Skinny Dipping in El Nido, Philippines.

Life List #88: Go skinny dipping.

Going skinny dipping in El Nido, Philippines.

“When I met you I thought you were together,” the Korean girl sitting across from Alex and I at the bar said, “you seemed really close.”

This was after we answered the other guy’s question of “where did you two meet,” with “at the hostel yesterday.”

And before a Danish guy’s question of “is this your girlfriend?”

Playing the French version of Monopoly in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

I hadn’t really thought anything of him. No, that’s not true. I did think he was adorably cute when I met him. And the British accent didn’t hurt either. He was young but had already seen so many places in the world and had spent the last year teaching in China. And we had spent the night before together, photographing the sunset while dodging the rain, drinking San Miguels. And the entire day, hanging out, getting food, guessing at who owed the community chest what in French Monopoly. And I was having a lot of fun with him.

Playing the French version of Monopoly in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Playing the French version of Monopoly in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

What I really meant to say is I didn’t really think anything of “it.” I didn’t even think to think that our hanging out was going anywhere. It was just two travelers who happened to be at the same hostel, who both liked taking photos, who both liked seeing the world. And besides, he was 22. And while that sort of thing has certainly never stopped me before, I try not to actively pursue someone who is nine years younger than me.

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

But, later that night, at a Reggae bar that had promised a live band who never showed, Alex asked me to dance. And sometime during that dance he pulled me in and kissed me.

We danced for a few more songs, kissed a few more times.

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

And then we left to take a walk on the beach and we ended up in the sea.

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

And that’s all you need to know about that.


Go skinny dipping was number 88 on my life list. Can you believe I’m 31 and have never done that before? Can you believe I’ve been on beaches for how long now and it’s never come up yet? Crazy talk. But done. I have officially been naked in a large body of water.


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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Rich
    September 5, 2012at7:45 pm

    You continue to be kinda awesome. 🙂

  • Micamyx|Senyorita
    September 5, 2012at7:47 pm

    I miss Balay Tubay! Hehe might go back soon

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