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Achievements Unlocked in 2011

December 31, 2011

The year 2011 has been a great year for me in terms of travel and work. I have a lot to be thankful for this year and can say that I have successfully “leveled up” a few ranks. Instead of listing all the different trips I’ve taken as a year-end post, I’ve listed below a few of the worthwhile “trophies” and Achievements Unlocked:

  • First Step: Start a Travel Blog
  • Gain 300+ Fan Page Likes
  • Exceed 40,000 page views in less than a year
  • Acquire and learn to ride a motorcycle
  • Travel more than 1,000 km via motorcycle

  • Improve Lakbayan Map Exploration Rate of the Philippines to B
  • Travel locally at least once a month
  • Travel abroad at least once a year
  • Travel by air more than 5x in the same year
  • Travel by land, sea, and air in the same year
  • Travel to Luzon, Visayas & Mindanao in the same year
  • Pilgrimage: Visit 20 different churches in the same year
  • Chasing Waterfalls: Visit 5 different waterfalls in the same year
  • Lighthouse Hunter: Visit 5 different lighthouses
  • Beach-bumming: Visit 20 different beaches in the same year

  • Memory Lane: Ride the Bicol Express Train after more than 10 years
  • Long Road Trip: Drive a car for more than 8 hours
  • Ride in the Rain: Travel by Motorcycle in the Rain
  • Ironbutt Ride: Drive a motorcycle continuously for more than 5 hours
  • Travel by Bicycle in the Rain
  • Key Enthusiast: Collect photos of 15 hotel keys where checked in
  • Hotel-Hopper: Sleep in 5 different hotels on the same trip
  • Get Lost: Travel without a map and no plan
  • Travel on Foot: Trek for more than 5 hours
  • Board to be Wild: Try 3 different board sports (sandboarding, surfing, wakeboarding)

  • Drunken Master: Sample 50 out of 99 different beers
  • Food Mashups: Collect 10 strange food combinations
  • Food Tripper: Eat in 3 different provinces in one day (Breakfast in Nueva Vizcaya, lunch in Ifugao, dinner in Nueva Ecija)
  • Exotic Eats: Consume 5 different exotic dishes

  • Participate in more than 5 PTB Blog Carnivals (7 out of 14 since joining PTB in June)
  • Host the PTB Blog Carnival
  • Be an “extra” in a newspaper article (Manila Bulletin – The Invasion of Lingayen)
  • Be selected as a participant in Project Headshot Clinic
  • Be featured as a contributor in Smile Magazine’s Trip Journal

  • Publish more than 35 travel articles and photos in mainstream media
  • Contribute articles and photos to 10 different publications
  • Shoot This: Upgrade Weapon (Camera)
  • Surreal Tweet: Have something you write be Tweeted by someone famous (Geeky Goodies)

  • Acquire actual trophies

On a serious note, aside from all the travels done this year and symbolic trophies, I’ve gotten a few real-world trophies as well, for stories which involved some traveling out of town.

In June, I was selected as one of the Finalists in Holcim’s Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction for a story on the launching of solar bottle bulbs in a community in Laguna which was published in Inquirer.

This December, I won the Best News Reportage Category in PLCPD’s 7th Popdev Media Awards for a series of news stories I wrote for IPS, one of which was about how a school in Cavite lets its students turn trash into tuition.

A few weeks after, a post I did on the First Aeta Forest Food Festival in Tarlac which I featured on this blog as a blog carnival entry on Awesome food was recognized as one of the  Outstanding Stories on Indigenous Peoples (Photo Essay Category) in the International Labor Organization’s Media Recognition Program.

It’s been an exhausting but really fulfilling year with all the travel happening in between my day job, freelance work, family obligations, rackets on the side, and hobbies. I plan to slow down a little bit in 2012 and focus on more meaningful travel and posts. I also want to try doing more documentary photo essays this coming year. Oh, and I just bought myself  Skyrim, so I plan to spend some weekends indoors.

See you in 2012! 🙂

38 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2011 11:16 am

    Wah! New Elder Scrolls and to be retweeted by Neil Gaiman!!! Just WOW! Great year and more awesome 2012 to you! 😀

    • January 1, 2012 5:07 am

      Thanks Ferdz! It’s been an awesome year! 😀 Hoping for the best in 2012! Cheers!

  2. December 31, 2011 11:25 am

    hi kara happy new year ! Sana mameet kita sa pagpasok ng taon haha. busy na mamaya kaya inisa isa ko na ang ptb!

  3. December 31, 2011 11:28 am

    nagkamali ata ako ng pagtype , but anyway …. Happy happy new year ! Smile and be happy Kara!

    • January 1, 2012 5:03 am

      Thanks Chin! Nice to meet all of you online through PTB. As for your second comment, nagtataka ako sino si Jerik at first. Hehe 😛

  4. December 31, 2011 12:37 pm

    Dear Kara,

    I heart you.


  5. December 31, 2011 1:54 pm

    congrats kara!

  6. December 31, 2011 6:13 pm

    Whoa, what an awesome year! Here’s to an even more awesome 2012 Kara! 😀

    • January 1, 2012 4:17 am

      I think it may be hard to top 2011, but am looking forward to whatever is ahead in 2012. 🙂 Cheers, Nina!

  7. January 1, 2012 12:42 am

    Great year it was! Cheers for more travels this 2012! Happy New Year Kara! 🙂

  8. January 1, 2012 11:18 am

    Congratulations Kara! You had a great travel year. Hope to meet and travel with you soon! 🙂

    • January 2, 2012 12:37 pm

      Thanks Mica! 🙂 I’ve only met a few PTB members during a Dispatch Mag event sa Cubao X. Ang dami niyong trips!

  9. January 1, 2012 8:35 pm

    You ROCK girl! Nalula ako sa achievements! Ahihi. Happy New Year.

  10. January 2, 2012 2:24 am

    Such great accomplishments! You’re an inspiration! congratulations on such a fruitful year. 🙂

  11. January 2, 2012 2:56 am

    Wow, this is certainly a very impressive list of achievements! I wish I could list half as many haha Happy new year Kara!

  12. January 2, 2012 7:36 am

    If this was a video game, you’ve garnered almost all of the super powers and extra levels because you have unlocked many challenges haha. What a great year, I’ve been your fan since Multiply days pa and I was not surprised when I saw your articles on print.

  13. January 2, 2012 7:52 am

    Grabe and level-up and in different aspects at that. Naaliw ako sa beer drinking! More than half na!
    It’s been a great year for you Kara! You’re truly an adventurous woman! Kakabilib! 😀

    • January 2, 2012 12:46 pm

      Thanks Ed! Actually, ang hirap na maghanap ng foreign beer brands available locally to add to the list :p

  14. January 2, 2012 11:18 am

    hanep sa title halatang addict sa games:p anyhoo happy new year and more travels.

  15. January 2, 2012 11:54 am

    Congratulations, Kara! That’s a very impressive list. You mentioned that you’ll be slowing down a bit and focusing more on meaningful travel and posts. I don’t know about the slowing down part, but I’ll be looking forward to your 2012 posts. May you have more saddle time on your “Chocobo”, more beer to drink, and more keys to add to your collection. However you’d define “more meaningful travel and posts”, while you’re out there, may you find a past that you didn’t know. May it be a foreignness of what you no longer are, or that you no longer possess.

    • January 2, 2012 12:56 pm

      Hey, thanks Riderman! Congrats on starting your own blog, by the way. Blogging has been a great creative outlet for me. Actually, I spent the first day of the year just riding on my own exploring all the side-streets in UP. Though it wasn’t exotic or far-off, the ride was fun. Funny how we often take the places that are just so near and accessible for granted.

  16. January 2, 2012 4:44 pm

    wow. you had a lot on your plate last 2011. hopefully 2012 would be more bountiful. nice!!!

  17. January 3, 2012 3:48 pm

    Congratulations so far you were able to achieve all of these in just a year?! Wow! I want the boardsports you shared. I have tried wakeboarding in Batangas before and it was fun actually it was more of a knee boarding. hehehe.. Happy New Year Kara..

    • January 7, 2012 8:23 am

      Thanks Mitch. I tried wakeboarding (well, yeah, more like kneeboarding in CWC) and surfing in La Union a couple of years ago but got to try it again this year, while sandboarding was a new thing in 2011. Am actually working on an entry about the three board sports and where to try them 🙂 Happy new year too!

  18. January 5, 2012 6:55 am

    Awesome year indeed. You should rename this blog, Travel Up to Awesomeness. Pretty scooter too! See you on the road. 😀

  19. January 5, 2012 6:56 am

    Oh and I hope you dont take an arrow in the knee. 😛

    • January 7, 2012 8:26 am

      Thanks Cedric. Hope to see you on the road too one of these days. No worries, I think I have pretty good knee armor :p My travel is a bit slow since I keep getting weighed down by wolf pelts and mountain flowers. 😉 Hehe.

  20. January 5, 2012 7:22 am

    wow, congrats for a great 2011! hope you’ll have an even better 2012 🙂 happy travelling!

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