Travel by agency or by DIY

When you travel, how you usually plan? What are your preparations? Who do you contact to? Do you prefer to book by the agency or do it on your own?

So what do I mean by traveling by agency? It is booking your whole trip through an agency. Mostly, they will book for your plane tickets, transportation in going around and hotel accommodation. They will also prepare your itinerary and book for tours. Usually, it will only include city tour. Meals are usually not included.

How about the DIY or Do it Your Own? It is you planning the whole trip. You will book for your tickets, hotel accommodations, tours and prepare the itinerary. You plan for your budget, too.

In my case, I tried both. But all my international trips were do it your own, we planned and booked everything. However, I tried booking by an agency when we traveled here in the country, I guess once or twice. They picked us up from the airport, sent to our hotel, toured around, then sent back to the airport.

But which is which? What you should choose? What is the difference?

Choosing how to travel is easy. But, it will always depend on you. What is comfortable for you. What do you prefer. It is up to you.

I will try to list down some pros and cons.


When traveling with agency, everything is being planned and settled by the agent. Of course, you are paying for that.

  • Pros
    • Hassle-free and convenient
      • Since the agency will do everything for you, then all you have to prepare is the stuff that you will be bringing during your trip.
      • During the trip, they will coordinate everything for you. All you have to do is enjoy and follow their guidelines & instructions.
      • You don’t have to fall in a long line. They will provide you the tickets.
      • You don’t have to wait for the bus or train or any public vehicles just to get to your destination. They will provide you a vehicle (usually a tourist bus).
      • You don’t need to worry where to eat coz they will bring you there.
    • More informed
      • You will be advised on the do’s and don’ts.
      • You will know about the rules of the places you will be visiting.
      • You will be informed on the story and whatever information related to the place you will go which includes history.
    • Zero to less possibility of getting lost
      • You have less chance of getting lost since there is a guide accompanying you the whole time.
      • They will take you and accompany you wherever you will go. Besides, they will not leave the place if you are not complete.
  • Cons
    • Expensive
      • It is more expensive to hire an agency than doing everything on your own. Of course, you are paying for their services and efforts.
    • Not so flexible
      • Because everything is planned and booked by them, you have to follow the itinerary that they made for you. Though, sometimes you can tell them on what you want so that they can adjust. But, there will be rate difference.
      • Also, travel time is limited. Mostly, it will fall on weekdays. You will be lucky if you can get a not-so expensive tour package that falls on a weekend.
    • Be time conscious
      • Since they arranged it for you and they will follow an itinerary, you have to be time conscious. They will really follow the time as schedule so that they can accommodate the itinerary.
    • And if you are a joiner, there will be many of you in the trip. You have to cooperate with them. You need to be patient and understanding.

And remember, you have to make sure that you are dealing with a legit travel agency since you are paying a large amount of money especially most of the time, they required a down payment. Actually, I did try to book an international trip through an agency. Supposedly for October 2018, and we were able to pay the down payment of Php 1,000 each. However, when I contacted them to ask something, they did not respond. And when I checked online for reviews, I did read bad and negative feedback. That’s why, right there and then, I sent them an email that we are cancelling the reservation. I don’t care spending the Php 1,000 to nothing than spending more and being scammed. You know what I mean, right?

So, it’s your money. Thus, make sure that you entrust it to trustworthy people. You did not pick up anywhere and so, it is okay to throw it. But, you worked hard to earn that. It’s your call who to trust. So, do research before you regret.


  • Pros
    • Flexibility
      • You have the freedom to choose what you want and where to go. You can really plan according to what you desire. Also, if things will fall not according to your plan, it will be okay since you can easily adjust.
    • Cheaper and can be on your budget
      • It is cheaper to travel based on your own itinerary because you can also budget wisely.
      • You don’t have to pay for the services thus, it will lessen your expenses.
    • You have all the time for yourself.
      • You do not have to follow schedule if you want. You can go whenever and wherever you want. You do not have to worry if you will wake up late.
    • You have the chance to meet and make new friends.
      • Since you are traveling on your own and mostly commuting, you have the tendency to meet more people. In this way, you can make new friends too.
  • Cons
    • More effort
      • It will need more effort from you to do all the planning, researching and booking. You need to read and ask about the place you are going to so that you can have an idea on how the trip will go.
    • More hassle
      • It is more hassle because you need to do it your on own on how to get to the destination you want.
      • You have to ask if possible the ways on getting somewhere.
    • Possibility of getting lost
      • Since you will be commuting if possible, there are chances that you will be lost. Practice your ability to talk to strangers and ask. Fight that shyness away.

Whichever you prefer will matter. You have to set your expectations. You need to anticipate what could possibly go wrong or what might happen.

In traveling through an agency, as I mentioned, you have to make sure that you are dealing with a legit agency. You worked hard for your money and thus, you should make sure that you are spending it appropriately and wisely. Plus, it’s your trip that you paid for so make sure also that you will be enjoying.

While in traveling by DIY, it is a lot of work but if you really love to do it, you will surely enjoy. All my international trips were DIY including my solo trip in Taiwan though there are tours that I bought via agency like Klook Travel. But, I planned and booked everything. I read blogs and researched as much as that I can to make sure I am gonna do right. And yeah! I did enjoy all my trips. Every trip will end with a lesson that I can learn and apply on my next and future trips.

And honestly, I am enjoying it. Will be travelling solo again few months from now.

Hoping that you will have a fun and good time on your trips too. Either you are availing a package by an agency or doing it on your own, make sure that you have a trip that is one for the book and you will love to cherish for life. 😉


Is being single selfish?

When you are in love, you tend to give almost if not everything to the person you love. Even if it means not leaving something for yourself. And sometimes, you can no longer give something to your family and friends. Your family who has been with you since day 1 and who sacrificed to give you the best. Your friends who are always there for you even in their busy days.

But, things changed when you get hurt. You will start to hear from your family and friends telling you to always leave something for yourself and not to give your all. And you will come into your senses. You will then realize that they are right. While you gave everything to your girlfriend/boyfriend, you forgot to gave even a little thing for yourself and the people who truly love you. Sometimes, we need to learn the hard way. We need to have a wake up call. And most of the time, that wake up call is what we called “breakup”.

Breakup is that moment when we want to cry all our heart out because of the pain, we want to punch someone because we are angry and we feel sad and pity for our self. We become miserable because we let it happen. We let everything to be taken from us. And when s/he decided to leave us, we have nothing with us. We are empty. We are lonely. And again, we are miserable.

But, good thing we have family and friends who are still very much willing to accept us, to welcome us with an open arms, to be the shoulder where we can lean on, to hug us & let us cry, and to never leave us & feel that emptiness & loneliness. Because when we thought that we are alone because s/he left us, we will realize that we are wrong. We are not alone. We were never been alone and will never be. Because of our family and friends.

And with their help, we will be able to stand up again, to live our life the way we used to, to be happy, to be contented and to give more importance to ourselves and to them.

That is the time that we usually start to enjoy our own company, to do what we want to, to achieve what we missed because we’re busy with him/her, and so on and so forth.

Until, we get used to being all by ourselves, living & fulfilling our own dreams, being happy without depending from anyone, getting satisfied with what and who we have, and being an independent person we thought we cannot do.

Then, as days go by, people will be curious about you, your life and most especially with your love life. They will start asking you have suitors or new partner. They will tease you for being single and that you did not move on yet. As what I said, moving on takes time and should not be rushed. You have to take your time and make sure you are pretty doing well. The important thing about moving on is that you are really moving forward and will never look back again.

And I guess, this is happening to me. I am enjoying my own company. I am happy without depending it to others. I am contented with what I have and who I am with (my family and friends). I realize that I should give myself and those people who love me more time. That time I failed to give them when I was in relationship. And, I don’t know but sometimes I feel that I am becoming an introvert person who wants to be all by herself. That’s why I have solo trip.

Above all, I think having a boyfriend would mean no freedom and a hindrance to whatever plans I have in mind.

Am I being selfish? Is being single selfish?

I think no. You know why? Because wanting to love yourself more and giving more time do not qualify you to be selfish. It only means you want to give the importance and value that yourself deserves.

Besides, I love the idea of being all by myself without the need to think about other person. If I want to go out, I can. I don’t need to ask permission or inform my partner. If I want to be with someone, I don’t need to tell it to my partner and see if he is okay with it. If I want to travel, I can book my ticket immediately without thinking if he wants it too. If I want to go home, I can relax without worrying that I cannot text or call or chat because there is no signal. If my parents are in the city, I don’t need to ask him to meet them as well. No one will get mad because I cannot text. No one will get mad because I forgot to celebrate our monthsary or anniversary. I can live each day in peace because I don’t need to think if where is he or who is he with or what is he doing and so on.

If I am single, my time is all mine. I can do what I want. I can eat where I want. I can go anywhere I want. I can go home every time that I want. I can treat my parents out anytime. I can buy what I want. And I don’t have to feel guilty that someone is paying for the food I ate, the plane ticket, the trip, the movie ticket, the dessert or anything that he paid for me. I can pay it for myself though. HAHAHA!

Being single means, being independent. You are responsible of yourself and no one is or will be. You earn your own money and survive from it. You pay what you purchase from the hours you work for. You buy plane tickets, book a hotel room, eat in a restaurant, watch a movie, play in the arcade. You have to work to earn and do these things.

But, it is always up to you. You have your own priority list. You budget your money the way you want it to be.

And maybe, that’s why I am single. Because aside from the fact that I am enjoying my own company, I am busy with work, I don’t have time for boyfriend. I think having one will mean that my freedom will be gone. Dating means that I should give him my time. That I should have someone to think of, to care about and to understand. And having a boyfriend means that I can do what I want if he allows me to. Which is I don’t like. Having a boyfriend could hinder my plans in life. And besides, I don’t want to be told that I bought something or I traveled somewhere because of my boyfriend.

Hell yeah! I am earning my own money and gonna spend it for that without the help of any boyfriend.

And also, the most important thing is that I don’t like to have a boyfriend because I don’t want drama. I am too sick of crying, getting hurt and being judged by people who do not know what is really going on.

Yeah! You get it right. Whatever I went through did really hit me hard on my head and really made me wake up to the reality. That my perception about having someone in my life is different now. In a not so good way. And maybe, I am not yet ready. Not yet ready to meet someone, spend & open up my life to him, and end up getting hurt again.

But, that is life. You have happy days and lonely times. But when you feel down and want to give up, look up. Then, tell yourself that you can do better than feel miserable. You are an awesome person and that your sunshine gives light & happiness to others.

If there is one person who hurt you that much, it does not mean that everyone will do. If your ex did hurt you, it does not mean others will hurt you that way too. However, it does not mean that having no partner makes you a loser. Be in a relationship if you are ready and you think that you find the one.

But, for me! I still haven’t. Or still don’t have time for boyfriend now. Besides, no one shows some admiration and no one confesses yet. Maybe, not that attractive though. LOL! 🙂

So, remember. Loving yourself and choosing to be single is not selfish. It means that you are strong enough to live and be happy on your own without depending from others. That you are contented to what yourself can give you. That you don’t have to be insecure because yourself is more than enough to make the butterflies in your stomach fly.


You are never alone

I have been reading a lot about suicide in social media, nowadays. A few months and weeks back were famous celebrities, a couple of days ago was a teacher and today, I just read a 14-year old boy from my hometown. A few years ago, we heard someone committed suicide from India (if you watched 3 idiots), China, Korea (Korean movies), and Japan. But, it surprised me that there are already suicide cases in the Philippines. Philippines has been considered a country with people who are smiling even if they have problems. Filipinos are happy people. But, we can never tell.

Why kill yourself?

We can never blame them if they did what they did. We were never in their shoes. We never knew what they’ve been through. Thus, never judged.

But most cases, if someone committed suicide, it’s either about a failed relationship personal problems or depression.

Depression, anxiety & mental disorder. What are these? And how bad these can ruin someone?

When I googled it, this is what I found.

According to, depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”

A mental illness is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines. (based on Mental Health America)

I have friends who experienced depression or anxiety. Good thing, they were able to fight and survive against it.

I, myself have a shared experience as well. I am not sure if it was depression or anxiety. But one thing is for sure, it was not normal and not okay. A few years back, there were times when my phone would ring, I would panic and don’t like to answer it. If I will answer it, my heart will beat so fast. And there were instances that I could hear my phone rings even if it did not.

Then, there were times that I don’t understand my feeling. I want to cry, to laugh and to be sad in one setting. I had that “malayo ang tingin” but I was not looking on a specific thing nor thinking anything. I want to eat something delicious but I could not appreciate it.

How did I overcome it?

I have a good support system. I have family and friends (let me put some credit also to my then-boyfriend who helped me a lot in his little way). They never leave me. My family even if I am not that open because I don’t want them to worry but I know I can share to them. I can complain to them about anything. My friends tried hard to make me laugh. They met me even at late hour of the night just to make me feel better.

And above all, I have God and His presence. I am blessed, indeed in different ways.

I am not used to open up about what I feel to anyone before. And it is really hard and painful at the same time. That feeling where your heart is about to explode because of pain and sadness. And sometimes, you will feel self pity.

So, what did I do?

I write poems and whatever thoughts I have in mind to my phone. Anything. If I am sad or happy or hurt. I make sure that I can express everything. And after that, it feels good. Because you know, sharing and opening up can make you feel better. It can lessen the weight your heart is carrying. You can release whatever load that burdens you.

And trust me, I thought about that before. But, I thought about my family and most especially, suicide is a mortal sin. And I don’t want to commit that sin. I don’t want to disappoint God. I asked for His forgiveness of even thinking about that. I may not be 100% good but I still want to be in heaven.

And part of His commandments is “Thou shall not kill”. If we think about that as killing other people before, then now include yourself. Killing yourself is as worst as killing someone.

But, as what I said above, we can never blame someone if they resort in killing themselves. Because sometimes, we might think there is no other way but to die.

And when I heard in the news or Facebook that someone committed suicide, I always tell myself if only those wasted life can be given to those people who are fighting day and night, heaven and earth to extend their lives. For example, cancer patients, kids at the ICU, those sick who want to live longer on earth but can’t. But life does not work that way. Life comes just once. And it is up to us to choose how to live with it and how to care for it. Once you waste it, it can never be taken back.

That leads me to writing about this blog post. Actually, I was inspired by the talk of Isabelle Daza about depression, anxiety & mental disorder awareness. It was very short but it was straight to the point. And she said that many wanted to talk to her about depression, anxiety & mental disorder and the common denominator of all those people was that “they are ashamed to talk about it”. You can watch it here #LetsTalkLetsListen

I guess that is why suicide was become an option because when someone is experiencing depression, anxiety or mental disorder, they will feel ashamed to talk about it or to open up about it. Maybe because they do not want to be judged and called crazy or insane. They do not want to be laughed about or a topic of joke. They do not want to deal with it. Or maybe because they cannot accept it to themselves that they have it.

But how can we help?

Let us be more sensitive. Depression, anxiety & mental disorder can be experienced by anyone at anytime and at any place.

Let us be more considerate and empathetic. If someone will open up something about themselves whether it is about work, family, relationship, mental, spiritual or physical; then let us give them time. Let us listen to what they have to say. We were given two ears by God so that we will listen more than talk. Let us lend our ears and heart to them. Think of their situation as yours. Would it make you happy if someone will listen to you or not?

Let us stop judging people and giving unsolicited conclusions without knowing everything. Let us know the details and instead of giving negative comments, let us find a way to make them feel better. Treat them for dinner, tell them corny jokes, sing with them at the KTV, watch movie or talk about anything under the sun & moon.

Let us act as a human with a heart. Give them your love and care. Give them your understanding. Show to them that they are loved.

And most importantly, let us show to them that they are never alone. In this journey called life, we are never alone. We always have someone with us. They may be beside us physically or not, but we are not alone. Let them remember that. No man is an island, as they say. And so we need each other. Thus, let us be there for each other.

Depression, anxiety & mental disorder are not an easy thing to handle. It will never be. But it can be cured. You can be better. You can feel better. Just keep in mind that someone out there is waiting for you to open up to her/him. All you need is to give them a call or a message.

There are many reasons to be depressed and to kill yourself. The world is not perfect. The life is sometimes complicated. And some people are judgmental. But, you have one reason not to kill yourself. Just one. And you know what is that? You are loved. Thus, you are never alone.

God is always with us. He is there watching on what we are going through. He knows everything we think and feel. He will not give us a trial that we can never survive. Above all, He loves us yesterday, today and tomorrow. Even if how sinful we are.

So, when you are going through something, tell your family, call your friends, write everything on a piece of paper, shout, cry, laugh, release all the negativity, post on your Facebook wall that you need to talk to someone or rant there what you are thinking. Do not mind what the negative things people will say as long as you will feel better. For sure, one or two of your Facebook friends would send you a message and ask if how are you. Go to the gym, punch something (ayaw lang sad tao), eat your heart out, sing, dance, have a massage or go to the mall and window shop.

Look for a way to make yourself feel better. Do not let the negativity win over you. You are better than whatever problems the world will throw you.

Always remember. You are never alone. 🙂

P.S. You can leave a comment if you want to talk and make yourself feel better. Hooray!