Welcome to Guiltless Getaways, a home for people who want to explore the world. If you've ever felt like you want to live your life to the fullest, then this site is for you. I'm Melody Co, the author and publisher of the site. This is where my love for travel, adventure, culture, language, music, food, arts, history and having fun come together.

I am inviting you to see the world and its people in a different light. My goal is to share my experience and what I saw. I consider myself as a willing road tester (so that I may get lost first before you and gladly show you the way), an eager foodie (I love convincing you to try different cuisines - and I'm so glad I was introduced to organic food through this blog), a time traveler (I love telling you to revisit the places that my elders talk about and encouraging you to remember the lost places you used to enjoy as a child) and a repeat traveler (I love filling you with experiences of places that I love over and over because the world changes with time). I want to leave a legacy and a trail that you can continue in your own journey - to live this life without regrets.

Meloy =)

First Timer Tour Boracay - Fun Activities at the Trick Art Museum, Parasailing, Buggy, PauPatri, Boracay Mandarin, Don Vito, Paraw Sailing and White Beach

They say time heals all wounds. It's been a while since I thought about Boracay because of that shocking accident with my sister. Someone asked me about my favorite places recently and the fondness for that piece of paradise still came. I opened the folder of pictures I set aside from that memorable trip and decided to write about the fun times this time to finally let go of any negative feelings I have left. I miss my sister who's a thousand miles away right now. Today, I can look forward to our next adventure when she comes home.


Inno Hostel and Pub Lounge Review, Cheap Backpacker Room near Hongdae and Hapjeong Station Seoul

I usually don't stay in hostels and shared rooms as much but I'm starting to be more open recently. My flight from Manila to Korea arrived at night and my homestay host couldn't accommodate me until the next day. And so I found a cheap place near Hongdae and Hapjeong (my homestay location is a stop away in this line) called Inno Hostel and Pub Lounge to spend the night. My considerations included the bedspace look, if it was listed in Agoda, until what time the front desk is open, all female dorm available, number of beds and location


Interesting Finds and Street Food in Myeongdong Market - One Afternoon and Night in Seoul

I have tried to avoid Myeongdong for the longest time in Seoul because of a less than ideal first time there in 2009. It's a very high traffic area and a tourist destination so it's very easy to be overwhelmed, esp. if you're not used to that many people. My most recent visits, however, have been surprisingly fun and I'm starting to like going there in the afternoons until around 11 p.m. before it gets a bit harder to get home via subway (the last trains are at 11+). Here are a few of my Myeongdong finds and street food galore in photos when I found my way there from Nandaemun (walked) and when I brought some guests there (LOL feeling tour guide haha). For starters, you see the GimGaNe 김家네 restaurant below? It's a popular kimbap and rappoki chain. Yum!


My List: Where to Buy Philippine Souvenirs in Manila? Where to Eat Halal Food? Also Filipino Food Restaurants To Try

I was faced with 2 important questions about Manila recently in one night - "Where can I buy Philippine souvenirs in Manila?" and "Where can I eat Halal food?" I was meeting Mr. B from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia - the people behind our Wonderful Indonesia Trip with the komodo dragons in Labuan Bajo. I'm writing this because my interest was sparked when I attended the Pinoy Food Tourism Forum and they're thinking of attracting more Muslim tourists in the Philippines and one of the plans is having a system yet that identifies Halal food/restaurants in the country. We want to make things more comfortable for our guests, right? I myself want to meet more Indonesian friends and our other neighbors and I have not given stuff like these much thought in the past unless a visitor comes. Today, I'm making these into a list so that I can refer to it in the future. I've also added Filipino restaurants where I can bring guests to as this was my original plan (before I remembered that Muslims don't just not eat pork and have Halal requirements). Fortunately, there are some stores and restaurants that came to mind and a little research came in handy. I will update this list if ever I find something interesting for me.


Learning Gayageum - Korean Zither Classes in Manila and Seoul

I've only been in Seoul for a few days and I'll be missing a part of school (literally and emotionally) for my trip. You see, I've been so into making progress these past few weeks with the Gayageum =D This is, by far, the closest I've been to playing an instrument and putting music back into my life. It has always been my dream to sing while playing but I've long given up hope because I've failed at numerous attempts in learning to decipher the notes in the music sheets haha. This type of Korean zither creates one of the most relaxing music for me when I hear it. Originally observed from the instrument guzheng of China, King Gasil of Gaya commissioned Wu Ruk to make a Korean version according to the stories of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. There are different kinds of Korean zithers (some up to 18 and 25 strings, more modern) and what we have for the class is the Gayageum (12 strings and more traditional). The latest good news I've received from this morning is that my Seoul homestay host has a gayageum I can practise on!!! Hihihi. I quickly asked my classmates to send me a copy of our music sheets today LOL. Now the only thing to do is schedule a house day here to play! :D Let your heart beat for the Korean zither and fall in love with the Gayageum through this post...

I'm pretty sure the feet are not 100% correct haha.

Worst Travel Moment in Korea

There's this saying that when it rains, it pours. Well, I'm sitting a bit edgy on the plane because I happen to be going back to Seoul (Incheon Airport) today. My latest first day last July in South Korea didn't go so well and I just remembered all the horror that happened in just one day with the theme of PTB's (Pinoy Travel Bloggers group) carnival this month! Haha. I was tired, drenched, hungry and everything that could go wrong just did! I'd been preparing remedies/solutions/must-do's for the past few days just in case. I'm just saying that this can happen to you (and me again) so it's probably best to write this entry now. I think that as I increase the frequency to go back again and again to the places I love (repeat travel), the more I will encounter both good and bad travel moments in that particular place. As we put ourselves out there to go somewhere or try something new, we are bound to have these moments of unrest and uncertainty - making us remember the best actions to take for the next time we return :)

Korea view from above - plane

Discovery Travel Through Conversations and Over Dimsum

It's amazing how a simple event can turn into a fun-filled experience. I tend to get carried away when there's talk of travel, food and culture. I'm so glad I was able to dine casually with Discovery Primea's General Manager and Director for Sales & Marketing. I just couldn't help myself but fire away my questions out of curiosity without any inhibitions (especially when they're just right beside me and the atmosphere was super relaxed). Haha. The result - an afternoon of new discoveries, food talk, new friends and excitement for the developments on Discovery Leisure Group's new luxury business hotel Primea in Ayala Avenue (opening early next year)! I was just at the Visit Discovery Travel Mart Launch at the SM Mega Fashion Hall for this. Check out how you can score 50% off weekend stays there along with other Discovery Hotels in Ortigas, Tagaytay, Boracay and Palawan this week! :)

Discovery Primea's GM David Pardo de Ayala

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