I followed my parents’ wish, studied hard and graduated Cum Laude. Just like what the society has been telling us all along, that we have to follow a path to assure a fulfilled life– childhood, study, graduate and find a decent job.
I’ve done all that!
So by the time I started working, I was ecstatic. Finally, I was starting to live the life. After years of working in a 9 to 5 desk job, I just found myself staring at my computer, and looking intently at my exhausted colleagues in their own cubicles. Then I asked myself, “so this is it?” This is the life that the society has been telling me all along?
I’ll just be like this, have a family, then what? retire at 60? “what?” I remember how it echoed inside my brain.
“How do you do that? Still travel despite the job?”
A friend asked me one time when he saw me having a full backpack again on a Friday. He knew that after office, I was about to embark another hike or travel to the beach for the weekend.
I totally understand why he asked that question. We are in the corporate world wherein we all feel that we are so squeezed and maximized to the point that we don’t have extra time anymore for other things. I got that. I understand that.
I woke up one day, and a group of people at work suddenly turned cold on me.
I was dumbfounded, asking myself why? what happened? This people used to be my friends and one day they just didn’t want to talk nor even have an eye contact.
Tried to reach out but didn’t work, until I found out the reason behind the drama and negativity that suddenly surrounded me. Let’s just say that office can sometimes turn into a telenovela, like a person can just say and spread bad, unfair things about you, and the sad part is some avid, loyal fans believed. So they believed, and so they turned cold. And it was their problem, not mine.
Yes, I was surprised, and a bit hurt at first. But later on I was even more surprised of how I handled the situation. I just let it go. I just simply let them go.
I asked myself, what happened to me? That wasn’t me. The funny dude with a nice personality has suddenly learned to let go of people? I mean of draining people? Where did that come from?
Just recently, I find death scenes on TV a bit weird and funny.
Those scenes when the actor would act lifeless and then followed by a dramatic song. He was trying to say something then closed his eyes, turned his head sideways, and then died. Some of the directors include shots of the hand falling from the side of the bed.
At one point I ask, “Is this how we make TV dramas?”
And then I realized, with all honesty, this just boils down to the fact that I find these scenes fake, because I know how a person dies. I just know it because I’ve seen it, felt its immensity when my father passed away. I was holding his hands so tight, looking at this face, counting the rhythm of his breathing. He was so weak he could not even blink his eyes, it was just open looking from afar.
I was like, the majority of us, who think that to live a satisfactory life, one must kill himself with work, and if ever he needs a break like a vacation, well he can do that just once a year.
Yes. Once a year. You read it right. It’s clearly way different from what I am right now who tries to explore new places for like once or twice a month.
But I had to be honest, that was me. That was my life. I focused too much on work, thinking that money and material things are the only way to go. Then if I need to travel, I just have to wait for my friends so we can travel together, once a year.
For me, the word “wait” is big” . After learning much about life from my travels, I realized that the word wait is dangerous.
Have you experienced that, when you thought of wanting something then you realize one day it’s already happening? And you couldn’t help but express your gratitude and amazement.
That happened to me when I first saw on TV a video of a traveler doing the zipline in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. By the time he raised his camera (or GoPro), it felt like I was the one doing the zipline. I was in awe of the spectacular view of the waterfalls below.
The Lake Sebu zipline is the highest zipline not just in the Philippines but in Southeast Asia. And the problem is, that can be terrifying for someone like me who has somekinda’ fear of heights. Haha! But I was surprised with myself, that I was really determined to try it. I even planned to go to Lake Sebu maybe next year to come face to face with this of adventure.
We were climbing (crawling) towards the very steep and slippery summit of Mt. Pico De Loro when I heard two lady mountaineers behind me talking, laughing at their own craziness,of even trying this not so safe climb.
“Ba’t ba natin ginagawa to?” (Why are we even doing this?) said the nervous girl.
“Dapat nanahimik nalang tayo sa bahay at naglinis. Hahaha!” (We should have stayed home and cleaned the house. LOL!) Said the chill, funny girl.
Then they both told one another, “pero andito tayo!” (But we’re here!)
It would be fun to eavesdrop more of their conversation, but that was not the perfect time. I had to focus on my own climb, because one wrong step could lead to an unpleasant incident.
The little girl told me when I asked about her name. It was an interesting experience for me, to be in a village where thousands of Yolanda(Typhoon Haiyan) survivors live.
We just finished our vegetarian lunch and instead of having some chit-chat with my new-found friends from DOT, tour operators and media partners, I decided to explore the place. That’s when I saw Margie, walking alone outside the school.
It was more than a decade ago when I first set foot in Tacloban.
I was a high school student and I qualified for a national writing competition which was held in the city. It was my first airplane ride, first travel without my family, and first time to be away from home for a week.
It was an experience that has become possible just by being a student writer.
We all woke up before the break of dawn. It was a cold morning, and we were craving for coffee.
It was our last day in Batad, Ifugao. Our conversation was more of a recap of the 3 day travel to this magnificent place. At the balcony of our hostel’s restaurant, we were there sitting, overlooking the world-renowned amphitheater rice terraces of Batad.
Years ago, I used to hang out in my Auntie’s house not just to be with my cool cousins but also because of a book.
It was a huge book like a World Encyclopedia, that has all the details about the countries in the world. I remember I was so fascinated with that book, there was a time I memorized by heart the capitals of almost all the countries. Read the rest of the story…
Brene Brown once said that we are all wired for connection. And the only way for us to connect to others is to let ourselves to be seen.
As a blogger, I take this advice seriously.
When I write and hit that publish button, I don’t just blog about the places and adventures I’ve been to. More than anything else, I dwell on the stories of lessons, realizations along the way that proves my mantra, my belief in life, is true – we all have a purpose here on earth, our goal is to figure it out and get about the business of doing it. Read the rest of the story…