“Travel is the best investment you can make in yourself. It teaches you that there are many ways to live a good, fulfilled life. It broadens your world view, yet makes you appreciate home all the more.” –Joel Sartore
Known as the Queen City of the South, there are a lot of reasons why tourists flock to Cebu City and arrive by the droves. The beautiful island itself is a wonderful fusion of island and city living that locals and visitors alike can find themselves amid lush landscapes, pristine white sand beaches and the bustling city within minutes—depending on traffic. Furthermore, the city is known to be the first island discovered by the Spaniards which is sure to entice history enthusiasts and culture buffs into visiting the place. Indeed, Cebu City is a place wherein you can find almost everything—from the city life to the provincial and island life. In fact, this author can attest to the fact that living in Cebu is very much like taking up residence in a vacation spot and staying on perpetual holiday.
However, before you book that ticket just yet and a hotel in Cebu City for that matter; it might be a good to know what you will be expecting. Here are some tips for whenever you are traveling to Cebu:
1. Know what you want and prepare yourself for that
While Cebu definitely has a lot in store for every type of traveler there is, it pays to know what you want to experience and what you wish to immerse yourself in. After all, this is how you will be planning your itinerary. In line with this, it would be wise to know what kind of traveler you are, but if that is too challenging of a task, think of what you find yourself gravitating to whenever you are traveling. Are you the type of traveler who wishes to laze in beaches all day long? Do you wish to discover more about a place’s history and culture? Is discovering unspoiled territories always a part of your to-do list? Or do you seek out fresh experiences in the form of adrenaline-pumping activities? All these are possible in Cebu as the island itself offers a myriad of activities to travelers—you just need to know what you like.
2. Immerse yourself in Cebu’s natural beauty
Although you might be a bit skeptical as to where you can find natural preserves in the city (seeing as you would be readily greeted by an onslaught of traffic), you will be surprised to find that Cebu offers quite a lot in terms of natural beauty. Albeit getting criticism and flak online, you can swim with whale sharks, bathe in waterfalls, go mountain climbing and so much more. There is a multitude of things to do in Cebu beyond going to the beach and exploring different islands. However, if you wish to see the natural beauty all to yourself without the visual noise of a crowd, make sure not to visit on peak seasons as you will be sharing nature with the rest of the visitors.
3. Disconnect to reconnect with yourself
Although wifi access is offered in most malls and cell coverage is relatively great if you are within city proximity, it is a good idea to disconnect from the online world and your social media feeds while you are in Cebu. Initially, this might not be a part of your plan but if you are going to explore the far flung areas of Cebu, you will not only be encouraged to disconnect but more like compelled to do so. There will hardly be any reliable Internet access and cellphone signal is fairly limited leaving you with bad reception. However, take this opportunity to truly immerse yourself in nature and in a sense, disconnect to reconnect with yourself. In doing so, you will appreciate the finer things in life you might have missed had you been busy updating your social media pages. Take gorgeous and picturesque photos of sunsets, have a drink by the beach and simply listen to the crashing of waves and whistling of the wind. You will find yourself more relaxed after that.