Saturday, January 16, 2016

5 Lessons Travel Has Taught Me

You have to spread your wings, take a leap and see where life takes you. Ah, sounds too old- fashioned. How about, save some pennies, pack your bags, and fly? :) 

But what I like better is: fly, face your fears, laugh about how scared you used to be! 

The year 2015 has, indeed, been full of  adventures. I shifted career and leaped into something seriously unfamiliar, opened my heart, found love and became genuinely happy again, and of course, travel to places many are hesitant to go. I have had taken small weekend trips with friends in the past few years but 2015 gets to top all of these, so far. :D 

As independent, driven and adventurous as I am (and my friends are), travelling has taught me many things I never learned anywhere else. I can't wait to learn some more! 

1. Lesson from Kiltepan (Sagada, Mt. Province): Never let the clouds of life hide the beauty of your own dreams. Instead of waiting for the wind to blow away the clouds and clear the view of your heaven, go on your way and emerged on top. There are certainly some ways to go around and get what you always aspire for. When people say it is too difficult to achieve, this may be because they are hesitant to jump. Be bold enough to be able to see what lies ahead in life even if this means shivering from the fear of doing them. 

On cloud 9, literally. Friends and I waiting for Mr. Sun at Kiltepan Viewpoint, Sagada, Mountain Province. 
The day has officially began. Sunrise at Kiltepan is nothing short of amaaaaaaaaaaazing.

2. Lesson from Sumaging Cave (Sagada, Mt. Province): Life doesn't run out of surprises, you just have to be in the right moment and venue to understand. You cannot judge everything based on what's visible, or what people say about it. We all have our consequences and this shape our perception of things. Never base your decisions on other's experiences and claims. Instead, go out of your way, face the challenge and discover your inner strength. At times, you stumble, get hurt and messed up, up you will rise knowing yourself better-- that you can do what others can't. It is okay to be scared. It is not a good idea to succumb to fears. 

Sumaging Cave entrance.

3. Lesson from Islas de Gigantes (Gigantes Group of Islands, Carles, Iloilo): You may think big of yourself, but in reality you are just a small particle of the world. The world doesn't revolve for you, it doesn't move the way you please, and it will never stop a second to cater to whatever you wish. Accept the fact that though you are unique, important, and special on some people's eyes, not everyone has the same impression of you. You don't have to pretend to be accepted. Instead, learn to compromise and co-exist as this is after all a complicated world, and you are not even a visible dot from the galactic viewpoint. 

Cabugao Island at midday. One of the island's trademark spot as seen from the top of a cliff. 
Friends and I on one of the many rock formations. 
The smaller islands about 30 minutes off the coast of mainland Panay. It takes 2 hours to travel to Islas de Gigantes, in an open sea.

4. Lesson from Malalison Island (Culasi, Antique): When you try to remove yourself from the crowd, you will see a bigger, clearer picture of almost everything. To live in the comforts of family, people, and social circle offers happiness, security and familiarity, but this hinders you from seeing what really awaits outside this zone. To go away from the familiar  corners of everyday life will bring discovery- both good and not-so-good ones. The life you sometimes classify as boring can be better than the kind of life some people are happy with. The opportunities you enjoy are as scare as the means of transport and number of schools someplace else. Be thankful for them. 

Mainland Culasi as seen from Malalison Island in Antique. See how magnificent Mt. Madia-as is! 
The gang trying to assemble our tent by the windy sandbar of Malalison. 
Nightlife in the island. 
Malalison at sunset as seen from mainland Culasi.

5. Lesson from Halsema Highway (Benguet: Highest Highway System in the Philippines at 7,400 ft. above sea level, considered as one of the most dangerous highways in the world): The road to one's dream or happiness is steep, risky, and  can be full of pitfalls, but it is always worth the adrenaline rush. How often do we wish for our dreams or happiness to go as smoothly as possible? I bet when given the choice, we will, in no time, pick this route. But, this is not how life operates. When we want something, I mean, something our heart truly and deeply desire, we have to take risks. It is by this willingness to take the risk and all its consequences that makes the journey worthy to be cherished and valued. Nothing comes easy, and whatever we acquire with ease never seem to end a lifetime. To get our heart's desire, we must fight --- sometimes against ourselves. But, it is always worth the trouble, the chills, and even the tears. You can reach the heavens, but be sure to look back to how much you have accomplished. 

Halsema Highway, Benguet. Yep, I can feel your toes shiver. 
Some sights along the Halsema Highway as we travel from Baguio to Sagada. 

Indeed, important lessons in life are not only courtesy of the classroom corners or the Internet. The road can be a good teacher, too, you just have to be willing to shed some pennies (or save some for this specific purpose), and the nerve to face your fears. 

What have you learned from travelling?  


  1. ...travelling is not only about discovering places but also discovering yourself :)