Friday, June 8, 2012

Why Solo Traveling Is Not For Me

I have been traveling around the country sans the presence of my guardians for almost a year already. And thanks to my freelance lifestyle, I can freely travel without worrying my working schedule. Talking about the beauty of being a freelancer. I was fortunate enough to meet awesome people along the road. It will always be an opportunity to travel with them and I couldn't be thankful enough.

baguio city
Burnham Park, Baguio City

Solo traveling has not crossed my mind yet. I can't imagine myself being alone on the road. But last April, due to some circumstances, I traveled alone from Clark to Pangasinan.

Well, it was a rough start I must say.

Our plane arrived 40 minutes ahead of schedule. I instantly felt the Clark heat the moment I disembarked the plane. It finally dawned on me that I'll be doing this trip alone. "C'mon, Renz! You can do this. This is going to be fun". Will I ever survive this predicament? There were so many questions that entered my mind.

There were three things that I have to consider as why solo traveling is not really for me (as of this moment):

1) I need someone to talk to. In short - Madaldal ako. Seeing those people inside the bus happily conversing with their friends was so painful. True story. 
2) Taking a solo photo during the trip. Yes. #FirstWorldProblem lang naman. 
3) It's a bit expensive than traveling with a group. Self explanatory.

Anyway, I arrived safely at Dagupan, Pangasinan after three hours. And it was a big relief after seeing Josh and Me-an at the terminal. I was so thankful that they had time to tour me around Dagupan and Lingayen. Talking about genuine hospitality.




The following day, we went to Baguio City, named as the Summer Capital of the Philippines. The place deserves a separate blog post. :-P

The third day of my solo trip required me to travel back to Clark, Pampanga to meet up with Laken and Brenna who were staying at Clearwater Resort. I don't know what happened but it took me five hours to reach Clark instead of the usual three. It was already late and there were no more jeeps plying the route to Clearwater Resort.

Pandemonium. I didn't know what to do. For the first time, I was lost. To be honest, I felt like I was losing it to the point that I want to go back to Davao. Pronto! Brenna called me and asked about my whereabouts. It is where I mustered enough courage and just took this predicament as a challenge. I just told myself, "You're almost there, Renz. You're almost there."

I asked one jeepney driver to take me to Clearwater for Php 200.

For more than six hours of traveling alone, I finally saw Brenna and Laken. What a relief.

I was so happy that we talked 'til the wee hours of the morning. During that moment, I couldn't ask for more; all I wanted that time was someone whom I can talk to.

When we woke up at around 10 in the morning, Laken and I thought that Brenna's already in Singapore. "Buti pa siya, nakarating na ng Singapore. Ako kaya? Kailan kaya ako makakapunta roon?"

Suddenly my phone rang. It was Brenna. She got held up inside the airport by an immigration officer. I honestly didn't know what to do. Last night, I was teasing Brenna that she might not be able to fly due to her height; baka mapagkamalan ng child-trafficking. Oops.




Laken and I didn't have any second thoughts. We hurriedly went to Clark International Airport and waited for Brenna. We even brought her some food but she didn't go outside the terminal, but we did not mind at all. We were hoping that she would make it to the second flight to Singapore. We were basically there for the whole day, waiting. It was so ironic that we were only a wall away from Brenna, yet it felt that she's at the other side of the globe.

Finally, after eight grueling hours of waiting inside the airport, she finally boarded her plane to Singapore where her sister's frantically waiting for her at Changi Airport.

Laken had to leave for her dental check-up. After packing my things, there were two plans in my mind:

a) Extend my stay at Clark and wait 'til my flight back to Davao on the 15th; or 
b) Visit Robbie at Mandaluyong City and meet up with some of my travel blogger friends.

I was so tired. I didn't know what happened but I decided to go back to Clark Airport to straighten up my plans. I was alone again. I sat at a vacant chair at Mini Stop and waited for nothing. Seeing those people entering the airport terminal made me more homesick. Once again, I felt like I was a stranger. That particular moment made me decide that I should book a flight to Davao as soon as possible.


Good thing, AirAsia had a scheduled night flight to Davao on that day.

It might be a stupid idea for some, but I already longed for home.

I know that my first solo traveling stint was a big failure (internet slang: EPIC FAIL) because I went home two days earlier. Despite that, I still learned a lot of things about life in general. I learned that being alone is not a good thing at all. For the first 24 hours, I thought I was already free but I soon realized that I still can't stand up on my own. I can't live without my family and friends. I have never been this lonely until that particular trip.

Don't get me wrong. I am still open with the idea of traveling solo.

Maybe today is not the right time. 

Not today. 

Not tomorrow. 

Maybe someday.

It's easy to form an attachment to people and things. When you've formed an attachment to people and things, it can be a very painful experience and feeling when you realized that it's time to let go. Even the mere thought of not having that person or thing in your life just squeezes your heart in pain.

Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can't prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you're presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. 
You always have a choice and the choice can be power. 

- Blaine Lee

43 comments:

  1. Maybe it is not yet the right time for you. Nasa testing the waters stage pa nga lang, ika nga. Na-feel ko rin yan nung time na nagta-travel na ako from Dagupan to Manila for my OJT. Dami nagkkwentuhan na mag-friendship sa ibang seats. Buti na lang sa window seat ako sa bus at mega emote while making dungaw sa scenery haha

    Anyway, at least nakatapak ka na ng Pangasinan hehe :D I'm glad Josh and Mhe-Ann became your tour guides. Balik ka dito, kapatid! :D

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  2. Babalik talaga ako ng Pangasinan! I love it! Bitin nga yung trip ko diyan last April eh. Glad Mean and Josh were there. Grabe sobrang bait nila!

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  3. SOLO TRAVELING is not for me because - I'm afraid to get lost, I'm clumsy, I don't have sense of time and direction. LOL. Natatakot akong ma iwan ng airplane, bus or boat. lol

    But when I have friends around me - i tend to be the otherwise, i have to. Ayoko namang maging pabigat. char. :)

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    Replies
    1. Soon, I'll make my second solo traveling stint a successful one.

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    2. since solo is not for you, then meet the locals! better yet be part of the couchsurfing project! check it out here www.couchsurfing.org and know how it works here https://www.youtube.com/user/thisiscouchsurfing

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  4. ako din di ko rin kaya Solo Travelling.. Sanay na siguro akong laging kasama si Philbert

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  5. Your genuiness is simply endearing!

    I'm not being patronizing; I hope it won't be interpreted like so.

    Just guessing that you are way younger than I am. When, I was "young" or let's say, it's better, "younger" lol, I yearned to travel alone. It's quiet a long story, and reading your experience, inspired a blog (this usually happens to me when I read someone very interesting and so honest!).

    Long story, short, I did travel, a lot alone. My first trip abroad, I was 21, in an Arab country and had to live in a flat with my male colleagues. lol

    My dad (RIP) was furious, that I was determined to go.

    Now, fast forward to 19 years (after a lot of traveling to different continents alone), I am a mom of three girls, have a wonderful sensitive partner, who makes me laugh..and I can't help feel so lonely when I travel without them! Even if it is only 20 minutes away to Amsterdam.

    I completely understand your feeling. Perhaps, if I were still in my early 20's, I would not have because I was a complete person then. Not better than you are only hungrier for something out there, and experiencing by myself.

    It does not anyway reflect to who you are as a person or traveller, if you would like to still travel with a companion, may it be your family or your friends. What is commendable is your honesty about it. :)

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    Replies
    1. Awwww thank you for your kind words, Mommy Joanna! It took me time before writing this entry. I know that some might judge me because it wasn't successful; that I wasted so much money just because I went home earlier; that I'm a coward. But the truth is, I LEARNED a lot from this experience.

      Still, I will never abandon the idea of traveling solo.

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    2. Yes, knowledge and experience are priceless! And the younger you are when you acquire both the better you will travel into life. :)

      Good luck with all your future life travels - literally, and metaphorically!

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  6. Your being a freelance takes you to a lot of beautiful places .sarap naman.you enjoys every bit of it. travelling with company is a better than being alone.

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  7. You'll get the hang of it. I think I read the post of Brenna on the incident with the immigration on her post weeks ago.

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  8. Why solo traveling not for me? Imagine you are just enjoying the place with yourself. It is better to also see someone who is special or close to you also happy in what they are experiencing traveling in some places. Your blog is really good. Very interesting to read. God bless you more!

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  9. bongga ang reason #1! haha! super!
    haha. madaldal ka, madaldal rin ako. =)) ayaw kong mapanis ang laway ko while traveling, especially to a new place, dahil wala akong makausap. =))

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  10. wow! envy you that you are able to travel to different places. I used to do this when I was still working, sometimes with a group and there are times I travel solo as well. Traveling solo is kinda scary for me especially if it will be my first time in that area and not knowing anyone.

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  11. yes! ang hirap nang walang kasama sa travel.. pag may kasabay kang grupo nagmumukha kang O.P. =)))

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  12. agree.. I also need someone to talk to when traveling. But someday I want to explore just by my self. :) para may thrill

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  13. i wanna travel solo :) soon ~

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  14. See you in the MGM Arena soon! You've got to include that place on your travel list. :D

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  15. Traveling alone is really sad. Masarap talagang may kasama, may kausap, may tagakuha ng pictures para sa iyo - haha. But then sometimes, we have to be alone.. That's life, but in the process we can think and meditate and learn a lot from the lives of other people we see during the travel!

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  16. Oks lang yan Renz! Ang importante dun you tried. :)
    When you enter a tunnel, you need to survive the dark part and at the end of it, there is always a light :)

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  17. I read Brenna's ordeal in the airport.. Anyway, solo travel is best enjoyed when ur mind is up to it. I'm so different than u are, we both have plenty of friends but I rely on my own.. So even when its painful to say goodbye frm time to time, I still do it bcoz by then I could grow. Solo travel suits me well, and in time I think u'l do the same

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  18. Ang hirap mag isa nga sa travel. habang nag eemote may tumutugtog na nakaka lungkot na music. Mas masaya kung barkada ang kasama sa travel na mahilig din pumunta sa iba't ibang lugar.

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  19. There's always a rainbow after the storm ika nga. You'll get over it and perhaps you will enjoy being a solo traveler.

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  20. I learned to travel alone from the province to Manila when I was 11 years old, elementary days. I was more excited than afraid to travel alone.

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  21. Me too, I tried doing the solo act in Singapore, it just all the more strenthen my resolve not to travel alone next time.:)

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  22. i always travel solo. i travel according to my pacing and interests. doing it solo means freedom to do what you exactly want to do. you only have yourself responsible for everything. its fun. its more exiciting. its more fulfulling. its more lice changing. its more me.

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  23. Awww, sorry it didn't work out for you! Di bale at least na try mo na!

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  24. me either, I always plan to travel alone. but everytime i have to buy my tickets, doubts crosses my mind. haha!

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  25. If I'm gonna be a traveller, I'll be a solo traveller. I don't know. I just want to be alone in most of the times.

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  26. hahaha.. natawa naman ako sa picture namin :) hmmmm... parehas tayo renz, ayaw ko ng solo travel, walang kashare ng moment..

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    Replies
    1. Hahahaha! Actually that's my fave Josh-Mean photo! Pseudocandid :))

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  27. At least you were honest enough to say it out loud. :) Kudos to you.

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  28. points taken for not wanting to travel solo.. mas masaya may kasama, pero pag wala choice.. enjoy din solo.. kuha lang ako ng kuha ng pictures lol!

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  29. I looove traveling solo. pensive drama lang! can't wait till my solo travel to Baguio next week!

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  30. “If we listened to our intellect we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go in business because we'd be cynical: "It's gonna go wrong." Or "She's going to hurt me." Or,"I've had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . ." Well, that's nonsense. You're going to miss life. You've got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
    ― Ray Bradbury

    Listen to Ray!
    Keep trying. It gets easier and better. You may even learn to love it! :) I can't even travel with people anymore.

    And as for being lost,just take a deep breath, and wander. You will find your way eventually. My best experiences making new friends, my greatest adventures and by far my most wonderful epicurean discoveries all happened while I had no freaking clue where I was.

    I'll be checking back to read about your future solo travels.
    Great post.

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  31. While you had thoughts (or I say preference against) on traveling alone, I'm looking forward to do it though I know my wife won't let me. XD

    My disadvantage though is my bulky bag which consists mostly of my photogear.

    But in the end, its best to travel with a companion. Besides its more cost-effective than doing it alone. ^_^

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  32. I think I can travel alone, no one to take care of, no one to worry about, just myself. But who would take my picture? LOL. I usually like travelling with my mom. I make her take my picture. :))

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  33. solo travelling is not for me either.

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  34. hahaha! Madaldal ka pala, renz? :D Sometimes traveling solo is not the greatest option. I also want to talk to some people I know! hahaha pero ok rin yung mga people na... "strangers-turned-friends" because of a conversation sa bus lol.

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha! Madaldal ako pag kilala ko ang tao, pero kung hindi, I tend to be shy and all. :3

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  35. Hey guys! Thanks for all your comments! God speed! But I'm still open with the idea of traveling solo! Maybe today's not the right time :D

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  36. I love reading your escapades, however, we are opposite, I love travelling alone, I can do what I want, hehehe. However, in reference to taking your self a photo, I always bring my tripod, hahaha. More so, maganda talaga pag alone, tapos kunwari naligaw ka at di mo alam kung saan ang direction ng place na pupuntahan mo, so far, lahat ng pinagtanungan ko, tinutulungan naman nila ako, hahaha, maybe because I look like an alien. hahaha

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