Wanderlust essentials

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I HAVE just gotten back from a four-day vacation, and it was an experience I will never forget. Up until three years ago, I have never succumbed to the travel bug, as I would usually just travel out of necessity, be it job-related, or for family gatherings I simply could not get out of. When my Mama died, however, it seems she had passed on to me her passion for travel and the good life, for which I am really so thankful. It has officially made me a “wanderluster” – as much as possible taking good opportunities to travel more often, to appreciate and experience the rest of the world.

“Let’s go to somewhere we have never been”, has thus far been my family’s getaway mantra for the past three years, and although I would say the passion is more on my end I feel that the rest of them truly appreciate and enjoy the places we’ve been to so far. Of course, it entails a lot of sacrifice too, and expenses obviously, so it takes some serious planning most of the time.

Through five different (main) travel destinations I’ve been to, and many other towns, cities, barrios in between, I can say I have learned a lot as a wanderluster. There are some essential virtues learned in our travels, and I have the honor to share them with you today. I am certain I will add to this list sooner, as travels (hopefully) go by but for now, the wanderluster in me treasures what I have acquired so far:

Patience. The trip actually begins with planning for months: patience in scouting for promo fares (late nights, early morning scouting), in searching for travel packages (or prior to that, even in determining whether to go DIY or to go prof services), patience in packing for five. It takes me hours to read and read online to plan out the trip and be certain on a lot of decisions and issues.

Passion. I would like to think you need some level of passion for something to be able to have that much patience with it. Res ipsa loquitur.

Audacity. Be brave, be very brave. Ask for directions, seek an adventure, taste exotic food, enjoy the culture, gain new experiences, see the rest of the world with childlike eyes, befriend people from everywhere. Taste, smell, listen, see, and feel with much enthusiasm.

Spontaneity and Calm. Wait, do these go together? I think so. Despite the hours of reading, planning and choosing, something is bound to go wrong (in a way). Look out for the unexpected, be open to alternatives and try your best NOT to fret if plans do change. Consider it as an opportunity for something better. Think serendipity. You are already there, don’t let anything ruin your trip or else everything will go to waste. You can either adapt, or spend the rest of the trip sulking. Choose to enjoy rather than to fuss over things. You did not travel far to do that, you could have stayed home and just locked yourself up in your room.

Gratitude. A sense of appreciation for every good thing you encounter in your travels, and even seemingly “bad” things that have become blessings in disguise.

There is still so much more to learn. Here’s to more marks on our maps. (serendipity.couch@gmail.com/www.serendipitycouch.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 05, 2013.


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