British traveler Jon Howe recalls his experience dating a fellow long-term adventurer, Filipino Kach Medina. What was supposed to be a two-week visit for them has since turned into almost two years together.
Back in and for about 10 years before, I was living in the UK, studying architecture and working 9-to-5s in different architectural practices. There had to be more to life than walking into the same building every day, seeing the same people and doing pretty much the same Black girl dating a filipino guy over and over again.
The day we met. All photos provided by Kach Medina or Jon Howe. I decided it was time for a serious change in my life, so I saved for a year, sold my car and anything else that could be sold, bought a one-way ticket and left the UK with nothing but my backpack.
It was whilst travelling through Laos by motorbike with my best friend that I stumbled across this young Filipino backpacker. I instantly felt she was different from all of the girls I met while backpacking, and we hit it off straight away. Although we went our separate ways Black girl dating a filipino guy after, we kept in touch. After two months, Kach came to visit me in Hanoi for two weeks, where I had set myself up as an English teacher. Well, two weeks has since turned into almost two years, 7 countries, many random jobs and countless stories to tell!
Whilst I traveled quite a bit as a child, with my parents working in Africa, when you travel as an adult you see things differently and it changes you — sometimes in very subtle ways, sometimes more obviously. Being from the United Kingdom, you inevitably become accustomed to Western ways and of course in turn, Western women. Not only that, but quite literally out of nowhere, there will appear enough food to feed a small village for a week. Choose your career or go travel?
I'm proud of my Philippine passport. Filipino breakfast — Adobo — Lots of meat, marinated in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic…with rice! Tocino — Pork belly the fattiest, tastiest bit! One thing that shocked me, however, was the choice of breakfast food. Growing up in Africa, I had plenty of opportunities to observe my parents negotiating down the price of everything from fruit and vegetables, to decorative woodcarvings and even ahem speeding tickets.
So obviously some of this bargaining power must have rubbed off on me,
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For Kach, everything is a potential discount, matter how small. She will quite happily spend half an hour trying to negotiate 5 cents off the price of an apple and then perform a victory dance on upon completion of the deal!
She never even wanted the apple. However, let it be crystal clear that this is not the same as subservient; personally I want a relationship, an equal partner. Be sure not to take her for granted though. Kach often tells me that although many Filipinos are very patient, if you push Black girl dating a filipino guy too far, they could really hurt you. So there you have it: All I can say is this — whether it be eating pork fat for breakfast, god-awful singing or embarrassing bargaining techniques, life is a whole lot more interesting this way.
Jonathan Howe is the British traveler and writer behind twomonkeystravelgroup. He loves tropical beaches, surfing, hiking, the outdoors, yoga, adventure sports and motorbikes. Follow him at facebook. Start your investing journey with COL Financial. Sign for a seminar, get a free investing e-booklet. These stories made other people. Welcome to Rappler, a social news network where stories inspire community engagement and digitally fuelled actions for social change.
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