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I've never really been a water person. Growing up, we had a pool in our backyard that largely went unused minus the times I would bungee jump my Barbies into it from my bedroom window. I quit my childhood swim lessons because I didn't want to go. In high school I chose to play basketball (BASKETBALL!) over swimming for gym class because I hadn't figured out how to use tampons yet (true story). ...

Half an hour or so after checking into my hostel, after a morning's journey from Manila that consisted of taking a car, a plane, a bus, a boat, and a tricycle, after scaling the side of a barbed wire fence, I stepped onto White Beach in Boracay. And I decided right there and then that I would be extending my Philippines visa...