ever had when I was running a race.
  6.  Work on portfolio.  I decided I’m going back to art school to finish my degree. I’ve done it before I can do it again.12043146_10153548463900325_7655327725303296813_n
  7. Jiu Jitsu. I just made purple belt and I have to keep going.  There may be a time I may need to defend myself and my family I will need to keep training just in case.
  8. Keel Boat certification. ASA 106. Money, time, scheduling.  I love sailing and want to learn more.479747_10151341944775325_1020947952_n
  9. Scuba Diver Certifications. I want to learn more about diving.
  10. Last but not least. Courage. I need to put myself out there.  There’s feeling that you get when you’re so nervous you feel it in your stomach. It may be asking a girl out, doing something adventurous or just being out of your comfort zone. I haven’t had that feeling in a while.