Thursday, February 19, 2015

Beware! You may be over travelling

I've had enough! I may have not been as travelled as people I had been with, back when I was backpacking, but hailing from the Philippines, I think I have seen enough.

Sometimes, I wonder how my life would have been if i did not get into the habit of travelling. It may have been "Normal" - drive a car to work, meet and have lunch with colleagues and clients, get dinner and drinks with friends. Then, simply, repeat until friday. Come saturday, shop and go mall, family on sundays, and an occasional out of town to some celebrated destinations and notable hotel. End of the story.

But since I chose to go places, it's a little different. You'd rather eat on cheap and spend on a bus ride 300kms away, even for a day trip; Or, keep your old battery depleted phone because a new one costs the same as what you'd spend elsewhere for 30 days. You barely want to spend because there is so much else to see and learn (plus you are also probably not earning any money as you travel.)

Then again, you don't care. You just want to keep moving further; And, sometimes, when you are asked where to? Again, you don't care; "Just Anywhere!" After all, you've probably been to the great beaches, falls, mountains, etc. 

Then, it reaches some point of just being able to say "Yes, I have been there." You keep exploring, and you acknowledge that you are not bound to see anything surreal or better than the ones you have already seen. You get to the sharp corners of everywhere, meeting locals, knowing how they spend their time, their livelihood, their stories, including their miseries. You enjoy your time with them better (especially these are the people who'd give everything of the littlest they have and for nothing in return all in the name of hospitality). 

Suddenly, you become so thankful of all you have. You have seen the unseen. Alongside your satisfactory existence is someone in famine, in disadvantage, in hopes to have the same life you have. Only that, they did not have the same opportunity as you. 

Not everyone sees them. None has spoken to them. Only you and a few are aware of their existence, life's joy, and even miseries.. 

You have eyes, you have ears, you have all there to figure out that something might be done better. As humans, you are capable, no matter how little, to do something.

Like that of the third eye, you shall not seek it, if you are not prepared for it. It will sting. It will be a struggle to your guilt and conscience to resist not doing something. And, when that hits, that's when you know you have travelled. There's no turning back.

Your old life is nowhere ahead. You have no choice but to pause and do something. It's not like you are in wonderland... It's Third World - where travelling might just be a call to action.

Right now I am busy with some outreach projects with the help of some friends whilst studying Bahasa Indonesia/Malay in Indonesia. This is in the hopes that later I can assist in co-operational development in the (Philippines') south where after delimitation of the national boundaries, what used to be a casual crossing and migration has become an illegal and unaccounted activity that is delimiting the rights and privileges of the people.

Part of this, I'd like to contribute to opening more formal channels between our countries. We are countries of the same race, of the same language, color, food even, yet, it is far easier to get to East Asia, or even Europe, and even cultural acquaintance with the latter countries is far more pronounced... that is wrong!

Why do I do or start things alone? Well, let's just say, I like to show people the power of an individual. A lot of times, we have second thoughts of doing things just because we think we lack resources. Yes, it may be right, but it does not always mean we can't. Our worth is nowhere to be found on our own bodies, on our own house, but with others. Our worth is where our existence reaches as far out to. As it is said, no man is an island.


  1. This is a great post Ian. I really feel and understand the depth of what you are saying. I have experienced similar frustrations when traveling. You see so many people and assume that everyone has had 'your life' or can just take off and go travel. It isn't really like that at all. Nor is it easy to deal with interactions with extreme poverty and corruption. I appreciate you being real and posting this. Keep it up!

    1. wow.. thanks for even reading at all despite my bad composition. :-). see u soon


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