So how did I start traveling? And when did I realize that I have a wanderlust gene?
This question kept me wondering while I was stuck in a van going home from work. As I have so much time to spare (traffic was sooo bad), this was what I’ve recalled from memory. Oh well, if my memory served me right.
I have a tita who always travels for business purposes. When I was a child, I would receive pasalubongs of coin purses, key chains and my vivid recollection tells me that the amethyst stone I once had came also from her (from HK). She even had her collected bills and coins from all over the world framed and hanged in her living room. Nice right?
My aunt often tells me that if she only had money when she was younger, she would’ve started traveling before she got married. She also told me that should I be interested to travel the world, I should start early. I believe that was the time I secretly swore that when I am earning my own money, I will travel and discover new places. I was only 12 then.
Sembreak of 2002. It all started with just a simple barkada out-of-town trip to Matabungkay, Batangas. The lakwatsa (as my dad called it) was actually impromptu and just happened to have a friend who has a rest house there. The supposed 3-day trip was even extended to 4 days. We were just in high school hence the limited budget. If my recollection is correct, I believe someone got an asthma attack and we were all scrambling to find his inhaler. He’s fine but I can still feel the adrenaline rush up to now. Oh, hayskul life nga naman!
April 2007. Finally, our college graduation day came and to celebrate it I invited several friends to go to Hundred Islands, Pangasinan. With only less than 2K in our pockets coming from allowance savings, our road trip began and spent 4 days in the island doing the island tour, crossing one island to another just holding on to a make-shift rope from a kayak (what the hell were we thinking?!) and grilling our own wagyu beef at the beach whilst everyone else are just having a simple bangus or liempo for lunch. We were even chatting about asking one another ‘How’s work?’ whenever we’ll meet up in a future catch up dinner.
A month after, I landed my first job, to which excites me even more as I know that traveling will be within my reach. Definitely, those were the good times!
March 2009. Now, this trip is really a memorable one as my bf and I were celebrating our 4th year anniversary and we decided to have it with close friends! I organized a 5-day trip to Puerto Princesa and El Nido (when it was just a backpacker’s paradise). Now that I am looking back, we were on our nth island in El Nido and I recalled asking the bangkero:
Me: “Kuya, ano ho pwedeng magawa dito sa island?” (What can be done here in the island?)
Kuya Bangkero: Snorkeling po ulit, maam. (Snorkeling again, maam)
Don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with Palawan then but I have to say, I was already exhausted and I am kinda negra na so I have retreat and just rested by the shore. Honestly, sinukuan ko ang pag-snorkeling but the tan lines were worth it!
Year 2010 – 2012. I slowly shifted from a single trip a year to 2-3 travels a year. I even got to set foot in UK, big thanks to a former employer.
2010: Bangkok, Coron
2011: London, Scotland, Wales, HK, Bohol
2012: Caramoan, Puerto Princesa & El Nido (again), Vietnam, Cambodia, Burot beach, Baler
2013. A significant person came back to my life and the year that I realized that traveling is more than just sight seeing and doing touristy stuff. Traveling is like an art—it’s more of an acquired taste and few people only understands its true meaning. I know, it was a slow pace for me.
2014. Fourth quarter of 2014, I started blogging. Why so late? This is one long narration. But to make the story short, I got stressed with work and I have to do something that I like…and that is to write. It was hard balancing work, travel and blogging but if you really like what you’re doing, you’ll find time for it, right? And because I am such a cheapskate that I don’t want to invest in a new laptop, I started blogging using ONLY my mobile phone. I still do, actually. Haha.
I don’t mean to sound braggy but as of writing, I have been to 10 countries and 34 domestic travel destinations. It may sound a lot for ‘normal’ people but few for frequent travelers. I also take pride on my own collection of ref magnets, key chains and other countries’ currencies. And who knows, I might be able to frame all the currencies I collected just like my aunt did. Well, we’ll see. Happy Travels!