June 8, 2016

It’s been a year since I went solo travelling for the first time. I can say that looking back, my life has been pretty different from where I was and who I was in the past year. I’m going to be completely honest, I wasn’t in my best state when I bought my one-way ticket to Bangkok. I just got out of a very emotionally abusive relationship and I just felt that I needed a change of scenery and that I just had to escape from all the familiar places and faces that I was bound to encounter every single day in my home town of Bulacan and in Manila.

I had been living on my own on the 40th floor of a condominium in Manila whilst I was doing my internship for Tanghalang Pilipino (TP). Most nights, I would just stare at the Manila skyline from my window and just cry or smoke or just get drunk by my lone self. I felt really disgusted with myself so I realised that I had to stand up for myself and just save myself from the sheer mess that I’ve slowly become of. So the next day, I went home to Bulacan and talked to my mother. “I’m going,” I said. I thought that she would panic (I was 18 back then) and just ask me to go to my room because I’m being crazy. Well she didn’t. All she said was, “Where are you going and when are you leaving?” I was sort of taken aback by this response by my mother. First, because I was her only daughter or unica hija as we like to say in the Philippines. Second, because I’ve never travelled overseas on my own before. Sure I’ve been to China when I was younger, but that’s with family, we’re talking about me travelling on my own. But I’m just really blessed to have a mother who believes in me and who trusts me enough to let me travel the world on my own. So I booked my tickets right then and there.

I had no idea what to expect from this trip. I wasn’t exactly expecting anything to happen. I just needed change. But during trip, it wasn’t only change that I got. I also got new and amazing friends from all over the world, I got to eat yummy and authentic food from all over Asia, I met the love of my life (hihihi, hi love if you’re reading this) and most importantly, in the midst of the chaos from home and the busy streets of these different Asian cities, I found what I was really looking for, myself.

There are 5 lessons that I’ve learned from travelling alone on my own and they are as follows:

  1. Do not be afraid to go to some place you’ve never been before. Sometimes, the most exotic of places and the most random instances make the most beautiful of memories. Don’t panic if you’re sort of getting lost (as long as you see civilization and people still, hahaha). Just make the most of every moment and seize it because you won’t be there forever.
  2. Do not be afraid to talk to people who’s not the same nationality as you. I didn’t start making friends very well. On my first day I spent it alone, not until I met my friend Simon, he’s from Montreal. He told me to conquer my fears and just talk to people because people doesn’t really bite and a lot of travellers are actually very nice, so I conquered my fear and went home with a bunch of amazing memories and experiences made with friends that I’ll treasure forever! Plus, if you go to their cities, you wouldn’t have to rent a hostel because they’ll ask you to stay with them instead. Just don’t overstay your welcome, hehehe.
  3. Do not be afraid fall in love. Ah, this one is important. I didn’t really fall in love during my trip, but I did meet the man of my dreams. His name is Micah and he’s from Quebec. It wasn’t until we both went back home when we started really talking. I could say that we’ve been inseparable ever since. I haven’t seen him in a year and I just can’t wait to be with him this summer in New York City! Anyone here from New York? I’d appreciate some tips and comments about where to go and what to do, hehehe. Thank you!
  4. Do not be afraid to know yourself more and more. I’ve always been so hard on myself, but I’ve slowly learned how to be gentle. I’ve discovered new ways to make myself happy and I’ve discovered why I’m really sad so I could change for the better. Indeed, I changed…let’s just hope it’s really for the better. Hahaha!
  5. Do not be afraid. Of all the things on my list, this one is the most important. Do not be afraid. That’s the most powerful advice I could give anyone who wants to travel alone. Do not be afraid, for fear causes a lot of troubles. Do not be afraid, dear ones. Do not be afraid.

I could say that I’ve really become a new person by travelling alone. Also, I definitely would say that I’ll do it again! Speaking of which, I’ll be travelling to North America this summer…yes, alone. Hahaha! Well not really, I’m going to my family and I’ll be seeing my boyfriend but yeah, alone. Hahaha!

Do not be afraid to try new things and just go out there because this earth is getting more and more developed and it’s constantly changing. I really want to go to Burma (Myanmar) before it gets fully developed because I’d like to see its natural form before man ruins it, lol. Also, we won’t be here forever so we might as well do everything we please, as long as these things are good things and as long as these things are in line with the will of God for our lives.

What are you waiting for? Carpe the hell out of this diem and just go out there and travel and explore our beautiful world! Who knows? You might as well find true love along the way, hihihi.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

1 John 4:18 NIV

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