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My Cup of Tea: What I Learned from Traveling

Ever since grade school, my family would travel around the Philippines, especially to and from Sulu, Zamboanga City and Bongao. I had my first airplane travel to Metro Manila on my fourth or fifth grade when my father was in his medication. It is probably the reason why I fell at ease traveling alone. I don't mind taking planes, trains nor buses alone. I find a sense of independence in solitude.

After my father passed away, my mother and I would travel to kill time and enjoy the moment. We never were afraid to travel despite the little money that we had. We were not the kind of family that has millions in our bank account. In fact, we only had a portion of her salary saved for our travels.  She made me understood perfectly that you don't need to have a lot of money to see the world. And that if you do have money, you don't just keep it, you spend it on things that would actually give you precious memories.

Through all the years of traveling with my mother (and now, alone or with friends), there are countless lessons that I learned along the way. Here are some of them:

There are numerous wonders to see outside of your comfort zone.

I always find myself in awe every time I visit a new place. May it be the extra strenuous commuting in Metro Manila or the extra amazing sceneries of mountains in Mindanao or the snow of Japan. It is true that you begin only to wonder how these amazing creations were made when you see them personally. There is nothing that could equal the feeling of gratitude the moment you see Tinago Falls, the snow, the magnificent mosques and edifices or even just the people you meet.

Money isn't really the prerequisite to travel. Courage is.

It is true that you may need a certain amount for the air tickets, accommodation and food. However, even though you have all the money in the world, if you are not courageous enough to take the first step, you will never be able to travel.

Courage is the first and foremost ingredient of any traveler that I have known. They are not afraid to go to new places, be with new people, learn new culture and tradition. In fact, the idea of these things excites them more than anything in the world.

You have to prepare for a travel to new place. Know the culture and etiquettes. 

I am one of the people who isn't really a fan of preparing for a travel. I do prepare all of my things for the travel, but I don't do itineraries. I like to be surprised when I reach my destination. However, I changed my style this year. I am now researching everything about the place that I am going to. Of course, I need to know where the halal places, mosques, etc are. And I need to make the itinerary work for the duration of my travel (since I can only be out of the office for a short period of time).

Also, I need to know the attitude of the people living in the place. Each place has a unique set of attitudes and etiquettes. You don't wanna cause trouble, right?

The people you meet and befriend are the best part of the travel.

I have known many people due to my constant traveling - be it for official or personal travel. Some were even elevate from acquaintances to friends in my books. Just by simply smiling will help tremendously in opening yourself to new people. After all, a smile is a form of charity. At first, I was shy to take the first step. However, I am now able to be friendlier after several travel where I hardly know people. We just have to break the wall that we have created to separate us from amazing people.

Shoutout to my international friends! You are always remembered!

Take the longest route, walk, use public transpo and just enjoy the moment!

I know a lot of people who uses cabs all day errday during their travel to minimize exhaustion and to be able to see more places. In fact, I was one of them. Urgh! I hated walking under the heat of the sun so much - not until I was forced to walk for two hours in Hiroshima in freaking winter because we missed the bus going back to the hotel.

From then on, I realized that it is way better to walk the longer route with friends. Also, the trains and buses are the modes of transpo that really makes you see the culture of a nation. You won't get the similar experience on a cab.

One travels not to boast but to humble himself that he is not the center of the universe.

A lot of people see travelers especially those who shares their memories on social media as boastful. I personally don't travel for such matters. I travel to feed my curiosity and humble myself down in front of the wonderful creations of man (which is due to the Magnificence of the Almighty) and Allah SWT. I feel a bit more elated in my faith every time I see these sceneries. It reminds me that I am but a speck in the universe.

In fact, we are but wayfarers in this world. What does a wayfarer do than travel?

Traveling is something that each of us can do, whether on an extravagant or tight budget. We just have to make it work. And who says that you need to go to faraway places first? Travel your locality first. Get to know people from other municipalities. Go to the farthest barangay in your place. Just like my current travel motto: Travel the Philippines first! Huwag maging mangmang sa sariling bayan. Learn other dialects. Embrace the diversity. And most of all, learn to be humble to yourself, other people and the Almighty.


1 comment:

  1. Reading about your experience makes me want to travel again like how I did a few years ago. I still travel long routes in my own country with family. But have a list of other countries that I wish to visit and I am sure going to add Philippines to it.


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