Life in the Fast Lane


Celebrating Thirty

By 6:17 PM , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Once upon a time, my high school friends and I threw lots of sleepovers and went on a few out-of-town trips. These sleepovers and trips allowed us to be ourselves — giggly and dorky as we were — and we could say anything we wanted to.

At the start of this year, after I turned 30 (among most of my social circles, I always celebrate my birthday first — boo, February!), my girls and I decided to plan a trip after Nica, the baby of the group, turned 30 in August.

Last weekend (except for Pips, who had work to do from Hong Kong, where she's based), off we went to an all-girls getaway in Dumaguete. I expected it to be nothing short of amazing... and meaningful.

And we all realized that this trip was what each of us needed.

Admittedly, we're six (counting Pips, even if she wasn't with us physically) of the most different kinds of thirty-somethings who happen to be friends: you have one who's married, bade the corporate world farewell, and is now a full-time mom; another one teaches at a non-traditional art school and is also a yoga instructor to adults and kids; another one is a single mom who moved into her own place and has taken on a new job in advertising; another one is a teacher to sixth and seventh graders during the week and a windsurf warrior on weekends; another one is based in Hong Kong and travels the world many times during the week to meet with clients and land deals in behalf of the bank she works for; the last one, yours truly, is a weekday advertising copywriter and a weekend triathlete wannabe.

Each of us has other friends whom we regularly meet up with but somehow, we always manage to find our way to each other. This weekend proved that.

It was a weekend of:

(1) endless laughter and attempts at tanning

(2) talking (and learning from each other) 'til the wee hours of the morning

(3) being grateful for the simpler things in life

(4) discovering (and rediscovering) things about each other

(5) finding strength in one another

(6) ticking one item off my personal bucket list: to dive with the butanding/whale shark

(7) strategizing and goal-setting

I'm glad that we spent the weekend together — away from all forms of distraction (save for our gadgets; we still needed to connect to the worldwide web!) — and just enjoyed each others' company.

We may be 30 now (I'd like to think that we don't look our age, though; do we?), but we'll forever be the dorkiest thirty-somethings on the planet. You can count on that.

Photo by Regina Hahn-Siy.

In the meantime, here are other butanding/whale shark pictures. 

Photos by Nica Hechanova; I've yet to transfer the ones I took but I can't find my card reader!

Things I suggest everyone should do (before or when one turns 30):
  1. Go on an all-boys/all-girls adventure, even for just one weekend. No significant others, spouses, or kids. Just you and your goofy selves. You'll find out that there are still so many things that you don't know about your friends (quirks, habits, hopes and dreams).
  2. Be game for anything. Such a weekend will lead to many discussions that are both heavy and trivial. You might go to places or do things you wouldn't normally go to/do.
  3. Consider swimming with the whale sharks at least once in your life. It's an experience you won't regret (unless you're one of us, who had to contend with jellyfish stings; but we're still glad that we got to swim with our giant friends). For more information about swimming with whale sharks, you could either do it via Donsol, Sorsogon or Oslob, Cebu (we did the latter).
  4. Play Monopoly Deal. It's so much fun! I don't know why I only decided to learn the game now when I'm fond of board games and card games. Talk about LOSER.
  5. Invest in water- and sand-proof gear. Enough said.
Hope your long weekend was as wonderful as mine was!

P.S. On another note: I was so happy to have used and abused my DSLR after so long!

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  1. Ako I'm the middle kid in our group. Haha! Which is why I'm the swing vote.

    Now I suddenly miss my girls. We started going on trips together the year before we all turned 30. Parang bonding lang din. Can't wait to see them again this October in Bohol!:)

    1. Hey, Rose!

      We've actually gone on several trips together post-college graduation (we all went to different universities), but this is our first all-girls' trip in years. Usually, the "better halves" are included, but we decided to have some time to ourselves for a change. It was great! :) (We'll do quick weekend trips with the boys some other time, though. Haha!)

      It's nice to catch up with old friends, isn't it? Glad you're in touch with yours. Have fun in October! :)

  2. Love this Tin! :) Hugs to forever friends :)


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