I can’t believe that I’m a few weeks away from fulfilling something I’ve worked hard for. A year ago, it was so different. I was still trying to figure out what to do with my life. I didn’t know the answer until I found out about Vagabonding, which made me see travel as a lifestyle, not as a mere vacation.
When I realized that I wanted to travel the world my whole life, I took the first step:
I only had less than a hundred dollars in my bank account. So I started to save. I kept my 13th month pay (never touched it), I avoided anything and everything expensive – from food, to clothes, to books, and a whole of other stuff. I didn’t buy new shoes, new clothes, new bags. Instead of cabs, I rode jeepneys even if they can be very uncomfortable. I missed gigs, temporarily cut down on my expenses in buying CDs (I’m a supporter of bands so I buy their stuff), and stopped buying swag. I also (and finally) took advantage of my social security benefits, which in my 10 years of working, were never put to use (little did I know that my sacrifice years ago would actually benefit me now!).
By avoiding “unnecessary things”, I was able to travel a couple of times this year and still managed to fund my goal.
I also went through alot of trials, from negative emotions after the death of friends to depressive moments because of my heart condition. The worst part was going through a very tough and slow withdrawal phase after I quit alcohol cold turkey because my cardiologist told me to stop drinking. I used to cry alone whenever I’d hear officemates talk about going out after work and drinking — I’d cry because I couldn’t bear seeing other people drink in front of me. I would feel jealous, hurt, and unappreciated.
So for a time, I distanced myself from friends. I avoided bars and the entire party scene. I went nuts a couple of times but I knew I had to let go. Around July / August, I slowly accepted my fate. Right now, it’s easy for me to go out and hang out with friends even if they’re holding a bottle of beer.
And of course, there’s always the heartbreak part. I’m not going to elaborate on this, but I’ve learned a very important lesson: YOU CANNOT CHANGE ANYBODY. It’s either you accept the person for who he or she is or you move on. Change has to happen within.
In the past, of course, I didn’t know this. I was YOUNG and TOO STUPID back then. Well, I’m still young (bite me) and “sometimes” ( 😀 ) stupid when it comes to love, but I now understand that it’s not right to expect so much from other people. It’s like caging them already. If you ask other people to do this and that so you’d feel good, it’s like telling them how to run their lives and this shit is not healthy.
I know that I still have alot to learn, but I think I have come a long way.
Ok, I’m still a crybaby, I still can’t fight back (verbally), I’m still scared of ghosts, I still get nervous alot or freak out, I’m still a hypochondriac, I’m still trying to confront my fears…I’m still going through a PROCESS (a lifelong process).
But I’m grateful for all the sacrifices, trials, and heartbreaks. They all taught me to keep on living.