I’d been lusting over El Nido for YEARS before I finally made my way to the Philippines for a month last September. Epic sunsets over limestone karsts and boat trips to hidden lagoons and secret beaches?
I already wrote about learning how to surf on Siargao, but there’s a whole lot more going on at this surf island than just hanging ten on Cloud 9 (see what I did there?).
I know I’m prone to hyperbolic descriptions of most all beaches and islands I’ve written about here, but I need you to believe me when I say that Kalanggaman Island is the most beautiful, magical, heavenly place I’ve ever stepped foot on.
When you book an international flight semi-last minute and primarily because you found a good deal, you’re probably not going to do extensive research to prepare for this trip.
In my case, I booked a cheap flight from Sydney to Phuket about 2 weeks in advance because it was the most inexpensive, non-NZ international flight I could find within my desired date range.
Remember that time I roadtripped from Melbourne to Perth, only to fly straight back to the east coast to explore Hinchinbrook Island? That happened over 4 months ago, but the experience is still fresh in my mind.
Most sensible people treat a beach holiday as an opportunity to relax on the beach – i.e. *a* beach, singular. One beach, max relaxation.
But, since the Eagles basically wrote the song “Learn To Be Still” for me without knowing it, it almost goes without saying that this is not how I do a beach vacation.
It took just a few hours of pacing around Airlie Beach before I decided: I have to get out of here.
Don’t get me wrong, you could do far worse than a town blessed with an endless summer.
My obsession with Australia can be traced back to my college years: summers spent working in a photo lab, saving all my earnings for my year studying abroad in Sydney.