2016 instagram adventure travel blog dubai

My 2016 Adventures as Told on Instagram

2016 marked my first journey outside the corporate world. I left Dubai exactly the 17th of January 2016 and started this long affair to be a full-time traveler.

READ ALSO: Journal Entry, Du-Bye For Now

To be honest, it didn’t quite turn out to be as I thought it would have been. But I can’t be thankful enough of how things unfolded.

With 1000++ photos posted on my Instagram it is pretty easy so say that this social media platform definitely chronicled this awesome journey. So I thought of summarizing 2016 through my Instagram posts.

Here it goes (warning, this is very lengthy).


Left my second home, Dubai and traveled to Australia

I've been receiving loads of very inspiring messages from you guys! Thank you very much. They all mean a lot to me as I start this journey (I will try my best to reply to everyone). I was drafting a blog during my flight but decided to take a bit of my time to finish it and try to be in the moment first and settle down. Leaving Dubai was hard (and still is) but this step was a step of faith knowing that God is in control every step of the way. This reason alone makes me excited on what's coming ahead. As I embarked out of Dubai, holding a chance passenger Etihad Ticket, my faith was tested (nakakakaba pala–parang contest), throughout the day I was so stressed thinking if I will be able to get on board or not, cause in the web it says all tickets were SOLD, amazingly, everything went smoothly, from traveling to the airport, checking in the plane and even getting out of the Australian immigration (naiwan ko lang yung toothbrush and hair wax ko sa bahay) . Now I am in Brisbane, getting ready to start this adventure. Again, thank you very much! I will treasure all your love, support and prayers! MWAAAAH! PS: This week I might flood your feeds. Sorry ^^ #roadtofreedom #nomore9to5 #ikenexplore #iken #brisbane #australia

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on


BRISBANE welcomed me with its very chill and laid-back lifestyle

Spent some time with family in the GOLD COAST

Now at Gold Coast with family…yipeee. luvin every minute of it! First order of business, BEACH!!!!!! #goldcoast #australia #qld

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on


Got super artsy in MELBOURNE

Looked for the 12 APOSTLES along the GREAT OCEAN ROAD with AAT Kings

Spent Chinese New Year in SYDNEY

……spontaneously traveled and showered at the BLUE MOUNTAINS….

….and attended church at HILLSONG

Excited for church tomorrow! @hillsong YEY!!! #sydney #hillsong

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on

Went to the PHILIPPINES for a few days and explored MANILA’s Art Deco History…

….and surfed in LA UNION


OSLO welcomed me in the chillest possible way (literally)

Landed safe and sound…This view welcomed me! Let's see if I have enough warmers to motivate me to go out…

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on

Caught up with friends in BERGEN, NORWAY

Ate fermented shark in REYKJAVIK in ICELAND

Fermented shark meat anyone? #sharkmeat #travelfood #icelandfood #reykjavikfood #iceland

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on

Jaw-dropped after exploring around SNAEFELLSNES PENINSULA with Guide to Iceland

Felt really small touring around the GOLDEN CIRCLE

Iceland nakakaasar ka na ha!!! Masyado kang pasikat. #gullfoss #iceland #igersiceland #islandia

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on

Conquered driving around ICELAND’S RING ROAD

After more or less 2000 km of driving around Iceland's Ring Road we are now back in the city bringing all the memories of this epic adventure with us. At first we really questioned if our Toyota Yaris will be able to make but but surprisingly it did and served us really well. It surely made this trip fun as we constantly were thinking how far it can still go. Haha. And I couldn't have thought of a better roadtrip companion here in Iceland than this amazing explorer, Maks! Glad to have bumped you in the hostel kitchen eating your chicken wings hahaha. Still overwhelmed how an incident that made me thought that I am done (and almost gave up) with Iceland became the best thing that ever happened to me while I am here. Now just time to chill before going to another city and meet one of my good buddies. #toyota #toyotayaris #bushostelreykjavik #iceland #ringroad #icelandringroad #islandia

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on

….and finally saw the NORTHERN LIGHT dancing in HOFN


Lived in a university in WIESBADEN, GERMANY

Gained a lot of weight in FRANKFURT (hello doner and sausages)

Hoy hindi yan tyan ha..loose lang yung jumper ko! #visitfrankfurt #frankfurt #germany #igersgermany

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on

Fell in love with PRAGUE

…this city deserves 2-posts hahaha


Welcomed spring in a very festive way in BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

Got a bit scared in BRATISLAVA (for a very silly reason)

Getting a cultural bargain in VIENNA

Back in Germany and had a dose of Octoberfest action (well its spring counterpart) in MUNICH


Staying true with my promise to come back over and over again in PARIS

3rd time to be in Paris, so this time around decided to take the off the beaten path. 😆 #paris #france #igersparis

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on

…and be reunited with 2 of my very first travel buddies in ASNIERES-SUR-SEINE, FRANCE

…..missing PARIS again and promised to comeback again

Back in DUBAI for week of catching up



Back in the PHILIPPINES and got a bit of beach action at CALAGUAS ISLAND

…and practiced a bit of my architectural skills….

…for 2 projects

Explored the world under in ANILAO

Reached the summit at TARAK RIDGE, BATAAN


Flying off again, this time in South East Asia….


Explored 4 cities with other South East Asian bloggers, MAKASSAR, LOMBOK, BANYUWANGI and BANDUNG


Back solo traveling and had a little reflection in BALI

…and promised that I will be a good surfer when I come back at FRII BALI ECHO BEACH in CANGGU

Island hopped in EL NIDO with SEALAND VENTURE


Tasted the best Halo-Halo in PUERTO PRINCESA

..and enjoyed the superb hospitality of MICROTEL PUERTO PRINCESA


Ticked a bucket list in SAIPAN, NORTHERN MARIANAS

…and became a human drone in MANAGAHA ISLAND, SAIPAN with #MyMarianasPH

Food tripp’n in BINONDO, MANILA

From Marianas to Maynila. Left the island life and back to the grind. Oh MNL…. #ongpin #chinatown #manila #binondo

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on

Became a stew in ANTIQUE

Walked around ROXAS CITY, CAPIZ…


...and got awestruck at the GIGANTES GROUP OF ISLAND, ILOILO with Las Islas Travel and Tours

Got super pampered in BOHOL at Henann Resort

Attended TBEX (Travel Bloggers Exchange) in Manila

Got white washed in CAGAYAN DE ORO

Celebrated with BELMONT HOTEL as it turned one

Saw the other side of MANILA

Yesterday’s trip was indeed a very interesting one. When we were invited by the Smokey Tours (www.smokeytours.com) to join their slum tour, I already anticipated what to expect. But I must say, even as a local, it was still overwhelming to see the situation first hand. It was a complete contrast from the island staycations we've done during the past week/s. Growing up, I saw it in the news, watch it being portrayed in TV-sitcoms and movies but to be there, to smell the place, to interact with the children and to hear the stories of residents who were born, raised and build(ing) their livelihood in the slums made it so real. There were a lot of things going on in my head while walking on a muddy and wet path along the esteros (canal) where these houses were built. The big question of WHYs and HOWs kept circling inside of me! Why is this happening in my country? Why these people still choose to stay here (met someone who lived here for 40yrs)? How can we help? To be honest, I am still digesting it, and it might take me a few more days or even years to really know the answer. #smokeytours #philippines #tondo

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on


Back working as an INTERIOR DESIGNER to help a friend

Flew 8 hours to visit my 2nd HOME,  DUBAI (again!!)

Welcome to Tomorrow Land! 📸 by the awesome @charleslibanjr #mydubai #theterrace #dubai

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on

…where I got to explore a new DESERT attraction (MLEIHA)

I told myself that I will not go to a desert safari during this trip. I have been to (I think) 5 safaris already when I was still living here in Dubai, and I don't have any plans of adding another number to it. Amazingly today, along with 'awesome friends' we went to a unique kind of Desert Safari! We went dune bashing, fossil hunting and had an exclusive dinner and bonfire under the stars (in the desert). Probably the best Desert Adventure Safari in my book —- and it is not Dubai! It is in SHARJAH! Can't wait to blog about it. For the meantime, check out my instastories at @kennethsurat to watch our crazy adventure today at Mleiha Archaeological Site, Sharjah @discoverMleiha 📸 Kieth Walter Ayuso #discoveruae #sharjah #mleiha #mleihanight #winterinmleiha

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on

…watched the dramatic SUNSET

…the magical fog engulfing its SKYSCRAPERS


…and its beautiful PEOPLE

Became on of the 100 Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf

Such an awesome way to start 2017! So happy to become one of the Top 100 Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf! Thankful that even in a small way (naks) there are people who are inspired on what I do. 2016 was not easy, ain't a walk in the park but it was indeed an ADVENTURE! So many people to thank and I know you guys know who you are. Kuddos to the whole ILLUSTRADO TEAM. One of the things I love in this issue is that a big chunk of these trailblazers and tastemakers I consider them family and friends. Cheers and congrats guys! (BTS Vlog link in my bio ☝🎥🎬) #TAASNOOFILIPINO Grab the latest issue of Illustrado Magazine in bookstores and newsstands across the UAE. Or click the link below kung di kayo makapaghintay hahah. https://issuu.com/illustrado/docs/illustado100digital #illustrado #mydubai

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on

Got introduced to HONG KONG busy city lifestyle…

…and its calm countryside

Whew! Going through all of what I did for the past year got me tired already haha. Can’t believe I was able to squeeze all of these in just 1 year.

2 months = 13 countries/territories and almost 35 major cities around the world and 12 destinations in the Philippines. Crazy!!!

To the people I met along the way!! You made 2016 the best year so far! Thought of tagging everyone but you guys are too many hahaha. you know who you are! LOVE YOU ALL!

Oh 2016. I will surely miss you. I learned and experienced a lot that will prepare me for the new year. A lot of things to be thankful for which deserve a separate blog haha.

So cheers for another wonderful year full of adventures and love! Watch out for my 2016 recap vlog also (I am editing currently in video-edit mode).

2 0 1 7 ! ! ! Bring it on. Cant wait to see you. #deus #mydubai 📸 @charleslibanjr

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on


Here's to a refreshing New Year!! Good morning 2017! #newyear #2017 #mydubai #betterwithjumeirah @jumeirahbh #uptown

A photo posted by Kenneth Ephraim Surat (@kennethsurat) on






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