I was working on my final Ilocos installment post when a simple question popped in my head. What is traveling for you?
According to our trusted source, Merriam-Webster,
traveling (adj.) means:
- going to different places instead of staying in one place
- relating to the activity of traveling
- designed to be used by someone who is traveling
However, aside from the technical meaning of the word, I tried to answer the tricky question from my own point of view.
WHAT IS TRAVELING?
Getting out of where you are
For most times, we find ourselves stuck in the same places doing the same thing over and over again. There could be numerous debates about how this is fine or otherwise depending on the particular thing you’re doing. For some, like me, however, it is necessary for us to have a time off from the routine we have unconsciously adapted to. Regardless if you need a breather from your corporate job or your mediocre life, the fact is, you need a break and you need to break free.
Discovering who you are
It’s not a new thing to admit that at your age, aside from knowing your identity and other default facts about yourself, you really don’t know who you are. Knowing who you are happens when you get out of your comfort zone. You start to discover new things about yourself such as things you are passionate about, things you are inclined to, things that you want to learn, things that you never thought you can do, and the list goes on. It may sound as a cliche when people say that you find yourself when you travel, but really, you do.
I started traveling during my college years but most were beach trips wherein the only things I yearned for were the beach, great company, photos and booze. It was only when I was already working and got to travel with new set of faces when I learned inch by inch what it is really like to travel. Most are still beach trips, but this time around, getting to know the people such as the locals, other travelers and guests has been part of my itinerary.
What I enjoyed most about my recent trips was the part of meeting other travelers and locals and exchanging stories with them. Hearing their stories gave me a better view of what the world looks like for them, broadened my perspectives in life and taught me how to adapt to people I don’t usually meet along the busy streets of the metro.
Being one with your destination
This is kind of hard to do when you’re on a 3-day trip. However, a short trip doesn’t mean you can’t try, right? Allowing yourself to indulge on the daily routine of the locals and being open to their culture and norms is one way of embracing the place you’re in. In a short span of time, you can observe and somehow understand how people live their daily lives and notice the similarities and differences from where you came from.
This also includes trying out the delicacies in your destination and becoming daring enough to try exotic food or exciting activities your destination has to offer.
That’s basically what traveling is for me. How about you? 🙂
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