Start Here

My name is Rica. I took up Literature when I was in college.

In 2011, I reaffirmed my passion for traveling after almost 10 years of trying to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. Why “reaffirmed”? When I was in my 20s, I thought life was all about partying, getting wasted, spending a big amount of cash on liquor and other “unnecessary” things. My directionless past somehow blinded me from seeing and experiencing the beauty of life. I was too proud and selfish. Even after experiencing a drunk-driving, hit and run car accident that nearly put me on a hospital bed, I was still too stubborn to wake up and listen. But everything changed when my family was hit by a financial storm and when two of my friends died in the summer of 2011.

Despite everything that happened, it was during this period when I came to realize that life is indeed too short. I slowly started to change the course of my life, and when I did, I discovered Vagabonding and it made me see what my heart valued the most.

Around October of 2011, I made a sketch of my plan to travel for a month. I was in a very tough financial situation then, but I did not let it stop me from pursuing my dream of traveling the world one step at at time.

The road to my dream wasn’t easy of course. I went through more trials than ever such as having to deal with a heart condition. I also had a tough time saving money as I had to pay my rent and other bills. But I didn’t give up, that’s why I made it.

This blog documents everything: from the moment I realized what I wanted to do until the time I found myself showered with so many unexpected blessings just because I believed in my dream.

It’s a “continuous journey”, but I’m glad that I was given a second chance to live.

Here’s my story (written chronologically):

1. Making a sketch of my plans / finding inspiration

2. The trials and not giving up

3. Change of Plans

4. A Lesson in Humility and Facing Fears

5. The Blessings

My last post before my actual trip is about receiving a gift from a friend. I never expected that gift but it made me realize that if you believe in something positive, everything will work out to your advantage.

I departed on October 27, 2012 for a month-long adventure. After that journey, my life completely changed. I started to believe that there is something beyond a 9-5 desk job and the paycheck that comes with it. Though I did resign from my 3-year copywriting work in July of 2013, it was in January of 2014 when I finally bid farewell to the corporate life to travel long-term. At the same time, my book about reaching my savings goal for my month-long adventure got published. Know more about it here:

The 3rd World Traveler

I came back to the Philippines in November of 2014 and started working for a local backpacker’s hostel in January of 2015.

As I update this, it’s 2017 and many things have changed including my priorities. I still travel and will never stop traveling. But I’m headed towards a different direction now (something I’d like to keep for myself). I would like to emphasize though that I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for my earlier decision to follow my passion.

Thank you once again for dropping by and see you on the road!

Feel free to email me at:

ricasrucksack@gmail.com

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Website Design: Paul Van Gonzaga
Logo Design: Patch Quinto

2014 pic

14 thoughts on “Start Here

  1. Pingback: The Burmese In Prayer at the Shwedagon Pagoda « Rica's Rucksack – Travel Blog

  2. Pingback: “The Spirit Carries On” « Rica's Rucksack – Travel Blog

  3. I went through years of partying in my late 20s and early 30s. It was definitely destructive at the end…but it’s never to late to start traveling, and once you decide it’s what you want, magical things to happen. 5 years ago I had big debt on credit cards, but the dream travel inspired me to find a way to clear it, make money, get free and since then, I’ve traveled to over 50 countries!

    Good luck in making the rest of your dream come true. 🙂

  4. Incidently, have you seen the My Destination’s Global Competition? The prize is an all expenses paid 6 month around the world journey to 25 countries picked by you + $50,000 when you get back home. They want you to have local experiences and blog about them! You have to submit a video and a blog entry. I have details on how to enter my blog (www.travel-stained.com) if you want to check it out… it could make your dream come true!!! 😀

    • Shelley, thank you for your kind words. I checked out your blog and your interview at Budget Your Trip and I say that it’s very inspiring. I hope to do an RTW soon but I know that I have to get out of my country to do it. But we’ll see. I’m taking it a day at time and right now I’m very content with this balance I have in life – travel and also working at the same time. I’m very open to things and I’m just thankful right now that I managed to survive what I went through (a past without any direction).

      And thanks for sharing My Destination’s Global Competition – I hope to submit something by March! 🙂 Wishing you and Agri all the best.

      PS: If you do plan to stop by the Philippines, buzz me! 🙂

      • I’m happy to hear that you’re content. Peace of mind is really the most important thing in life! Good luck with the contest. I’ll vote for you!! 🙂 and we may end up in the Philippines sooner than you think…. 😉

  5. Hi Rica, i saw you in CNN Phil. I got interested in your topic as guest because my youngest daughter loves to travel like you. Actually, I told her to go to your website, right now she’s in CDO by herself. As a mom, sometimes I’m worried when I know she has plan to travel.Anyway, thanks and good luck to your dreams.

    • Hello! Thanks for dropping by. I totally understand how you feel. I don’t have a child but I do have a niece who travels by herself as well and her parents worry everytime she does; I also worry of course. But then, it’s a big world out there and we need to explore it on our own sometimes so we could learn more about ourselves. Feel free to email me if you have questions. Tell your daughter that if she needs tips, she can contact me anytime through my email. Thanks a lot! And all the best to both of you!

  6. Good day Rica, i was amazed by your stories and travales… i like the way you narrate your stories, you give the reader a complete, precise and vivid picture of what you like to express about your story. Im a traveller also… Wish you good luck and good health. God Bless Girl…

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