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.
|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.
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.
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