Sunday, March 4, 2012

10 Lessons from the Road

Deciding of not pursuing a career in the field of medicine was probably the major turning point of my life. It was downright depressing, knowing that it disappointed my father who was expecting me to become a successful medical doctor in the next four to five years. At the same time, it felt liberating. I finally had the guts to stand up and make my own decisions in life. I always feel uncomfortable whenever I think about my 'planned' future way back when I was still a BS Biology student.


Leap of Faith: When traveling changed my life.

And then it hit me.

I wanted to become a medical doctor because I was just inspired by these three TV series: House, Grey's Anatomy and Scrubs... and partly because most of my classmates wanted to become a medical doctor as well. Peer pressure at its finest. That time, I was afraid of taking the other route because I might lose everything. I may be good at reading maps and I may have a good sense of direction but when it comes to plotting the directions of my life, it's the opposite. I realized that I'm lost for a very long time.

But as soon as I started traveling around the country and revived my career as a blogger, I slowly regained my strength, battled my weaknesses and embarked on a quest of finding my own self.

The Rough Start

Around June 2011, most of my classmates went back to school to study medicine. I, on the other hand got stuck in the middle of nowhere. To be honest, it was frustrating because I really thought that I made a wrong decision. Those were the days when I felt useless; that I have wasted four years of my life (ironically, I studied about the science of life).


The road less traveled.


Thus, I started writing again and decided to take blogging to the next level. Since I already have a few notable trips back in college I made a new blog and shared all of my travel experiences. Even if most of them were related to my major subjects, those field works had allowed me to experience and see life beyond my comfort zone. And oh! Who would have thought that through traveling, I learned a lot of essential things - things that weren't taught inside the four walls of the classroom.


10 Lessons From The Road

1) Traveling made me realize that happiness can't be bought. For years, I've been living within my comfort zone. In some of my travels, I have witnessed the sad realities of life and it dawned on me that I should be thankful to all of the blessings I have received.

Last month, I went to Mount Pinatubo together with 30 young (and young-at-heart) travelers. I was at the back seat of the 4x4 mini Pajero. I was groggy and grumpy because I only had three hours of sleep the night before. As we were waiting for our clearance at a military checkpoint, a young Aeta girl waved and shouted with glee, "Ba-bye kuya! Ingat po kayo!" 
That simple gesture alone from a stranger really made my day.

2) Traveling became my vehicle to find my true passions. It had allowed me to hone my hidden skills in photography and writing. I may not be as good as some fully-fledged travel writers and photographers out there, but this is something that I've always wanted to do in my life ever since third grade.


And the sun will set for you.


3) I finally learned and mastered the art of frugality. Who would have thought that a mildly spoiled brat and uber pampered man (aka ME) would survive the chaotic urban jungle named Manila with only Php 1,500 in his pocket? Truth be told, it was NOT an easy task. But luckily, I managed to control my expenses. Cheap thrills at its best!

4) I am starting to know myself better. For years, my dreams, aspirations and interests have been deeply influenced by people around me. And all along, I was barking at the wrong tree. In my nine months of traveling across the country, I have slowly evolved emotionally like I never have before. I never considered traveling as a form of escapism but it surely get me back on track.

5) I met a lot of awesome people who share the same passion and interests. Meeting them was priceless. I have a big respect to all backpackers/travelers here and abroad. Good thing, they aren’t selfish of sharing some tips about traveling! I have learned so much from them.


Friends.


6) I am not (yet) a pro when it comes to traveling but one thing that I learned about it is this: It is not a contest. Traveling is not about being the first one to conquer all provinces of the Philippines or being the one who finishes the trip the cheapest way. It's all about meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and living the life to the fullest.


7) Internet has been my second home. It gave me a lot of opportunities to earn and allowed me to communicate to some of my long lost friends. However, it somehow made me disconnected from the real world; I have become dependent to it. Traveling to far-flung places granted me to appreciate what life really is. Through disconnecting, it allowed me to once again reconnect with myself and the world around me. To quote Discovery Channel, "The world is just awesome".

It is. It really is.

8) For years, I have lost sight of myself and the world. After I finally made a decision of not pursuing a medical career, I found myself falling in love with the world and life. The world hadn't changed - I had. Because of traveling, I found that the world is absolutely stunning and beautiful. However, I didn't realize it when I was chasing the beautiful sunset of Malapascua Island. I found it when I first visited Manila a few years back.

Sometimes, the greatest revelations come in the least likely of places.


Sailing takes me away to where I've always heard it could be. 
Just a dream and the wind to carry me. And soon I will be free.


9) Normally, I easily lose patience. Just last April, our return flight to Davao got delayed for more than 9 hours. We were already at the airport at 4:30 AM and was expecting to depart Zamboanga City around 6:30 AM. But because the aircraft had some mechanical problems. But I just realized that all of these happened for a reason.

In traveling, you just have to expect the unexpected. Nevertheless, I learned how to become patient.

10) I love to travel, well everyone knows that, but I also long for home. Davao City has been my home ever since. This is the place where I grew up and also the place where I will finally retire and enjoy the remaining days of my life. I like my room, my bed, my family, my dogs and milk tea so much.


The Adventure Continues

As the plane taxis its way to the runway, a part of me wanted to stay. I knew that I won't be able to see the beautiful crater lake of Mount Pinatubo or the majestic white sand beaches of Bantayan Island for a very long time. But I also knew that my next adventure would be an exciting one.

Traveling has indeed changed me for good. I have slowly understood myself better and started to reach my dreams and aspirations - to see and experience the world. It may be small in the eyes of others, but I'll do whatever it takes just to reach it. Besides, it's MY dream and no one's gonna stop me from reaching it.


I am now ready and confident to face new challenges along the road.


In traveling, it is easy to let go of the beautiful moment because I know the adventure continues. There will inevitably be more to appreciate once you disembark the plane. In everyday life, leaving a moment you loved is really hard, most especially if you're headed back to reality (aka school or work) or to a place you have been to million times before.

We often fail to realize that waving goodbye to a beautiful experience allows us to say hello to a new one. We may not have an idea what that might be, but there's something good ahead of us if we start to embrace new experiences and learn to appreciate every bit of it.

Let us enjoy the moment while we still have the chance and stay open to the next adventure.


---


This post is my entry to Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival for March 2012 with the theme "Leap of Faith: When Traveling Changed My Life," Reiza Dejito of Wander If You Must hosts this edition  of the blog carnival.

Visit Estan Cabigas' Langyaw to see the archive of Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival!

51 comments:

  1. It seems as if you're telling my story. :) I know it's hard to turn your back on something that our loved ones wish for us to do. But their dreams are not our dreams. You should be proud of yourself for sharing yours. Not everybody has the chance or guts to do so.

    P.S. I love your photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's everyone's story, Reiza! Thank you! Timing talaga tung carnival mo! Can't wait to read your compilation. :)

      Delete
  2. Hanep sa jumpshots, inggit ako! hehe Agree ako sa #6 mo. All too often people give the impression that it's a contest, napaka-competitive hehe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tara, pag-uwi mo, I'll teach you how to jump! Hehehehe

      Delete
  3. wow. I learned a lot from this post :D I love traveling din, kaso I don't have that luxury to just travel anytime, anywhere. sana pag nagkatrabaho na.. wala din akong patience to wait esp. sa airport, feeling ko kc nasasayang ang oras ko pag naddelay ang mga flights or pag daming mga bus stops, and then I realized, di bali ng ma late basta we'll get to our destination safe and sound..

    gaganda ng mga pictures mo. hay! nakakainggit. sobra! ^_^

    oh! one more thing. I think you did the right thing, I mean, it's your life naman kc eh. mas masaya ang buhay pag gusto mo ang mga ginagawa mo at hindi ung gusto ng mga taong nakapaligid sau. ^_^ ajah!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm glad to read your story since I've read/seen some of your stuff before in multiply as a Biology student. It takes great courage to make great decisions. And in return, great decisions will always make us happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Pao! Really appreciate it. LOL I remember back in Multiply when I wrote about my dreams of becoming a doctor. I didn't know that I was just forced of dreaming that kind of profession. But yeah, ever since, I also dreamed of traveling. :)

      Delete
  5. Oy! This is a beautiful entry Renz!

    Pak, pak, and PAK! I can also relate regarding being the mildly spoiled and pampered man who's beginning to change and learn things the hard way. Cheers to us!

    This is something I wish everyone could do regularly so they can also learn things about themselves and the world. =)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hehehe! Grabe when I went to MNL last August, super TEH mode yun! Doon ko naappreciate yung halaga ng pera, like every PISO counts talaga!!! Thanks for reading, Nay Robx!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I soooo can relate! :) Grabe while reading your post I could feel how passionate you are and umaangat din yung passion ko GOSH! Haha I love your blog!!! :) ♥

    ReplyDelete
  8. True! It's not about the competition but the things we learn along the way. Gusto ko rin yung insight mo sa #8:)Maraming beses sa buhay natin na ganun ang nangyayari. Galing! Panalo talaga to! :)

    Na-inspire ako mag-blog nang mas may sense. Haha!
    Kudos! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Romz! How sweet of you! Thanks for your comment!

      Delete
  9. Ganda ng post na ito Renz! I cannot agree more with you on the 10th lesson on your list. It’s what I learned recently while on the road in Siem Reap.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel you Drew! Naalala ko tuloy yung post mo about backpacking. :)

      Delete
    2. Finally makakacomment na ko hehe! 5 and 6 on your list is my favourite part of traveling. I agree, I've also met some really awesome people in my recent travels. That includes you :D

      Delete
    3. Awww, thanks Drew! See you soon! Balita ko eh nasa MNL ka na raw!

      Delete
  10. Tama! hindi naman talaga contest ang traveling. Ang mahalaga is nag-eenjoy ka at may natutunan ka sa mga napuntahan mo!

    Thumbs up dito sa post mo Renz! Galing!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Agreed with #7 -- Traveling is my way of escaping reality, and like you I'm always in front of the computer. Traveling allows me to think more clearly and make better decisions. Whenever I return to my home my thoughts are fresh and helps me start my life on a clean slate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree Kuy! There's more to life baya jud when you travel. Hehe

      Delete
  12. Good for you Renz! Kebs na sa ibang tao, just travel! Just keep on doing what makes you happy :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Unsa man Renz oi, you really look very light when you do jumpshots. Ako feeling nako everytime I see myself on jumpshot photos, its an Airbus A380 or B747 taking off from a runway! Kanang extra effort pod to reach "ROTATE" and V2. Hahaha!! :p

    Anyway, nice one. I agree and I share your sentiment regarding traveling. Di ni karera, pero para nato makit-an ang kalibutan.

    Also, I like #7! It is our escape from the internet and be with the world. At least to detoxify ourselves and see the world more vividly. At least dili ta mag-close sa atong world like some place in the internet that we know of--like bitterness, bashing and non-stop bashing...kahibalo ka na kon asa na, hehe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dili jud, taas lang jud ko mag jump. Hahahaha!

      Thanks! Taraletsexplore Pilipins and da world!

      Delete
  14. Awwww. Have you considered joining a Travel Magazine? At least it's travel with pay, and lots more. :) Go Renz! Self-actualization at its finest :D

    ReplyDelete
  15. Continue doing what you love renzy :) i'm so happy for you!

    http://mytailoredtales.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kissa! Me too, happy for you na rin since you're taking blogging to the next level jud!

      Delete
  16. renz, i enjoyed reading this post. pareho pala tayong bs bio (that makes us bio-man, or ka-bio tayo! haha *corny*)... but seriously, there's so much depth in what you wrote in this entry. i haven't read much about your blog but this one made me decide to frequent here for you write with a lot of sense. ang husay, man! i am learning.

    and from someone who had walked the road you want to travel (read : ang mahaba, mahirap, masayang daan patungong medisina), i salute you for giving a chance for whatever you want to do in life. hindi lahat nakakarating sa self-realization sa hierarchy ng human needs ni maslow. and i think by making that decision, to follow your heart more than someone else's dream for you (not to disregard your parents,of course!), i believe you have set foot on that scale already; or at least an inch of it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, hi coursemate! HAHAHA! Thanks for reading this post, from the bottom of my heart. :)

      Delete
  17. What a heartfelt and awesomely written post! Good to know that writing and photography are your true passions. It really shows ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someday, gagawin ko rin yung backpacking trip niyo sa SEA! :)

      Delete
  18. I actually understand and really get what you're saying. I'm also in a point in my life now that I'm in a crossroad. I'll be graduating college soon and I'm finally figuring out the things that I want to do with my life. My mom was actually disappointed in me for dropping my Accountancy course and made me feel scared about how I might not get by with my life. I was so pressured to pursue Accountancy because she was an Accountant and a lot of her employers were already waiting for me to be in their company. I had a sure thing with Accountancy but now, I'm not so sure. But I do knw that I like blogging, talking to people and travelling the world. I like the person that I am when I'm blogging and experiencing the world than when I'm scared whether or not I'll pass my Accountancy class or not.

    Anyway, Kudos. I'm glad you've found your way in life. I hope I'll find mine too. :)

    xxx
    Renee J.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am finding this site very useful, I enjoy reading this post. Thanks for sharing. I will keep come back to this site.

    by Travel Guides | Travel Tips

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Renz, beautiful and heartfelt post talaga.
    How travelling has changed us all is really awesome noh? I agree, travelling has also given me a better perspective of life and the things that truly matter the most. :D
    continue travelling and pursuing your passions! it's great what you're doing and I really see your drive. just keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ed! Weeeee. Kitakits soon somewhere in Southeast Asia!

      Delete
  21. Fantastic Blog man very nice and funny as well all 10 lessons are well thougt and this not only applies to urself but ion life to specially the 8th one. I am in Dubai now a days and haven't learnt a single lesson :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Renz! Naka-relate ako ng mabuti sa post mong ito. Great to hear that you did not pursue the dreams of others for you but pursued your dream for yourself. Keep on traveling! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Travel is truly not a contest. And it's something we do for ourselves, not to impress others :) Love this post Renz!

    ReplyDelete
  24. ang nice ng post na to Renz, kaka touch, especially the 10th lesson. missing home. :) we really learn a lot when we travel, we grow as a person.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Gael and Gay, thank you so much!!!! :3

    ReplyDelete
  26. "I may be good at reading maps and I may have a good sense of direction but when it comes to plotting the directions of my life, it's the opposite."
    --napakaprofound ng quote na to. :))

    Actually, medyo makarelate din ako dito. Its true, the more you know, the more you don't know. Labo pero feel ko gets mo naman diba? haha :P nice entry!

    ReplyDelete
  27. amazing yowa shot. effortless!

    i like #10. we all long for a "home" at the end of the day..

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is a great post, batch/bloc mate. Even your writing style has leveled up! Remember "The Biologist's Den"? hahaha co-author pa naman ako nun :))

    Anyway, I'm happy for you, Renz. You've finally moved past beyond the crossroads. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG Lyle naulaw ko! Hahaha thanks for reading my post! I miss hanging out with you na w/ Anj! :3

      Delete
  29. Hi RM! I can totally relate to your post. Being stuck in the middle lately is really taking a toll on me..and the only thing im sure of right now is that travelling is my passion! :) OMG seriously, I wouldn't care if I would be leaving my job right now just so I can travel the world..only problem is, how do you do that without the money! Hahaha :)) something that I still gotta figure out :P

    Really nice blog! I enjoyed reading it =)

    Btw, really nice shots you have there =)

    -Kim

    ReplyDelete
  30. wow!!! you've been to zambales na.

    nakarating na rin ako jan sa davao city twice. really, "life is here" ang davao. ang sarap balik balikan jan. kilawin na malasugui, eat all you can sa iron horse, tiya bebeng's, banok's jack's ridge.. etc., hagimit falls sa samal island tapos ang zipline... i hope i can witness ur kadayawan festival... "MADAYAW DABAW!!!"

    ReplyDelete
  31. Nice, Renzie! Lorlene and En-En must be very proud of you. Go lang nang go!

    ReplyDelete

Comments are highly appreciated. Spread love, not hate! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...