Thursday, April 14, 2011
TRAVEL | Lone Sojourner
Traveling alone can be a good opportunity for anybody to reflect and enjoy some new place minus the hassle of minding a companion's welfare and time limitation. When traveling alone, you can practically do anything you like. And that's exactly what I did in my BOHOL trip last March 2011.
This is my first time to really travel on my own. In the Philippines, backpacking alone is something people don't usually do for two main reasons- one is security, another is money. Honestly, it's not safe to travel in the Philippines. There's the risk of getting killed. But of course that bloody scenario can always be avoided with enough precaution and common sense.
The second factor why Filipinos don't like traveling per se is because of money. I have always thought that to Filipinos, there are more important things to spend money on than traveling. Actually, this activity is usually on the last of their list if it ever comes to the list at all. Well, that's especially true in my case and from where I've come from.
I am from a lower middle class family and I know that traveling has never been a priority. It was never an option for recreation in my family.
But truth be told, there are so many benefits that people can get out of traveling alone. Let me list some of the things which come to mind.
1. INDEPENDENCE. In a society that has put premium on "total dependence" to family and close relatives, it is unthinkable for somebody to do things on their own without actually expecting help from family members, which brings me to my second point-
2. HELP ALWAYS COME WHEN NEEDED. Most of the time, when traveling alone problems inevitably occur. But you'll be surprised because there's always help when you need it. You just need to know how and who to ask.
3. MEETING NEW PEOPLE. Traveling alone also gives you the opportunity to meet people along the way. When you travel with companions, it's so difficult to mingle with the locals of a new place which actually minimizes the potential to learn more about their way of living. But when alone, you just dive in and expand your network.
4. LEARNING. When I say learning, it's more than the things you'll know from travel books or movies you've seen. This kind of learning goes beyond those that has been written or shown. This learning makes you wiser in all sense of the word. You do not only learn about the way of the world, but you learn more and discover yourself, your capabilities.
5. REFLECTION. In connection with no. 4, traveling alone allows you to look deeper inside you and meet the real you; free from the hustle and bustle of your busy life. You can hear your heart talking and understand yourself and your place in this world.
There are still myriads of things you get from lone traveling and I am all for it. When people say that it is dangerous to travel alone in far places, I always ask in return "Isn't it dangerous everywhere?" When people say I just waste money when I travel, I answer them "You can always earn money, but your time and youth would never be recovered. When you get old, you won't have the same energy to travel as when you're young."
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