I used to think that traveling is about getting your passport stamped from different entry and exit points around the world, but now then I realised there’s more to it than that.
So far I’ve learned that:
1. One city, one place is never enough. I mean if you ask me where do I think the best place(s) to go in the Philippines, I’d enumerate more than a dozen. Same with visiting a new country, if you really want to learn more about it, you have to visit almost all of its cities. Every place has its own story, and you’ll learn more if you don’t stick in one place alone.
2. Staying for a short period is NOT ideal, but it is practical. Come on, if you really want to explore a place you have to stay longer, but since budget is always limited, flexibility is the key. That’s why I suggest, to go back again, there’s no rule that says “you cannot go back in the same place twice”. Others might see this as a waste of money, but for me it’s not. Mainly because in the end you’ll learn more the moment you return, plus the fact you’re (now) already familiar with the place and that can roam around with ease. (Please note this is advisable for short trips only, with maximum of 2hrs flight).
3. Free thyself from tour groups. This one is difficult, as a foreigner in a new land we tend to group ourselves together and see everything in a perspective of a tourist. We’ll never get to see it as a local, and end up never knowing their history or culture. I am not proud of it, but I am (most of the time) a tourist. I always go with tours that will show me what I think I want to see, but not the things I need to see.
(Sad story: during the Europe trip, the whole time we were stuck on the bus)
4. Travel alone. YES, I know the world is getting crazier and crazier by the minute, and traveling alone won’t be the best idea. But if there’s one thing I’ve been itching to do, that is to ditch travel buddies. Why? Maybe because I tend to think of them most of the time, I prioritise what they want rather than what I want. It sounds like I am a selfish prick, but I have to be honest with myself too. There are a lot of times when I just want to wander around, but I can’t cause I am tied up in a group. Flying solo is ideal for me, I mean you can travel at your own pace, without worrying if others can keep up or not. You can decide right on the spot where you want to eat, without considering other people’s food preference. And the best of all no one’s gonna blame you for any mishaps. See it’s almost perfect, except just one down side, your smart phone will be flooded with #selfies. LOL!
5. Take photos of what you see and not what you want others to see. I have the habit of snapping pictures I want to post (boast) on Facebook, that are already similar to images that many people have seen in the internet. I tend to forget that I am making my own memories, because I was so in engross feeding my ego.
Now I came to realise that my pictures are good, but honestly they don’t connect with anyone, not even with me. Clearly, the reason is that I miss to capture the heart, I mean the thing(s) that made me fell in love with that place in the first place.
6. Lastly I will quote St Agustine of Hippo, “the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”. Every travel, is a new discovery, about the place, the culture, and even about one’s self. The way I see it, traveling broadens our perspective about life. And that each journey we embark, it makes us wiser (yes, street-wise counts) and stronger, than we were before.
These are the reasons why I am consumed by wanderlust more and more with each passing day. I believe that there’s more to life than the four corners of my cubicle. And I won’t stop ’till I can say “I’ve learned more than enough”.