“SO, how’s the weather out there?” I ask.
“Windy but not too cold. Pack a light jacket. Phone signal is rare. 3G or LTE is non-existent. No pool, no TV and no Internet at the hotel. No wifi anywhere. Be prepared to go back to old times. Social media is non-existent here.”
As my friend describes my upcoming destination, I think to myself, “I love it already.” I message back, “That’s great! My problems won’t be able to reach me. I’ll bring some books.”
“Do all your Internet stuff before you depart and tell your closest friends about your unavailability. And bring cash. No credit cards accepted here.”
“Thanks for the heads up,” I tell him. “Hope you’re enjoying your time there. I can sort of feel your pain somehow.”
“Hahahaha. It’s quite an experience. I was not prepared for this place to be this ancient,” he tells me.
Well, I was. I’ve been prepared for Batanes for some time now. I’m not sure when I started planning to go but certainly long before I stepped into Easter Island. And that was 2009 so I’ve probably been dreaming of Batanes for a decade now.
But somehow, each year, Batanes would get pushed back for some other destination that seemed more urgent and exciting. Last year, however, my life changed—forever. I decided to take a closer look at all the stuff that has taken a backseat in my life and say to myself, “now or never.” That’s how I found myself in Batanes.
I can’t say it was lonely being incommunicado. It was pretty fantastic, in fact—at least for me. It definitely beats moving to Mars permanently. But for those who need to be connected to the Internet 24/7, you will, no doubt, feel severe pangs of separation anxiety.
Not me though. I loved taking a respite from those pesky notifications. I ambitiously packed three books despite the fact that I had a full schedule for the next three days including braving the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
What is a perfect vacation for me? The wind on my face, the ocean on my feet and some physically challenging activities. And what would make it better than perfect? Leaving my comfort zone and doing something new on each trip.
But this vacation was beyond better than perfect—it had a delightful bonus for me. I got to see the sun set every day from my balcony.
Every afternoon, I would sit in the sun, breathe in the fresh air, gaze at the endless green, stare at the crashing waves and commit the moment to memory. And then I would settle on the bench and read my book till the sun set. I call this bliss.
I’m a practical girl but I still wish there was forever—not just now.
There are not enough words to describe the beauty of Batanes and there are not enough pictures to do it justice.
“When people ask what I see in you, I just smile and look away because I’m afraid if they knew, they’d fall in love with you too.”