How Travel Changed My Life

I’ve always been a good boy.

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.

I knew there must be a something better. I started reading, searching for meaning and purpose. I’ve read many times that all of us have purpose here on earth. I didn’t know mine at that time. All I knew was there must be more than this.

They said “just do what makes you happy.” So what makes me happy? Doing the job that pays the bills isn’t enough. Until I decided to travel to Batad, Ifugao.

I’ve Found Clarity in Batad, Ifugao

Batad Rice Terraces

After an arduous trek, I’ve finally reached Batad. In a secluded village with no mobile signal is a centuries old rice terraces. Walking along its vast beauty, I felt finally connected to nature and to the big world that surrounded me. The locals’ warmth and the silence gave me my needed peace. I also met some new friends and fellow travelers. People who also have a day job like me but still find time for their passions in life. It was inspiring!

Batad Banaue Ifugao
Resting with the kids while hiking Batad

I stayed there for three days. On my last day, I’ve found a sweet spot near the hostel, sat there and contemplated about my life. I remember telling myself, “I need this.” I need to travel and explore to get more out of my boring and routinary life. And so my journey to adventure begins. I hiked mountains despite being overweight. I traveled to some of the best beaches in the country. It was tough balancing work and travel but I kept pushing. I kept moving forward.

Travel Made Me Realize My Passions in Life

Tinalisayan Island Burias Island Masbate
Tinalisayan Island in Burias, Masbate

The more beaches and mountains that I’ve explored, the more compelled I am to write and share my stories. Travel has ignited this passion that has been with me but never had the courage to even accept and realize. I’ve always loved writing. I was a writer in our school paper. I worked as a writer and producer for TV for years. But by the time I transferred to a desk job that doesn’t require me to write creatively. I got bored to the point that I’ve almost gone crazy. Hahaha!

Travel made me realize that I was born to write. That I am a writer in my own unique way. And so my travel blog was born sharing travel stories and tips to my readers. After years of feeling unfulfilled, travel gave me a sense of life and meaning.

I still have a day job but travel blogging gave me balance. If only I had a job that also requires me to write, to practice and improve my craft, I would be happier. (Update: Now I have a new job and I write. 🙂 ). But I am aware that in life, we don’t always get what we want. Sometimes it takes time. Travel made me feel at peace with my day job now. I know that I need to do my best at work, but my travels are the fuel that feed my soul.

There’s More to Life Than Work

mt. ulap itogon benguet dayhike traverse
At the summit of Mt. Ulap in Itogon, Benguet

Travel taught me that work is important, but it is not your whole life. Take time to spend moments  with your family and friends. Take time to do the things that you enjoy. Explore, go to the beach or hike a mountain.

I know for a fact that it is possible to travel despite the full time job. This is one of the most common question I get from friends and readers. “How do you do that?” they asked.

I just told them that if you really want it, you’ll find time for it.


Living a More Meaningful Life

Calaguas Island Camarines Norte
Calaguas in Camarines Norte

We are living in a society where people are defined by their job titles. When we meet someone, their first question is about your work. “What do you do?” We are so used to this that we subconsciously confined ourselves, our capabilities and talents within the scope of our job.

But travel taught me that I am more than my day job.

You are more than being a waiter or even a manager at your company. You are destined for greater things, and capable to contributing amazing things in this world. You just have to discover it.

Without realizing this, I might not have the courage to pursue a life of travel and launch my blog.

There are times that reality strikes. The day job is getting more stressful each day. You get frustrated and disappointed but that’s life. Sometimes, we need  to do the difficult things to grow. Travel as a whole gave me this maturity and wisdom in life that guides me as I face the world each day.

Travel made me realize my worth and my dream. So no matter what life throws at me, I’ll continue wandering and exploring. Learning about life, one strange place at a time, because there’s more to life  than the corners of your cubicle.


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    1. Jon Espina Author

      Hi IRa, Thank you for your kind words. It feels good that I also share the same sentiments as others. Love your blog especially your posts about Thailand and finance. very informative.

  1. cathy

    Inspiring. Travel also made write. I just discovered it when I started traveling. Thanks to traveling, it opens you up to many opportunities in life you never imagined of. Good read Jon! More happy travels! I miss Batad! xx

    1. Jon

      Thanks Cathy for your kind words. It’s just amazing how travel helps us realize our joys in life. Naks. More travels for us!

    1. Jon Espina Author

      Thanks Erin. Feels good to know that this resonates with you. It’s also hard to constantly remind myself with all the craziness and stress that we face each day, kaya sinulat ko nalang din.

      Thanks for your kind words. See you soon.

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