Before I learned how to do DIY trips and the art of backpacking, I started out as a joiner to any possible travel tours which operates in a certain place I had planned to visit. I began with a list of destinations, then Googled and searched for tours and voila!
Before I got acquainted with the travel tours, I only get to visit places where I have contacts, friends or relatives who can spare me a couch or a bed for a night or two. So it has taken me to Cebu, Tacloban, Manila, Bukidnon, and General Santos. Mind me, I was never a thick faced before that. This will always remind me of those happy moments. Later, I then introduced to the same concept of hosting a fellow traveller in your city, share moments and meet for a coffee – known as Couchsurfing.org.
Way back 2011, when Cebupacific’s Piso fare amounted to only 200 pesos per way, I decided to explore the islands beyond Mindanao, hence, I got my first flight, first MRT, first out of town, first solo trip and almost first everything when it comes to travel. And guess what? I did it alone! That is how my travelling feet ignited (which was also part started as my Mountaineering career peaked).
Living in Iligan City, far from the beaches, I have longed to try Surfing and get my body danced in those flashy waves. My surfing frustration had lead me in stalking several local celebrity surfers and even dreamt to be a Pro Surfer like Kelia Moniz. Lol. But before getting to the ultimate WOW, I need to know the basics first. So I joined Kuya Bart’s Istokewa Tours.
Kuya Bart is surfer and his favourite playground is Baler, Aurora. Due to the difficulty of transportation in going to and fro, he put up Istokewa Surf Tours. While keeping his main job in the metro, Kuya Bart decided to have a schedule for Surfing Tours during long weekends and holidays. For the past few years of operating the said surfing tour, Kuya Bart have already established good contacts and knows whom to call when you are looking for a good surfing instructor.
Ever since I started travelling and learned about Sagada and Banaue, I never stopped looking for possible means to get there. However, due to difficult road in multiple transfers, there was no way I could do it, let alone it was my first time to be in the Mountain Province and in Manila. So I opted for a tour serving Sagada and Banaue as a side trip. GAFA tours are definitely worth it since they know how to mix individuals to group of friends travelling together. You know, travelling with friends may be difficult but it is definitely way harder when you are travelling with strangers. As a result, I made friends with the two funny girls from the Metro.
GAFA Tours is a coordinated travel agency giving mixed and/or exclusive tours in various destinations in Luzon. The groups heading to Sagada consists of three vans and mind you, they have drive in convoy with radio to get coordinated in the curves through the mountains. The road felt like a snake and it was foggy and raining so it is totally difficult to get a clear vision in the road. Plus the drivers cum tour guide captures moments with the visitors using their DSLR Cameras. You got it right. Our drivers were also our tour guide and Photographers. How good is that?
If you are looking for buddies or wanted to experience a certain place and want to cut the cost, joining a group tour is a good option.
Have you tried joining group? What was your best experience in joining tours? Let me know your thoughts.