I used to travel. A lot.
I have never felt so free when I started travelling.
Shy. Bookworm. Firstborn. Conservative.
Get the picture?
Being the firstborn and first granddaughter of my family, great things were expected from me. And I didn't disappoint them, of course. But it took a toll on me and I ended up not myself anymore.
I wanted to stand up for myself and achieve something that is a "success" on my terms. Not a medal. Not a diploma. Not a "perfect" daughter image. So that's when I decided to go travelling.
My mom was simply against it. Even when I was still a kid. She didn't even let go to a school tour, for goodness sake. But I can't blame her. She's just being protective.
I started my baby steps.
2016. I went out with my friends on a 4-day trip to the beautiful Bantayan Island in Cebu. I had a bad case of food poisoning there. As my first travel ever, I think I might have eaten too much seafood without parental supervision. 😂
2017. I went out with the company to Roxas City, Capiz. It was my first time riding a plane. We got into a connecting flight so I got into the plane three times that day. The seafood there was heavenly. Talk about fresh and fat oysters and shrimps! I didn't get food poisoning this time. All was eaten in moderation and with a few beers.
This was their private rock island
Late 2017. I got to go to Bacolod via land travel! Me and my fellow Psychometricians went there for a workshop and a few detours (if you know what I mean). We got around tasting one grilled chicken and batchoy after another.
Look what welcomed us on a pit stop
Summer of 2018. Me and a few girlfriends went to the south part of Cebu City, specifically Dalaguete, and hiked one of its popular mountains, Osmeña Peak.
October 2018. I also went around the south of Cebu purely on commute. Me and a friend made stops. Osmeña Peak in Dalaguete. Tumalog Falls in Oslob. Sumilon Island via Oslob. As we curved around the south of Cebu, we got off at Kawasan Falls in Alegria. As fun as it sounds, it was super tiring.
November 2018. I went around Manila and visited the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, People's Park in Tagaytay (got a glimpse of Taal Volcano) and SM Mall of Asia. We were visiting my family there and it was quite a reunion.
Almost zero visibility fog in Tagaytay
February 2019. I went to Davao ALONE. Please don't tell my mother. And not bad for a first solo travel. Thank goodness that Davao was the safest city in the Philippines. But I gotta admit, I was so terrified. I have never been so scared in my life. I was always half expecting I'd be kidnapped in the next hour. They have the best chocolate and coffee shop there. Not a fan of their famous durian, though.
Island-hopping alone in Samal Island
March 2019. I went on an impulsive island-hopping trip in a nearby island in Cebu -- Olango Island. It only takes a day to experience the entire island and it's the perfect quick getaway.
Off to bird-watching
April 2019. This time, I was with my family. I thought it was the same as last time. I was wrong. This time, we got to see the whale sharks in Oslob. Downright terrifying, I gotta tell you that. Adrenaline rush, however, made it so fun! Whale sharks seem to have tiny teeth.
May 2019. Me and a friend went to Malapascua for a retreat. I was not myself at that time and wanted to unwind. With no itinerary, we just went around the island and came across a white beach and the most perfect sunset.
June 2019. Me and my family decided to treat ourselves with an all-out tour in Camotes Island. I've been there a lot of times but haven't really visited one of its tourist places. Camotes Island has the most wonderful caves! Just don't go in any of it if you're claustrophobic. There were caves that were a bit scary. Also, make sure you visit Tulang Diot. It's an island from an island with the whitest and finest sand you'll ever see.
September 2019. I'm sorry. It was a promo flight. I just had to. And I'm happy that I did. Going to Taiwan was my first international trip. All was well until we got stranded on a typhoon. It surely made our trip memorable.
December 2019. Boracay -- an unexpected check on my bucketlist. And yes, this was another promo flight. No wonder we got cancelled twice. Just kidding. Boracay was simply beautiful. Its white, fine sand helps you relax and it has the most breathtaking sunset. I'm a sucker for sunsets, you see.
That's about it. Oh wait, I've been hopping from one mountain resort to another across Cebu. Me and my boyfriend just love the view and the breeze from hilltops.
Well, that's really really all of it. I had to make a list (at least for my sake)
I still had plans.
Was supposed to go back to Boracay
Was supposed to go to Siquijor
Had special plans in Bantayan Island
Got a friend to visit in Bohol
But this happened.
And I can't help but feel a bittersweet kind of depression while summing these up. That's why I've stopped writing for a while.
What's happening right now is not something we can control. And as much as we would like to go out again, it's just not possible yet.
It's so fun to relive the memories and look back at photos and
I just can't shake away that feeling of nostalgia.
When can we go out again?
I know this is just a phase. And we still have our whole lives ahead of us (I hope). But the feeling is just like missing someone whom you've felt like home.
I miss travelling.
I miss looking forward to it.
I miss the adrenaline.
I miss the sunsets by the beach.
I miss the hilltop air.
I miss collecting magnet souvenirs.
I miss Google translating my way around.
I miss trying out food I wasn't supposed to eat.
I miss the clumsy travelling me.
You see, it wasn't just travelling. It was like finding an untapped potential within myself.
Building that inner strength.
Getting comfortable with your decisions.
Having fun despite getting lost along the way.
Isn't that what life is all about?
Travel is the perfect metaphor for life.
I came across this line and it was on-point and beautifully expressed:
"Travel -- not to escape life but for life not to escape us"
I couldn't agree more.