I thought I was gonna bid this blog farewell, but then I opened it and realized how much I've missed indulging on writing little remembrance of my "past-scapades." Reading my previous posts had reminded me of how lucky I've been to be in a position where I get the opportunity to go to places. Not as extensively, by any hardcore traveler's standard, but enough for me to be grateful and to yearn for more. I think the reason why I'm am in love with traveling is because I am a sucker for experiences. I mean sure I get some crazy experience from just being at home, but there's just something romantic about doing things and seeing things outside of your comfort zone. This is probably why there's so many blogs out there dedicated to top things about traveling blah blah blah. I think they make a lot of sense, so I decided to jump into the bandwagon with my very own,
THINGS I LEARNED FROM TRAVELING
especially on this trip.
Bagan, Myanmar. 8.8.14
I learned that I am a stubborn bull when it comes to chasing dreams.
I've always been fascinated by people I've met who've traveled the world with nothing but a backpack of essentials. To me they looked like they had a luggage full of experiences and stories that is very enviable. So a few years back I told myself that someday I would backpack around Southeast Asia too. The idea was so appealing to my friend and I that we booked a one way seat sale ticket to Bali a year in advance, even though we didn't have any money for it yet. But the moment I had the ticket in my inbox, that was it for me. No more turning back as I started to diligently save a year's worth of my salary. For a minimum wage earner in this country, it wasn't much but still enough for me to stretch it out to more than a month's worth of travel.
This was perhaps very ambitious, considering the risk I took of resigning from the job that I loved just to fulfill a short term dream. My parent's thought I was crazy, but I just had to see what Bali was like, what Thailand is now, what Myanmar was all about and the fuzz around Vietnam. I just had to satisfy my curiosity in these rugged lands and do it the rugged way because I know that time will come when I will no longer have the stamina for such way of traveling. I believed it was essential for me to have that experience and for whatever reason I just felt the need for it, so for that I had to put all my eggs in that one basket.
Looking back, I honestly didn't think I'd be able to really go to Burma. I remember just raving about the sunset pictures of Bagan and going to the Green School in Bali and wished for someday2x. Then someday happened, the same way as my someday to go Cambodia and etc. It just made me realize now that I actually do make my someday happen, despite the circumstances. I honestly don't earn much, but I guess I'm just good at making do of what I have and a strong faith that everything will work out. But now that I'm done with it, it's time to level up the dreams for a new destination... someday2x ;)
I learned that gratefulness equates to positivity.
I've always been a firm believer in the practice of gratitude. I have very high regards for people who can be very grateful of the smallest gestures in life. I learned that if one is just genuinely grateful of what is in front of them they'd tend to have a simpler and more meaningful demands out of life. Not that they become less ambitious,but rather they develop that great appreciation of what is presented to them regardless of the buts.
This trip just made me realize of how I actually perceive things. I've always been a grateful person, I always say my thank you's like it's a built in automated response, but I've never seen myself as a positive person. I guess part of it is coming from a third world country that when you travel abroad you just get fascinated by everything around you. You just tend to soak things up because what you are used to is nothing in comparison. Having that knowledge alone humbles you because you are well aware that the opportunity you are enjoying is not enjoyed by everyone. That's why it's really difficult to be a travel snob when you are just grateful of being there in that moment. Gratefulness just makes things a little bit brighter. Then again it's really just all a matter of perspective and upbringing.
So despite the disadvantages associated with coming from a third world country, I am still grateful because I feel like I see the world through the innocence of a kid who is just in awe of everything new in her eyes. Naive and pathetic, sure, but we were all just a bunch of kids once for sure you remember how it felt, it was happiness and it was beautiful.
I learned to compromise and give it my best shot.
When my friend whom I planned to have to this trip with bailed on me, I took a chance and said yes to somebody who requested to join me instead. I only met him for a weekend, barely had a meaningful encounter during that time but somehow shared a connection with. I met him last year on a very interesting setting, a great beginning to a story in fact.... but I'd rather keep that to myself. ha! (Sorry I'm not going to give my sister who snoops here the satisfaction. :p). Anyway for some reason, reckless or otherwise I said yes without giving it much thought and so began the biggest risk and lesson I learned on this trip.
Before anything else, let me admit that I am a closet romantic. I've always been in love with the idea of having a partner who shares the same passion, causes and values in life as I do. It's true that I don't have a lot experience on proper relationships whatever, but I've always been quite idealistic in my approach that you should be with someone who makes you grow and vice versa, otherwise it's just a waste of time. So practically my standard was simplified, if I could see myself traveling with someone, that's already a possibility. Funny, but thinking back, I actually did meet him while I was traveling. ha! never thought of that.
Anyways, to cut the story short I experienced a grand romantic gesture from a great guy who traveled half way across the world to travel more parts of the world with me. To someone who loves going places, that's an awesome lot! Long hair! that gesture alone definitely made my dark skin blush, haha! Then reality took place, personalities were shown, differences settled in and so did my great act of compromise. Something, that's unusual for a strong willed prideful kid as I am.
A lot of people had told me that traveling together is a great way to really get to know someone. I'd say hell yeah! because when the going gets tough there is definitely no escaping it. I had to learn how to confront situations I would have otherwise ran away from. I had to take into consideration another person's well being instead of just my own. I had to this, I had to that. In short, I did a lot of things I would have otherwise not known I'd be willing to do. It was a lot of work, but that was my best shot. Had I turned him down and pursued on traveling alone, I would not have been able to learn things about myself as part of someone's life. Damn! had known I should have had some practice beforehand! kidding.
That's actually what I love most about traveling, it's a beautiful journey of self-realization. It puts you in situation you'd unlikely experience in your comfort zone. It gives you the kind of introspection that humbles you and makes you seek to become better than you are now. Roads were bumpy and smooth but that's what journey is all about anyway, and that's the thing I learned the most. So travel and learn. Learn and travel. Then love every bit of the experience.
P.S. to my sister who is reading this. Things didn't work out as you'd probably hope it would. Just understand that people are meant to chase their dreams like a stubborn bull and sometimes you just don't fit in those dreams. That's especially when you give them your bestest shot and support them in their goals, even if it means letting you go, because that is still comprise. I didn't come empty handed with that compromise anyway because I learned more than I could possibly imagine and for that I am beyond grateful. Just be positive that someday I will eventually have that someone who'd still share the same ideals as me and at the right time. You will like him too. He will be handsome with great body, funny, smart, generous, hardworking and just plain amazing that it would make you say 'you go gurl!' hahaha.. But hey! you never know with my someday2x...it might happen with this too..haha.. wink! wink!