Thursday, January 15, 2009

Travel Dreaming and Travel Praying

In five days, I'm heading for the greatest adventure of my life yet - my solo journey into the last Philippine frontier - the mystic and pristine Batanes. This decision is crass, irrational, impractical, and even dangerous. The time of the year is worse. It's chilly in Manila, it's probably freezing up there. I've also expected it to be lonely, having to celebrate my birthday alone in a stone house (hmmm, I'm crossing my fingers for this) with no one to celebrate it with or even to talk to. But I'm going anyway. It's now or never. Bumhood this long would never come around again. Batanes will slowly be ruined with the passing of the years and the storms. I too will slowly be ruined, the spirit will grow tired, the sense of adventure eaten away by sensibilities and hesitations masquerading as wisdom. This is it and I'm grabbing the chance by all means!

Here are important points a traveler should consider before embarking on a trip, and my answer to each question:
  • What do you intend to accomplish? I don't know.
  • What's your itinerary? I don't know.
  • Any special places of interest? I don't know.
  • Where are you going to stay? I don't know.
  • Projected expenses? I don't know.
  • Any company? I don't know.

If by some epiphany, God would show me my goals, that would be good. If He reveals a purpose, that would be better. If He outlines my itinerary in due time, I'd be very grateful. If He provides me a safe and cozy place to stay with kind and accomodating locals, I'd be honored. If He gives me extra cash, I'd be jubilant. If He gives me company, that would be perfect.

I used to say that half the fun of a journey is in the pre-travel preparations that I have come to call "travel dreaming". But for now, my travel dreaming would just be all about expecting the unexpected. It would be limited to hoping for the best, and praying for the grace to come out a better person at the end of it all.

It's time to discard all itineraries, schedules, or plans. All I have is my round-trip SEA Air ticket, lots of time to waste, limited but hopefully enough cash, my youth and exuberance, my lack of common sense and my irrational and excessive optimism, and the promise of a fantastic time with myself to enjoy.

If, by some strange twist of fate, I'll fail to come back, let it be known that I had the time of my life and most certainly, I didn't let my moment pass me by.

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