It has been exactly two years ago since I have traveled by an airplane. Yes, I am 24 and please, no judgment. I cannot fathom still how that novel experience have completely changed the way I view the world. By the window seat of that plane, I have marveled on how small the world is from up there, how the roads have zoomed out into blur, how the houses and buildings have seemed like specks on the earth, and, how the mountains have been unsymmetrically beautiful and green and sometimes disappearing by the clouds. And when the pilot lowered the plane for us to wonder on the Visayan archipelago, I have never felt such surge of adrenaline and awe from the sight of islands surrounded by beautiful seas in different shades of blue and green. It has been a major kick-start.

What I can majorly credit though of my currently incessant pursue to check out places is my obsession with the show Survivor of CBS. Their filming locations are naturally pristine and utterly dreamlike that inspire a firsthand experience. The show’s 27th and 28th seasons were filmed in Palaui Island, Santa Ana, Cagayan and having been a huge fan of the show, I just couldn’t contain my nagging self to check the place out. And I did, but it was not without any reservations.

The lush green landscape of Cape Engaño, Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley

I am not used to long travels. I suffer from motion sickness almost every time and I don’t have the appetite while on the road. My survival skills are also questionable. I don’t know how to swim, how to drive, and let’s settle on those for now.

But even I have surprised myself when I have embarked into more than 8 hours of travel to Tuguegarao City and add 3 more to Santa Ana. Sometimes, we really can’t realize what we are capable of unless we rid ourselves on the fear of the unknown. That journey has become the foundation my other road trip ‘capabilities’.

Which was why, my road trip from General Santos City to Surigao del Norte for Bucas Grande Island has had less anxiety and more anticipation. Also, in Sohoton I have jumped in a 15-feet cliff without any lifejacket on. It might seem a no-challenge to some but for someone like me who doesn’t know how to swim and who is afraid of heights; that has been a double jeopardy. But the feeling of satisfaction to the notion that I actually have done it, despite having paled, has been intoxicating. And the urge to do that again has built, I guess.

The calming teal waters of Tiktikan Lagoon, Bucas Grande Island, Surigao del Norte

Traveling has also that scheme of testing how you adapt to your environment and how to live outside your comfort zone. Camping has always been challenging in my mind before because of a lot of ‘what ifs’ that could go wrong. After an overnight camping to Lake Holon, T’boli, South Cotabato, another overnight camping trip to Tuka Marine Park, Kiamba, Sarangani, and, another overnight camping trip to Sanchez Peak, General Santos City; camping remains challenging for me but a tad bearable; and I am learning to enjoy it. I have that habit of telling myself that, others have made it look easy so it should be. I am seldom right but, hey, I’m optimistic.

The beauty of Lake Holon, T’boli, South Cotabato before the sunrise embraces it

The very recent thing that I have never imagined that I’d do in my entire life has been being friendly to snakes. Even just thinking about it now still makes my skin crawl. I am a self-proclaimed ophidiophobic and that’s not something to be proud of but I think that’s perfectly normal. I have never ever dreamt of touching a snake let alone carry a huge python. But I did it fellas. I have touched the renowned Bohol python and me and my friends carried the albino one. Despite freaking out on the inside the whole time, it have been one of those moments where I am very proud of myself. But let’s be clear, snakes and I – still not friends!

And talking about friends, it is inarguable that traveling brings people together – even strangers, especially strangers. The sheer joy of meeting people, going to beautiful places, and, experiencing something new are among what made traveling exhilarating and worth the time, efforts, and budget.

Growing up, I and my older sister were a major household challenge; but we have long mended our differences and have been supportive of each other. And who would have thought, we have been traveling together without ripping each other’s throat – just kidding. We have been to literally a couple of trips quite recently. We have greatly enjoyed the Talikud Island of Island Garden City of Samal, and, have indulged into Marguez Hot and Cold Spring of Ezperanza, Sultan Kudarat. We are actually looking forward to more travels sooner than later and continue to affirm our sisterly bond.

The crystal clear Long Beach of Talikud Island, IGaCoS

Personally, traveling has put into a clearer perspective on how trivial my fears and anxieties actually are. Have I overcome them already? Not yet. But I can say that I am less fearful and less anxious now. Traveling has created this jar of self-assurance for me, which I can always open to convince myself that, since I have done this before I will have to find in myself the will and courage to do it again; as that famous Survivor catch phrase, “You have to dig deep!”. And the best part is that you can always share this jar to others who might need it – for free!

Trekking Amsikong Falls, Brgy. Conel, General Santos City with my amazing friends
Nobody can resist taking a picture of Cabugao Gamay Island, Isla de Gigantes, Carles, Iloilo



#TravelokaPH #WhyITravel #TravelokaStories



4 thoughts on “I am Traveling to Self-discovery

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