Just a few years ago, I rode a plane that took me to a place away from my usual boring life and before I knew it, I was bitten by wanderlust. Since then, my favorite thing has been my big backpack. I never thought I would love traveling. I was too lazy to move my butt off my seat in front of the computer. I used to be a homebody. I did not like the outdoors. I was quite unadventurous. And not to mention, stingy (and yes, I actually did mention that). But one day, a work-related out-of-town trip had brought me to a province in Visayas. And since then, my life had changed.
Right after my first trip, I’ve become suddenly hungry to see new places, new faces and new things, learn about different cultures, eat unfamiliar foods, seek adventure, inhale the fresh air and just savour anything new around. Yes, it happened that fast.
I’ve ridden a boat and went on an island-hopping tour for the first time in Guimaras and held a cute pregnant male seahorse in my palm. That was the only time I learned that the male seahorses are the ones who get pregnant. I mean, how lucky can female seahorses get. They are spared from labor pains and postpartum depression. Lol. I’ve seen the famous Magellan’s Cross in Cebu City and gobbled down their scrumptious Lechon Cebu and I hardly cared about the fat. Nobody would care about cholesterol once they tasted Cebu’s lechon (roasted pig). I’ve experienced the camp life for the first time in Anawangin, Zambales. No electricity, no mobile signal, no wifi and no decent bathroom but I miraculously survived. I’ve pretended I was Super Girl while I fly in the air via zipline ride in Tagaytay with Taal Volcano in my background. I’ve had fun baby-talking the cutie little Tarsiers and feasted my eyes on the picturesque splendor of Chocolate Hills in Bohol. I’ve been surrounded by hundreds of pineapples in a vast pineapple plantation in Bukidnon. I’ve stood at a piece of sandbar in the middle of the sea with the stunning view of Hibok-Hibok Volcano and Mt. Vulcan in my background. That was the majestic White Island in Camiguin. I’ve met an authentic tribe girl in Cagayan De Oro and learned about her ethnic life and symbolic tattoos. I’ve explored the beauty of nature in the lush fields and tall pine trees in Eden Nature Park in Davao. I’ve accomplished 742 steps upward the summit of Mt. Tapyas and been captivated by the breathtaking view of Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan. I’ve seen the late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos’ preserved body in his mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte. I’ve strolled along Calle Crisologo as if I traveled back in time during the Spanish colonial era and explored the quaint beauty of Vigan, Ilocos Sur. I’ve bravely taken a 4×4 adventure ride in Paoay Sand Dunes and screamed my lungs out the whole time in mix of terror and fun. I’ve ridden a horse on my way to the jaw-dropping sight of Kapurpurawan Rock Formations in Pagudpud. I’ve trekked in Tam-Awan Village in my suede boots and sang the Frozen movie theme song “Let It Go” as I nearly got frozen at 11 degree Celsius in Baguio. I’ve survived a technical spelunking course in Sumaguing Cave and seen Sagada’s famous Hanging Coffins and burial cave. I am actually frightened of coffins and corpses but, surprisingly, this didn’t scare me at all.
These are just tiny bits of the rich experiences and heart-pumping adventures I had in these places I’ve visited so far.
Flashback to those days I was slouching at my chair in front of my computer, persistently bored and sluggish, nobody would ever guessed I could experience all those stuff I mentioned above. I have a small, frail-looking body frame and obviously not into physical activities. I was too lazy to even go to the mall and I sucked at geography. Even my mother was flabbergasted when she found out what I have been doing while I was away. I didn’t even try to ride a bike in my life because I was afraid I might fall yet I did three hours of trekking in a rough, steep trail in the middle of deep ravines in Mountain Province and flew via zipline thrice.
Because of those experiences I gained through traveling, I’ve learned more about life. I’ve become stronger, braver and wiser. I’ve overcome some of my fears and I’ve become adventurous bit by bit. I’ve changed. Traveling has changed me. It has brought out the best in me.
I’m looking forward to my next adventures with my backpack.
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