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Taste of Siargao Island

There’s a surprising amount of restaurants to choose from on tiny Siargao Island– we were there for two weeks and still didn’t try everywhere on Tourism Road! We were also surprised by the amount of international cuisine available: Italian, Japanese, Hawaiian, Mexican, Indonesian, to name a few. Each restaurant typically had a couple Filipino dishes on the menu, but there weren’t as many traditional Filipino restaurants in the area as I would’ve expected. All that to say, Siargao is full of delicious options! Read on to hear everywhere we ate during our two week stay.

How We Scored Business Class Seats for the Price of Economy

We booked our trip to the Philippines on a whim, thanks to an amazing “mistake fare” flight deal – literally, this means the airline made a “mistake” on the price! I found this unbelievable deal thanks to Scott’s Cheap Flights, an email newsletter that simply sends out alerts on awesome international flight prices. After subscribing on the free plan for a couple years, I paid the $39 annual free for “premium” membership and it immediately paid off when I received this alert just a few weeks later: $600 round trip BUSINESS CLASS seats to Asia! This exact business class round trip ticket normally sells for $6,000.

Weekend Getaway to Austin, TX

I’ve always heard Austin, TX was a really fun city, like a mini-San Francisco (imagine a liberal bubble in the middle of Texas) with great food and lots of live music. After our quick 3-night stay in Austin– I totally agree! Because there’s a wavepool in nearby Waco, Shaun and I decided to take another weekend getaway to somewhere we typically wouldn’t travel to.

New Mexico on Film

Shaun’s hobby of film photography is a really fun way to capture authentic moments. Since you basically get one shot per photo (unlike the dozens of identical images that I collect on my iPhone), it’s super exciting to get the photos developed and revealed. Sometimes they’re ruined by light leaks, sometimes the color is totally off, and sometimes it’s a perfect imperfect photo.

A Weekend in Santa Fe

Because of an amazing credit card promo, I received a year-long Southwest Airlines companion pass and 40,000 points! We decided to use the opportunity to explore parts of USA that we normally wouldn’t spend money to visit (*cough cough* because there’s no ocean nearby). First up, Santa Fe, New Mexico– The Land of Enchantment!

Exploring Tent Rocks National Monument

The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is a short drive away from Santa Fe, and in my opinion it’s a must-see, must-do hike! Shaun and I walked the 3-mile “Canyon Trail”, which guides you through a gorgeous slot canyon, weaving through the iconic tent-shaped rock formations, and ends at an excellent peak with views for miles away.


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Land of the Endless Lefts

On the west coast of the North Island lies Raglan, a sleepy surf town with a old town feeling renown for it’s surf. Downtown Raglan is inland set on the harbor, with Wainui Road leading ~ 15 minutes out to Manu Bay and Whale Bay for seemingly endless point breaks. Shaun had been looking forward to coming to Raglan for a long time!

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Above: The first two photos are Whale Bay, third photo is Manu Bay; only about 5 minutes drive from each other. Manu Bay seems like more a crowd drawer, with outlooks and large parking areas and nice lawns for picnics. Whale Bay has no beach, only rocks. No parking area, only a couple of tight cul-de-sacs and you must climb down a couple staircases and curve around the point to watch the waves.

We stayed 2 of our 3 nights at The Karioi Lodge, an “eco-surf retreat” with 110 acres of bushland overlooking Whale Bay. It’s gorgeous! They have cabins, hostel rooms and powered campervan sites along with toilets/showers, kitchen facilities, a Scandinavian sauna, bikes for hire, hiking trails, and they partner with Raglan Surf School. The lodge also hosts yoga every evening at “Inspiration Point” (below). For only $15 per person / per night – it was well worth it. Whale Bay is quite a drive from town, too, so it was perfect to stay right up the road for morning and evening surfs.

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Past Whale Bay, Wainui Road turns into a rough and windy gravel road that leads out to the mysterious Ruapuke Beach. We never reached Ruapuke, regardless of driving what seemed like forever down this bumpy dirt road… But we did manage to stop for the amazing views (above 2 photos), adorable sheep and plenty of cows.