A travel blabber, life bummer, and a total wreck;
This is how it all started: I was a breadwinner for a while, and thought leaving the country for better paying jobs overseas would make it easier. At 22, in 2006, I grabbed an overseas work that would pay me just a little over what I was already getting in my current job in the PHilippines, at least to get closer into better paying jobs that I can move onto later. In less than a year, I was able to get a job that made things better.
Then i felt tired of such a wasted life cycle. I'd wake up with a headache, check my pockets to see how much I spent the night before, wonder how it was possible to drink that much, and ask myself what I got out of what I spent. I did not see any better alternative though.
Then, one time, I was invited for a trekk/hike. A friend, a medical representative, was invited by one of her doctors to hike, and asked if we can join her. We said Yes for a try.
It wasn't easy for first timers, and we were cursing at every step uphill. I'd ask myself what has come to our minds to think about enduring this activity when we were just so cool about drinking back in the city. I was questioning the whole point of hiking, and coming right back down.
We got higher and higher and into the summit. Then I got the answer. We also brought alcohol and realized it was no way less fun that what we did back in the bars.
I got excited about the next hike trip, and joined again. Later, I could not even wait for the time between hikes, and had joined events from other groups of hikers too. Further, I did not even care about going a hike myself alone.
As I hike, I met other people who were into beaches and travels. The interest has just gone wider. Our fellowship during hikes and travels will leave us curious about what each other have to say about other places that they may have visited and we haven't.
Little by little, I lost my fears turned into thrills that kept me wanting more.
I travelled the Philippines as much as I can. A trip to the most critical towns of the country, cotabato to tawi tawi. Rode the boat topload over the 45 degree waves from Itbayat to Batan, camped in whichever island I could see. And to top it all, met some poor yet not impoverished perfect souls of the earth.. the locals turned friends and families. All this, on weekends, and holidays and work leaves of course.
Then, i felt short of time. I regret I only had so much days that I have to keep chasing destinations and time. I felt I enjoyed the destinations more when I have ample time in the place, rather than visiting them a second time around.
Then, I quit my work. Now, I am sitting in a bench of our beachside guesthouse; It's my 10th day in Otres beach, Cambodia at the moment, and my 185th day travelling Southeast Asia. No Rush, no pressure, just plain Chill.
I was initially planning to visit the whole of Asia for One year, but, I realized I don't really have to rush. I am young, and I'll always have time for every other place. And this curiosity I have for other places will keep my motivation to live.
Also, one thing I never learned after 30 years was saving money. I am quite laid back, and quite have that "come what may" mindset. As I travel, I suddenly regret all those money I spent on several cups of coffee I got from Starbucks every day that I'd be in the office; 2 tall cappucino's would have been enough to pay for my accomodation and food for a day in Kampot, Cambodia.
And, the more that I stay, the more travellers I meet who are more than just acquaintance. Some are on a month's holiday, and some never gone home since 5 years. People who has stories to tell about how they end up travelling, and how they manage to do so.
Meantime, inasmuch as i'd like take this beyond my initially planned 1 year, I want to go back to Philippines soon after, in 6months and temporarily settle in some island for some community development project.
Tourism is surely a good source of revenues, though sometimes, not necessarily to the benefit of the locals. With the arrivals of tourists comes inflation, and locals will surely compete with these "ready to spend a fortune" tourists who are ready to pay for whatever amount there is to get their satisfaction.
In the end, if the humble local is not able to take employment or business in the tourism that's happening, they end up being short of their own place. It is that fantic visitor who has been enticed into the island and bought a land to setup a resort that's making the money through overprices services and underpaid local employees, who may have gotten the drinking habit through these tourists, and acquiring expressions such as "fuck, sucker, etc" because they thought it's cool.