Hi, I’m Belinda from Belgium. Welcome to my travel blog. I’ve been traveling for a long time, visiting 97 countries so far on six continents. I started to blog after returning from an adventurous trip. The idea was to have something to read later about what I have done during my trips. I began to blog on a free platform, but after eight years, it was closing down. Therefore, I created this blog – Shavysworld, launched in 2019.
I’m originally from the Philippines. Wondering why the hell I move my life to another continent? Well, the adventure starts a long time ago following someone, a person who I care so much.
Moving to Belgium is a new whole life and adventure. I was homesick at the beginning and missed my family. It’s a new world for me with different cultures and environments; most of all, it is a different language – English scarcely spoken at that time. Especially I ended up in a bilingual country on the Dutch side.
Thus, the first thing I did is learning the language – it’s a long process for me because I’m self-study – it takes three years to understand Dutch.
My obsession with languages in Europe gets bigger after I understand entirely Dutch. I’m also learning how to speak the basics of Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Italian.
Traveling was always a dream. Initially, on the first few years in Belgium, I’m focused on a family that I get pregnant within two years—but I have been traveling the adjacent lands, like Germany, France, and the Netherlands, and some of the other European countries. I’ve always wanted to go on an adventure, but my partner was too busy that I have to travel alone. In the beginning, I take my daughter with me – she is eight years old when we’re together on a long trip. Therefore, she’s grown up as an adventurer.
My daughter and I were excellent travel buddies. We have been traveling to Southeast Asia like Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia without booking anything in advance. At that time, there isn’t much information on the internet – I only relying on my Lonely Planet travel book. For a child of the age of eight is a big adventure, but everything was fine.
I’ve missed the adventure together with her, but they now have their own life. She lives in Australia and has the character of me, an adventurous girl. She has exploring Southeast Asia for six months before settling down in Australia.
Moreover, my son is a late bloomer who has just started his first adventure in Southeast Asia. For the first time, he has gone from home for so long. He started his trip to Bangkok then to the Philippines. After that, he flew to Australia to visit his sister in Melbourne, a hell of an adventure for him.
What a pity I didn’t take him on a long journey when he was a child. Besides, taking two young children on an adventurous trip alone, I’m not at ease. Also, as a child, he wasn’t interested in traveling – he prefers at home.
How I managed to travel a lot?
The airfare is the most expensive on a trip. Booking far in advance or be flexible is a significant saving. Do it yourself is way cheaper than going to an agency. Planning a trip is easy – admittedly, I do have difficulty choosing a place to go, although I have a long list of destinations, and I’m slowly going in that direction.
No organized trips!
I did it at the beginning. At that time, there isn’t much information on the internet compared with these days. Organize trips not only expensive, and you strictly had to follow the programs and rarely have freedom. Countries I went on an organized trip; Egypt, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua.
I realize coming back from Nicaragua, why not do it myself? Since then, no more agencies. I organize my trip through the internet, such as flights, accommodation, rental cars, etc., and if I’m going on cruises or day tours, I reserve on the spot.
I’m an avid person who loves to learn new things!
Despite the fact, I did not go to a school to learn Dutch, I am interested in learning a different language. I know if traveling anywhere, a primary phrase of the country’s tongue is essential because not everyone speaks English.
As mentioned above, I speak seven different languages. I used my spare time to go to evening classes, but since I started this travel blog, I didn’t have the time to go to school anymore. My website occupies time in the evening as I work during the day.
The bucket list
My biggest dream and on the highest list at the moment is ANTARCTICA. The only thing that keeps me from not going is seasickness, or can you visit Antarctica without going on a cruise? Silly question!
During my cruise to Galapagos Island, I’m a mess! I entirely didn’t enjoy the trip as I’m sick. It’s weird when I’m on the cruise to Egypt, I don’t have a problem, but that was a long time ago. I just discovered that I have seasickness.
There is always something to hold you from not going, whether health, time, or money? When it comes to money, you can’t do anything with it when you’re gone – spend it while alive! Explore the world, join SHAYVSWORLD
Argentina was my adventure trip
Argentina was a real adventure trip I ever had and the first destination in Latin America. I’m considering going on an organized tour. However, I decided to do it myself.
I haven’t precisely an itinerary on this trip, as well as no accommodation booked except for the first two nights in Buenos Aires.
I booked a car as my plan to drive around. Argentina is a vast country, the easiest way for me to start in Buenos Aires, as my flight straight to BA coming from Brussels.
As I rent a car for two weeks, I drove a long distance every day — the most natural way of exploring the country with a vehicle, no traffic except in big cities.
The most disaster I ever had when arrived in a small town at night and no accommodations available. There were only a few houses. The people told me to drive further, and I thought just a short drive, but it is more than one hour drive.
Driving in the dark in a deserted road was so scary. Since then, I’d try to arrive early in a bigger town. Uh well, despite some mishaps, I had a great time in Argentina. And I’m able to combine the trip with three adjacent countries, such as Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay. And my dream to see the massive waterfalls (Iguazu) comes true.
New Zealand is my favorite!
I visited New Zealand in 2009 before the first earthquake happened. From the 95 countries, this is by far my number one favorite! What I’d like in NZ, the people are so kind, and the impressive landscape!
I would say, Iceland has the similarity, but still, none beats NZ. However, I did it again, flying over there without booking accommodation in advance. I do have an itinerary this time as we need an arrangement with the car.
I started my trip to the south island and ended up on the north island. However, finding rooms wasn’t a problem as it was off season during my visit.
I got fines!
The landscape was too impressive! I didn’t keep an eye on the speed, suddenly a blue flashing light behind me. The cops said, a typical tourist thing enjoying the view but did not notice how fast they drove. I didn’t have to pay on the spot, and the fine came one month later. Next time we’ll be cautious.