Every time I get asked about my travel philosophy, it almost always involves the word “EXPERIENCE”. I’m all for shopping during trips (hey, if you’ve got the money to spend..go ahead!) but I’ve noticed that ever since I got married, I’ve been shopping less and less during our trips abroad. Save for a few pasalubongs for my friends/family, souvenirs, and chocolate bars, our maleta pretty much keeps to the same weight going and coming home on most of our trips. It’s not because Patrick is strict about our finances, he’s very prudent but he’s not a stickler. It’s just because I’ve found more satisfaction in investing in experiences rather than the accumulation of stuff. I’m sure this will change when we become parents, but for now, it’s just me and Patrick and we don’t need a lot of “things” and we’re cool with that.
There are some experiences that don’t cost a single penny, you could sit on an empty bench in Central Park, feed some New Yorker pigeons and have the most glorious afternoon ever. But then there are some experiences that will leave your wallet empty but your hearts full. This is definitely one of those experiences. I’ve been eyeing this Hot Air Ballon/Champagne Brunch tour for weeks–even before we set foot in Australia. I never booked it because well, it was so bloody pricey. Every time I would reach the “checkout” page on the online booking, I’d chicken out. But then I’d browse through the tour again and again immediately after.
We had just two days left in the Gold Coast and Patrick asked me if I wanted to do something special/romantic. And the Hot Air Balloon ride was the first thing to pop into my mind! But I hate, hate, hate asking for something expensive from my husband, it just makes my insides flip over. Even in Manila if it costs over 2,000 pesos nanlalamig na ako to ask Patrick–whether it’s for a bill or a pair of shoes! I guess I just know how hard he works on a daily basis so it does have quite a grip on me. But he insisted on treating me to something fancy and I was so touched by his sweet pestering. So we booked the tour and I could see Patrick’s face “Oh dear, why did I agree to this?!?! Ang mahal pala!” hahaha! He got the receipt, squinted a bit, then just looked at me lovingly and said “Here you go, Love!”.
Of all our wonderful Gold Coast experiences, this definitely makes it to NUMERO UNO. It was such a surreal experience being so high up, floating gently in the clouds, hugging my husband tightly. It was the perfect videoke moment! And the Gold Coast has got to be one of the most scenic places ever. We sailed up in the air at the crack of dawn. The thick morning fog blanketed the trees and fields on the first ten minutes—then suddenly the gentle sun rays burst through the fog and it was such a treat for the eyes! No words, no words.
After the Hot Air Balloon ride, the guide brought us to a private vineyard to have a romantic Champagne brunch. Ok, I’m a lightweight when it comes to alcohol—so this is just me posing posing for pretty picture purposes! hahahaha! Feeling sosyal lang naman for a day 🙂 I was so giddy over the Hot Air Balloon ride already but this made the morning even more meaningful. I was just so grateful for the experience, I kept praising God for this perfect day 🙂 I’m sure for most people, having a fancy Champagne brunch is just your regular Thursday 10AM—but for folks like me and Patrick who live very modestly, this was definitely a BIG DEAL! I was reminded of one of my favorite verses in Proverbs that says “Give me enough food to live on, neither too much nor too little. If I’m too full, I might get independent, saying, ‘God? Who needs him?’ If I’m poor, I might steal and dishonor the name of my God.” More than we know ourselves, God knows us more than anyone else and he gives us just enough–enough to live happy, comfortable, and meaningful lives and often times, even enough to share the happiness, comfort and meaning with others too! It’s always a prayer to never be in lack or excess, to be right smack in the center of God’s will for you so you could just soak it all in and feel how it is to be loved by the BIG GUY 🙂
Clothes by Suiteblanco.