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I sometimes question myself why I do what I do, and how the heck did I get into it so deep. But the thing is, travel is something one can not shake off, something that only one could suppress as long as one can, and one can only find enough excuses not pursue it until you run out of reasons not to.
Understand and Live With It — That You’re a Filipina traveling by herself.
Two things I am practicing to be good at. My pursuits of travel has entertained the rebel in me, and so far, the rebel is well preoccupied. Filipino traditions stems deeply in my family, and in as much as I want to feed my wanderlust, I always felt the need to lessen my family’s worries and make them understand that I am in good hands. Even if it means that these are but my own. So much as I try to be understanding of how other Filipinos look at me when they find me wandering by myself. I try to understand with that those judging eyes are of concerns, and full of questions, I try not push my familiar to the norms of the society I grew out of.
Not every Filipino family is as understanding when it comes to having their dalagitas traveling. You will meet them on the road, but do not judge them unfairly — they are but only concern for your safety. Sometimes it tests one’s patience on trying to answer those probing questions. But take it to your advantage, because after all, people are more accommodating to solo female travelers than they are of males.
Of which people think I am good at but I really am not. By the time I already find myself in transit and hitting the road, I’m mentally puking my insides out from seer excitement, and the same level of fear. Even after finding myself in bus terminals waiting for the bus to arrive, on local markets searching for something to fill my stomach, or, mostly, on plane, or bus rides when I have the window to myself — I find myself asking, “Why the heck am I doing this?”
I wish I could, in words, or in photos, describe how it truly feels going out with a pack on my back. But the thing is it takes one to fill her own shoes, and step them out on that road to understand, and know how it feels — and not just bank on what others say, or what is read. For now, theory keeps most inspired, and the application is just waiting at a bend when one gathers enough resources, and has worked up enough nerves to try it, the least. How is it that we find comfort in the unknown is probably the innate nature of humans to learning, and immersing oneself into something new. When it becomes too overwhelming to shrug off, you learn to try to brave up for something you want. On this case, it’s travel. No, travel is not only for the bravest of the brave. It is for people who are willing to push beyond their comfort zones, and those few who try to put up brave front because she needs to.
Stay in love.
Most of the time I do not have a road map, and just make one as I go. I know, I am a terrible traveler by that alone. I know that it sounds stupid, but I’m counting on my stars to align, and point my way as I travel. So I am much as an dreamer, than I am an idealist. And sometimes, it gets bad on the road, and going off solo can be tiresome. Ask any traveler you know, they will tell you traveling can be draining but they will also tell you that it is more rewarding than it is.
Stay in love — with yourself, family, and friends, and be humbled by your blessings, and the gift of travel. I know it sounds cliche, and to stand-offish. But one has to draw inspiration from somewhere right? For now it is that. I may never be as open as others are with their hearts on their sleeves. The best that you can wring out from me is that one needs to be inspired, because traveling is only glorious in perspective — at some point. And the rest you need to get your mojos refilled somewhere, somehow.
We may not be single for the rest of our lives. Even with foreign culture’s influences we will always be a Filipina — culture, skin, and all. And our type of travels may change because travel lifestyle is relative to ones status quo. We may not always as brave as most people are in the same lifestyle as ours but we can get by with just a gentle push from our alter ego.
So you’re a single Filipina who loves, or would love to travel — EMBRACE IT!