I never really understood why people go to different places. Why do people travel? I don’t get it.. Is it simply because they have the money and time and the guts to do it? Some people want to relax, some want to follow a bucket list, some will say they simply do because they want to. Why then? And the question just goes on and on.. I don’t really think I can answer that question for everyone (I know, I know.. You thought I had the answers.. You can definitely stop reading from here unless you wanna hear my precious story.. I promise it’ll be boring.. Okay not so boring ;)) but I can surely share why I travel..
I grew up in an ordinary middle class family in the Philippines with a typical dream of having a good career, be married and have a family. I grew up in a very conservative society although very much influenced by media trend and religion, meaning whats deemed cool was to speak English, dress and act like the people we see on TV or online. My goal was to have a career and be successful and have enough money to feel comfortable, went to university, finished a bachelor’s degree, passed the board exams and got a license to practice as a professional interior designer.
I was a designer and then what.. I was following a route that everyone takes. The route which was driven by my culture and circle. I also wasn’t into traveling AT ALL, (of course I thought about it and it seemed fun but I was more focused in getting the life of success, the life I think I wanted) it wasn’t my dream to travel the world and see all that there is but all of that changed when I met Mark.
Mark and I are totally different. He’s adventurous and always, I mean ALWAYS want to be moving or going somewhere. I, on the other hand am always on the safe side, I like following rules and am contented with the plain and the normal domesticated life. He was born and raised in the States and me in the Philippines so culturally, we have a different up bringing. When Mark and I were dating, we did a fair amount of traveling in the Philippines which I enjoyed, realizing how beautiful my country is. When we got married and moved to China we did a lot more traveling not only in the Philippines but overseas. I wasn’t used to it.. Though I was fascinated about everything that I was seeing..
Different people, different culture, language, food, oh my and FOOD!!! (that can be another blog post) I wasn’t used to too many different things but I was entertained because I was seeing a variety of all kinds of everything. As an artist or I guess I’d rather call myself a designer it gives you a ton of inspiration to create stuff, but mostly, I catch myself getting amazed with beautiful views and landscapes, waking up for sunrises and running after sunsets…then I get a very satisfying feeling being in that moment. I get so grateful that I’m lost for words, it is a beautiful moment..
but on the other hand when you leave that moment, that place in transit, you see the reality of where you’re at, you see tiny details of ugliness, struggles and pain..(woah! I didn’t sign-up for this).
You see and experience it, then it gets to you as a tourist, as a traveler… Your out of your comfort zone. I constantly get stressed when I feel uncomfortable. Though I have no problem sleeping in dorms and cheap hostels… facing my fears and trying new shit has been the most difficult part of traveling for me. I stress about my fears so much that it overpowers the feeling of enjoyment.
But this is what I learned- traveling doesn’t necessary mean you always have to try cool adventurous stuff, for me it’s about being in the moment and enjoying that moment to your bones. Whether it be jumping off a cliff or having a conversation with a local, if you’re not enjoying it and being stressed about the idea of doing something new then don’t do it because your only defeating the purpose of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Live life in the moment.. Do not put yourself in the fear of the past and the future, the what ifs and excuses, simply because you’re not there. You’re in the now, take it all in and be there and if you’re not there… then don’t do it.
I feel strong saying that but I don’t always follow it… which is totally normal. Get real! Everyone gets scared but that doesn’t make you any less of a person than the people who are not. It actually says a lot about how brave you are in admitting your feelings, not everyone can do that so, make a decision and stick with it.
People learn so many things while traveling.. and this is my own realization.. I have been learning things that I never would’ve learned in school. I constantly become more and more independent from different situations. I open myself up in understanding and living with different culture, people and environment which gives me an entirely different view of life.
I’m still learning but I can say that with the few places I’ve been to, I already have a different regard for life.. a much deeper and more sensible appreciation of the world. It’s not just your struggles anymore its being one with other people’s struggles. Now I feel that my view and opinion of life doesn’t have to be limited to my up bringing and culture.. Now it can be so much more.. It can be as big as the world or even more. When you start traveling, it feels as if a door of vastness and unknown opens up, making your soul curious and yearning for more. It gives you an unlimited space to get to know yourself and embrace it in the process. My heart feels bigger and happier and alive.
Why do you travel?
As a couple.. It’s a true test of relationship.. You’re pretty much together 24/7 (I know that sounds crazy). People say you can’t just travel with anyone just because its pretty much having each other constantly; kitchen, bathroom, tent, hostels, beach, hikes, subways, crowded cities, markets and embarrassing moments.. (You know what I mean)
Traveling makes us understand our differences and love it for what it is. But of course we fight over it first ;). Mark and I pretty much know each other from head to toe and we’ve seen each other’s worst and happiest moments from this trip. Of course it’s not always easy but it’s definitely bridging a gap to our cultural differences. And I’m not saying its the ultimate cure for relationships, not at all.. It can either be a cure or a turning point. Good thing we haven’t reached a turning point yet (okay that’s a bad joke!) what I meant was it works for us. Were making amazing memories that we can’t wait to share our future kids. I’m pretty sure they’ll think were super cool parents (or at least that’s what I’m envisioning).
These are just some of the reasons why we travel but I must say there will be countless more reasons and realizations why we travel not to mention it being super fun but if I keep writing this would be endless so I’ll stop here.
Now I wanna hear your story. Why do you travel?