Travelling feels good. Even better when you’re the master of your own travel. The steward. The wanderer. The discoverer. The fun goes a long way from anticipating, researching and planning to getting lost, finding and discovering.
The excitement starts when you browse through websites, blogs and photos. Lists of tourist attractions, landmarks, hotels, bars and restaurants bombard you, and they all start to pressure you. Which ones? They are all tempting and teasing. Read them all. Amaze yourself. The internet is an endless waterfall of information.
From a wrinkled face of confusion, your face will gracefully light up to an open-mouthed excitement. You start making plans. Write, write, doodle. But then, there are too many of them! It’s difficult to tell which ones are the best spots to go to with all the blogs and articles. You just have to pick out the ones that strike you the most at the moment. You can’t force them all in one trip, especially when on a budget travel. The internet is just a reference—you develop your own unique scoop once you’re in the action.
Perhaps, from browsing the web, you’ve gathered tips and hints and formed impressions on which places to go and things to do. But you don’t really actually know ‘til you’re there. You might discover that this beach has a rocky shore, much wider than it had seemed in pictures, where teeny-weeny crabs creep to your toes. Or that there are blue-dotted and orange-sprayed butterflies in this botanical park besides the plain yellow ones you expected. Or that there are shortcuts that let you go around this town more easily as you stroll on laid-back tree-shaded streets.
People may go to the same places but your individual experience will always be unique. And you’ll have your own way of telling your story.
Traveling is not a new or unusual interest. Who wouldn’t like to travel? Back then, I was quite apathetic to traveling and driving out far from my hometown. I had thought my hometown, as well as the more accessible towns within the region, is wonderful in itself—which it actually is—that I don’t need to go too far anymore. I’d thought it’s just as wonderful as any other place in the world. But I’ve proven myself wrong on the comparison. As I traveled, I learned that every place has a unique face. A face worth capturing in a portrait. Fresh air of feeling worth breathing. A distinct culture worth embracing.
As a (quite) young person who’s just beginning to earn and yet to start a real career, my first independent travel was a great first time. With an undemanding backpack, I went to Baguio City, Ph in the typhoon-frenzied month of November in 2013. I’ve been to Baguio before but I was very young and with my family. I had no idea which places we went to, and I didn’t care much. It was mostly my father who made the picks. Now, going back to Baguio on my own felt like a first time again—a redeemed first time. I went to every park and roamed the city streets with fresh, mature eyes. I took time in every spot. Didn’t hurry. Didn’t quite mind the hours.
One trip is enough to make you fall in love with a place. But then I thought, once isn’t enough for a more intimate acquaintance. A part two, at least, is much needed.
Read about my first-time backpacking on my next post. -R