Chasing a Dream and Letting Go

I was recently put in a situation in which I had to reflect on my plans of traveling the world (one step at a time). I heard the words GREEDY and SELFISH and, being a slave to that annoying crustacean in the Zodiac wheel, my bus ride to work last week turned into a silent, melancholic journey that could pass for a dramatic short at Cannes.

Since I’ve been saving money for the first step, I gave up many things along the way including my comfort. Frugality has become my middle name and the entire process made me miss 90% of what life has been trying to put in front of me. The effect of pursuing this dream put a strain on my relationship with others and with myself. I became a slave to my own plans that I have forgotten my role in this world as a human being who simply has to LIVE.

HELPING MYSELF is a blog of a 32 year old woman who’s on her way to a round the world trip this September. Like me, she also experienced moments in which she felt too caught up in her plans. Then she read a blog of a woman named Patricia who helped her accept herself despite the flaws. She wrote this in her blog:

Patricia helped me realise that I don’t need to push myself to meet goals, standards, criteria or expectations. I just need to let myself go… and allow myself to enjoy the journey that I am on.

I have written about taking it a day at a time before but I still feel uptight sometimes. And to be honest, I do worry about money. But this Patricia hit the nail on the head:

It’s smart to have an idea of how much money you’ll need to travel, but working yourself to the bone to reach a specific, higher target leads to unhappiness.

I know I’ve worked too hard to save and that I haven’t had time to sit down and just enjoy the sunshine. Work may be important to reach a goal, but there should be a ME time or a time to let go and allow the universe to do its part. Letting go is not easy, but it has to happen because the future is and will always be unknown.

So when my friends asked me to join them for a trek to see two rivers (an unnamed virgin river and Bagsit River in Zambales) over the weekend, I didn’t hesitate.

Though I did think of money and how I wanted to put it in my “first step” piggy bank, I told myself to just let it go and NEVER AGAIN miss out on life. Besides, facing the present means gaining lessons to conquer bigger challenges ahead.

And I was right. The first 3.5 hour trek under a blistering heat to the virgin river, and the 2 hour heatwave trek back to the base camp made me realize that, despite my condition, I’m still quite healthy to endure physical challenges (walking uphill for 3.5 hours under the Philippine summer heat is no joke, honey). I admit that I’ve been paranoid, thinking that I may not survive my future endeavors (e.g. the 38 hour train ride in China, long treks in Laos), but I’m glad that I took the chance to just let go and enjoy life because it made me realize my potential, which I’ve been doubting for weeks.


For years, I tried to find myself and my purpose in this world. When I realized it, it made such a huge impact that I completely held on to it without letting go.

Of course, it is absolutely fine (and necessary) to pursue a dream (in fact, we should live life pursuing our dreams), but ignoring positive opportunities that enter our lives is unhealthy.


I just did..and it became one of the best weekend memories…ever.

palauig zambales

virgin river zambales

The “virgin” river

virgin river palauig zambales

Crystal CLEAR

Trek from the “Virgin” river to Bagsit River takes 1.5 hours. Here’s Bagsit:

Bagsit River

Bagsit River Zambales

I just had to take a dip

The way home

Most of the Photos are from Twylah Rubin’s camera..because her camera is more awesome 😀

12 thoughts on “Chasing a Dream and Letting Go

  1. Beautiful Rica. Try reading a day at a time -> THE BOOK OF AWAKENING by Mark Nepo. keep well and be safe always. -Manang Peachy

  2. Wow, thank you so much for the mention, this was a really beautiful post Rica. I struggled for a long time with finding a healthy balance between working towards my dreams, and enjoying the present. A year later I think I have finally got the hang of it, and am giving myself the space needed to simply relax and be present NOW! I’m so glad you are also doing the same and wish you all the best for your future adventures 🙂

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