Why Did You Start Traveling?

Little Me

Look what I found!

Swimsuit, check.

Sun glasses, check.

Post for the camera, check.

Guess I haven’t changed much! :)

I started traveling at a very young age. I have no idea what my age was when this photo was taken, but I know that those road trips and vacations with my family molded me to be my travel-hungry self today. I came across an interesting page that shared various stories of travelers about why they started traveling. There are 6 questions, and I’m just about to answer the first one.

In 2003 at 13 years old, upon knowing that there’s a Math and Science Expedition to Malaysia and Singapore, I didn’t think twice about forcing my parents to let me go.  And it wasn’t even difficult to convince them! After processing a million travel documents (for minors), the next thing I knew I was on a 20-hour sea trip to Sabah, Malaysia with around 20 teachers, professors, people from the Dept. of Education and with 7 rolls of films (36×7 worth of photograph shots) on hand. The next youngest person there was a 25 year old lady named Agape, all the others were on their late 30′s and 40′s. That was my first trip outside the country, and the first without my folks. That was also my first time to buy my own magazine (Candy Mag)! I remember having P50,000 worth of pocket money stashed in my luggage, my wallet, my body, everywhere. I swear, I felt like a millionaire then, but I don’t even know where the money went! Why I started traveling was at impulse. It’s a difficult question to answer; It was probably genetic.

What is your greatest travel memory?

In Singapore, I came into a souvenir shop. I saw a vintage ashtray and bought it for my dad. Back then, I was new to the concept of buying pasalubong and it worried me that my dad won’t like my homecoming gift. It was tiny and it had the Merlion engraved on it. I had never given my dad anything, and when I showed him that I had something for him, he was so happy! I wish I could have given him a dozen!

What’s the one item you can’t travel without?

Traveling is one thing, taking photos is an entirely different story. I would definitely throw a fit without a camera especially in the middle of something shot-worthy.

What’s the worst thing that has happened to you?

In 2009, I was on my way home from Cagayan de Oro on a 12-hour bus ride. There weren’t any air-conditioned buses available so my friend Sarah and I hopped on the bus set to leave at 12 midnight. It was noisy and dirty; I saw a couple of cockroaches, and it was very difficult to sleep. At 3 AM, we had a scheduled 30-minute bus stop, but people around us started panicking. Turns out, there were ‘rebels’ in the area so we had to keep going, the bus was practically flying! Then we had a flat tire in the middle of nowhere! Fudge, nice timing. It was pitch dark, and all I can see were trees. I was praying so hard until I fell asleep even in the presence of cockroaches.

What advice would you give to new travelers?

Don’t bring a map. Surprise yourself.  Always talk to locals for advice. Forget about work, throw away your phone. Order food you’ve never eaten before. Charge your camera. Take as many photos as you can. Swim, and if you don’t know how to swim (like M), fuck it. Be with friends, family. Skip the buzz-kills. Be alone, but enjoy. Talk to strangers. Wear clothes you don’t wear in the office. Take a stroll at midnight. Wake up in time for the sunrise.  Swim again. Don’t forget the sunscreen.

What is your greatest regret?

Not able to take enough photos with Mom and Dad when I was younger. Not able to preserve photos from my previous trips. Not able to create a travel blog earlier! This blog has only been existent for 7 days. I’ve been blogging since 2007, but you know how teenagers are… Plus, my love-hate relationship with blogging.  – On a side note, thank you to fellow bloggers, especially the travel bloggers who took time following/commenting/viewing  and for making the first week of this blog amazing!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –  Mark Twain

P.S. My little sister has the same swimsuit, hers was red. Today’s her College graduation. Here’s to wishing that she sees more of the world. Congrats, Don! I’m proud of you. <3 I still love you, Mae.

2 thoughts on “Why Did You Start Traveling?

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