Hello, 2018!

South Rim Trail – Snowmass Village, Colorado
Miles: 6.60
Ascent: 1,212
Temperature: 32F
Steps: 4,104
Playlist: Today’s Top Hits (Spotify)

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On the very first day of 2018, I decided to go for a hike.
I wasn’t trying to do a “New Year Hike” or a “New Year, New Me” thing. I’m not planning on making this a regular habit, like how everyone wants to start the year by doing something healthy, although I really should.

Honestly, I just wanted to go up the mountains and just be by myself for a little while. Somehow everything is just easier when you get up there.

I literally felt all my worries physically pulling away from my body and staying down in the ground. The higher elevation I went, the more I stopped thinking about all of the things that has been bothering me in the past few weeks. I wanted to just focus on myself, and that’s exactly what happened.

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I went up to go find the Yin Yang Spiral Point at the very top of the trail. It was somehow symbolical in a way. The Yin-Yang; the perfect balance. Balance of what exactly, I didn’t really know. I sat down on one of the benches overlooking the whole of Snowmass Village and just reflected my past year. I guess this was a “New Year Hike” after all.

I loved having time for myself, and being able to acknowledge what really mattered. I’m thankful to have had this “pause” from the regular world nonsense- I wasn’t even able to think about anything else but the beauty of what I was looking at. All I know is, I needed a breather, and I had one.

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I think sitting on a bench feeling like I was on top of the world put a lot of things into perspective. 2017 was about taking risks, and I’ve jumped in so many cliffs this year, that I feel like, everything I’ve done was a risk at some  point. Some decisions have been “brave” while others have been stupid. Maybe this year will be about, facing the repercussions of my bad decisions, or doing something to make the changes I needed in my life. That part, I still haven’t figured out completely.

I didn’t make any resolutions for this year, because I never really follow through on all of them; and instead of focusing on the failures to come, I wanted to just start the year in a positive note. So even though, I can’t make any promises on resolutions or any of the sort, I decided that this year, I will try my very best to appreciate things that I usually take for granted. It’s not exactly a promise, or a goal, like I said: no resolutions. It’s more of a reminder, to look at the good things instead of overthinking the bad.

Re-shifting my focus for 2018!

New Year Hike from Find Gizel on Vimeo.

Hope you’ve had a happy New Year.

xx Gizel

Love in an Airport.

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.

– Love Actually.


I on the other hand, found myself in the Manila Airport stuck, hungry, and bored, waiting for my six-hour delayed flight.

Nope, no visions of loving people waiting for their family member’s arrival to warm my heart. Just a couple of bored, complaining and hungry passengers who suffered the same fate as I did.

For some reason, my latest trip to Manila had caused me more money, time, hassle, and temper than all the other past trips I had combined.


I have always been saying about how much I wanted to be a traveler. I want to be a backpacker, and just be able to get anywhere, anytime. I want to reach undiscovered places, and do things other cultures do, that’s why I was so excited about this one, because I get to fly home on my own.

I wanted to see how it was to actually do it, all alone.

When I checked-in and was told that my trip was going to be three-hours delayed, I was thinking: “Three-hours, what the hell, that’s okay, I could just wait here and read my book.”

But three hours turned to four and I already finished reading my book long before that. I found myself with absolutely nothing to do, and no one to talk to.

They kept announcing boardings and arrivals, four hours turned to five, to six, but still our flight was never mentioned.


The thing with first times is, you never really know what to do.

So I sat there, listening to my music, never standing up to pee or bothering to grab the free food they were giving for the delayed-flight passengers. A lot of thoughts were running through my head.

“What if we won’t fly out tonight?”
“What if I can’t get back home?”
“What if somebody steals my stuff?”
“What if I fall asleep and miss my plane?” or worse,

“What if the plane already left, and I just didn’t hear the announcement?”

I familiarized myself with the feeling I get whenever I hear the bell for announcements, I was Hopeful. I wanted them so bad to announce MY flight, and every single time, I get disappointed because it would be something else entirely.


So I did what I do best in situations where I’m feeling alone – I made up stories.

Everyone who sat around me were either soul mates waiting to meet each other, a couple traveling for the first time, two people switching similar bags which will lead to a series of ironic and hilarious events or probably old men waiting for their flight to come home to their granddaughter’s wedding.

I’m a closet-romantic rooting for everyone else’s happy ending, as you can probably tell by the stories I come up with.

The hours passed and the characters of my story (the random passengers around me) came and went. I occupied myself with imagining their back stories, making up their names, thinking of how their conversations would go, and hoping that they would at least glance at each other, but they never did. And it was okay. In the back of my mind, they were going to meet again.

I probably looked weird, laughing in my mind as to how the two strangers who sat on either side of me were going to see each other again, because in my mind it involved a lot of mud, and crazy yelling.

But it was fun, I was not as bored as  I was when I started.

The thing is, I didn’t see the “love” that was being talked about in the “Love Actually” monologue. There was no hugging and kissing, no romantic hellos and goodbyes. But I did see it – in my imagination.

I realized then that in the times when you feel so alone despite being surrounded by a lot of people, the one thing you’d try to find, will always be love. (even if it was just to humor yourself for the next two hours.)

I took this photo in Ilo-ilo International Airport

I took this photo in the Ilo-ilo International Airport.

Finally they announced for our boarding, and a lot of people around me started cheering and clapping. I checked my watch and saw that I have been sitting there in my spot for eight hours and a half.

That was probably one of the worst flight-experiences I’ve ever had, but, it might also be one of the best.