How Travel Changed My Life

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Good morning atop Mt. Naupa in Naga, Cebu

Do you believe that I have reached my late 20s before realizing my passion in going outdoors, meeting random people, and learning different cultures locally? Yes, it took me decades to pursue my childhood dream of exploring the country and the world, when able. Maybe because my family used to have had outings back then during my elementary and high school years. Many things happened and since then spending quality time outdoors slowly became the last option. Well, life continues for me and since I have no “family” of my own yet, why not know myself more, meet people with different culture, race and walks of life, and explore the world. Life is too short not to fully live day after day. Our world is such a huge place not to spend a lifetime exploring and experiencing. And with my wandering soul, I started creating memories.

with my family at Lake Apo in Valencia City, Bukidnon

Why travel if you gain nothing? Here are the perks of my travels so far… 

Better, If Not the Best, Experience

I have always had the heart in traveling but financial incapacity, work life, and personal issues caught me off guard. Everyone knows how aloof I am before and how workaholic I am since I got into the real world of employment. But then another door of going out my comfort zone has opened and enabled me to experience life with gratitude and appreciation.  Luckily, I got regular and part time jobs I love, and financial blessings to pay my bills, share some to others, and to spend for my travels. It’s not that much, but I always am thankful that I have enough to experience life better than it was several years ago.

 towards Dau Falls in Samboan, Cebu 

Unleashing the Inner You

Life is truly full of surprises as I traveled from one place to another, making a temporary escape from my regular job, social paradigm and cultural norms. It’s like a voice within motivating me to go out and do things scary and learn things new. Experience life differently and chase the adventures before you during the course of your journey. Indeed, life is different beyond my control. 

 en route to Sumilon Island, Cebu

 Adventure Like No Other

My travel stories come with uncertain hitchhikes, delayed flights, uncomfortable motorcycle (habalhabal) transfers, wavy boat rides, and suicidal van speeds. Yes, traveling isn’t always pretty as it usually looks on Facebook or Instagram and definitely not always a paradise as most of us would have hoped. That fact is, it feeds on your spare time and leaves you pocket empty at times. It can be disappointing when unwanted circumstances occur. It is mentally and physically draining, even.

paddling our way at Lake Danao, Ormoc, Leyte

Making Memories,  Telling Stories

Why do I still love to experience all these again and again?

I should say, I’m still a newbie in this traveling spree, but I already learned a lot from the countable places I have visited and still thirsty of adventures and can’t wait to return and tell my stories. Learn from my stories then.

Baluarte in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur

 

Independence

It was 2006 when I first set foot to Cebu for a job and find a life of my own. It’s actually my first time to be away from home, and it’s miles across the ocean from Bukidnon. Quite challenging and preparation do not matter anymore with the thought of facing the circumstance as an adult just out from the shell of her family and friends back home.

Chocolate Hills in Bohol

 

Open-Mindedness and Embrace of Different Cultures

It’s not that mere independence anyway since I have my best friends with me. We share everything and had my first travel with them in 2007 as we pack some things and head to Bohol without knowing its whereabouts. That experience widened my perspective in life not just to mind people around me, but those who are in need of social service as well. It gave us the opportunity to know the locals of the island and spend time with their children. Since then, I have been visiting Bohol with different sets of friends and officemates and been learning more of their culture and place.

a tree house in Baguio City

 

Amidst the rainy season of August and September 2010, I was able to visit the island of Luzon, specifically in Baguio City and Vigan City with co-workers, friends and new acquaintances. Full of excitement, I never realized I am about to experience the coldest chill in my life as it was raining almost the whole 4-day trip. It was my first time to learn how it is to be with a greater group and manage to compose myself with people in different moods. I enjoyed anyway.

Tree planting and feeding program in Minglanilla, Cebu

 

Better Understanding of Loving Nature 

It was not until 2013 when I got the interest in getting close to nature as I joined hikers, students and some volunteers in the Diversity tree planting project supporting the Go Green Philippines sustainable environmental project and feeding program in Calbasa-an Camp 7, Minglanilla, Cebu. It was my first kilometers trek to the area.

Team Nature traversing Osmeña Peak-Kawasan Falls in Cebu

Boost of Skills 

This led me to form the group “The Wanderers of Nature,” slowly attracting new members and friends to join our journey not just in travel, but also in social events and activities. Personally, I have boosted my skills on leadership, communication, and management in planning most of these activities. I learned how to find better solutions when plans fail and things do not favor us.

Ever-loving sunrise in Kalanggaman Island, Leyte

 

Meeting and Making Friends

It is just overwhelming how far I have traveled and keep on making friends. The kindness of locals and strangers I barely knew makes me feel safe and pampered, leaving the notion that we all deserve respect no matter our culture and race.

Knowledge of Destinations Firsthand

Some of those seemingly eerie and daring places helped me develop my confidence and fearless self. I am very lucky to prove first-hand the beauty they can offer despite the image tagged on them by the social media. The culture, people, food, accommodation and everything about a destination are some of the perks you can attain when traveling. 

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balikad (a shell I saw and ate first-time in Bantayan Island, Cebu)

 

 

Bukidnon’s Mt. Capistrano with Mt. Kitanglad, Mt. Dulang-Dulang, and Mt. Kalatungan far behind

Breather From the Stress of Work and Life

How stress-relieved I am standing on the summit, thinking how simple life is notwithstanding its hindrances.  How alive I can feel though I’m dead tired already in hopping the magnificent islands and in roaming around the country. 

with the travel squad in Gigantes Island, Iloilo

 

Work Opportunities

Yes, my travels not only emptied my pocket but replenished it. How? I’m a storyteller and I have a passion in writing. I often share my travel experiences even to strangers apart from my family and friends. I tend to motivate everyone to also experience and have the feels of traveling. Never contented doing it verbally, I started to pen my travels and musings online, hence the creation of my website. Not too long, monetary gains follow as it became a tool for my writing applications. Some of my writing gigs are actually the result of my online write-ups. Clients hovered and read some of my posts and invited me to work either as a ghost writer or a contributor to their respective websites. It’s a win-win situation: earning while enjoying my wanders.    

It is amazing how I become fearless and wonder as to what could have been my next adventure. Definitely, life is an adventure worth traveling.

Siaton, Negros Oriental

 

 

 

How about you? Have you traveled anywhere? I would love to hear your story then…

Also read: Why Philippines Should Be Your Next Destination? 

*Some photos credit:  Friends and people I’ve met along the journey

 

7 thoughts on “How Travel Changed My Life

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