My Dream Destination and Why I don’t Know Where It Is

Written April 3, 2012 in Starbucks 6750, Makati City, Philippines.

Ask me where my dream destination is and I would probably answer Japan or New Zealand. Japan because I grew-up watching the TV shows Japan Video Topics and Bioman on Channel 13. New Zealand simply because, I’ve been dreaming of bungee jumping from the Auckland bridge since I watched team Philippines do it in The Amazing Race Asia. But in all honesty, these 2 countries are merely default answers that I have with me handy in case I get asked that question which, through the years has proven to be somewhat dreaded by me.

I absolutely have no idea where my dream destination is.

Putting on the line my creds as a travel blogger (if I ever have any), I can sincerely say that I am not one who would consciously browse through a dozen Lonely Planet books or do madman research to discover the latest best destination on earth. This, despite having been immersed in the wonderful world of those talented and rabid travel bloggers that I met recently. Doing research is just too much of a chore for me to ever want to do. With no shame whatsoever, I can say that I am to an average travel blogger, someone that can be labeled as a tailgater or, as I would like to call myself, a random tripper. I am the kind of weirdo who likes to know that he wants to go to a certain place once the opportunity presents itself to him. When I get an invite or when I hear of an upcoming trip. Otherwise, I’ll usually just book a flight to a place that I’ve been to or drive to a beach that I’ve seen a million times in the past. Sure I do have a few places in mind that I want to see (I’m no total airhead) but I am not the type who would list down and set goals. My imaginary list changes all the time. I forget some and I add some then forget some again. I ain’t an authority obviously so goodbye my 1 reader haha!

I travel not necessarily so I could see and explore a particular place or destination. I travel primarily so I could detach. Detach from reality and detach from the daily grind. In the process, create precious moments that I can add to my history. Do something crazy like jump from a 50-foot cliff in Cebu or do something mundane but unusual like exercising my location independence at work by “officing” at Terminal 21 Mall in Bangkok. I’ve also chatted with random strangers at places like Dundas Square in Toronto and Union Square in San Francisco. I’ve driven alone at 3:30 am on a whim to go to the beach and I’ve never refused an offer to experience non-stop laughter and fun times with shiny happy people while climbing a mountain or snorkeling the deep end of the sea. The Angkor Wat maybe one of the most majestic, jaw-dropping structures known to man and seeing it in person was indeed totally incredible. However, what makes my trip there memorable is having been able to bike its grounds while the temples loom over me on a daily basis. Toronto is not a popular tourist destination and is a place that I cannot brag about in the same manner that I can with The Angkor Wat. But because of the various struggles and triumphs that I’ve experienced while living there, it will be so zany of me if I refuse to label it as the most memorable place that I’ve ever been. So not zany that I refer to it as home.

I guess, in all of my crappy explanations on why I have no idea where my dream destination is, what I am really trying to say is at the end of the day I don’t remember the destination. What I remember most is the time in my life or the bits of moments that I created for which the destinations served as the perfect backdrop.

It is through these memories and stories, good or bad, that make me feel that I have truly seen the world.

However, if someone is going to be push me against the wall or ask me at gunpoint where my real dream destination is, I do have a special place in mind. It is a place that I am not willing to share right now and there is a reason. On whether there are measures that I am doing so I can get there soon, I tell you there are plenty. In fact, every bit of my existence is dedicated to getting to that one place (and please, it ain’t heaven). On whether I will get there…. Definitely.

Congratulations to Robbie of thetravelingdork.com for coming-up with such a wonderful theme for the PTB’s Blog Carnival for this month. This is not an entry for it but I am looking forward to reading all of the submissions.

 

This post was salvaged from the archive of my old travel blog. The now non-existent and formerly hilarious trippingsbydrew.com.

In a Sea of Travelers

Written June 2, 2012 in Tagaytay City, Philippines.

Without a single shut eye from the previous night, I took a shower and headed-out the door to have breakfast at Bag of beans. I am currently on day 7 of my “caving” in Tagaytay and even if I have been doing grocery shopping practically everyday of the week, I still found the urge to dine-out this morning so I can forgo cooking and washing the dishes. I am weird. And I am wasteful.

The sky is grey. Not my favourite kind of morning definitely although the dewy surroundings is kind of appealing truth be told. Kind of is the operative phrase. The only thing nice about this type of morning is the thought that perhaps, the usual hordes of people that flock this small city hometown of mine will not be present. Ergo, I guess that I will have the Balinese themed Bag of beans coffee shop all to myself. I am thinking I could spend hours and hours there without much distraction where I will be able to write and mooch on free Internet. Wonderful, wonderful thought. Yet despite that, I’d still rather have some sunshine and a gentle morning breeze. Right now though, having that is close to impossible.

I arrive at “BOB” and I am welcomed not with what I was expecting. The resto is nothing if not jam-packed. For a day like today, this is surprising. I couldn’t believe that everyone and their mother decided to brave this storm and drive-up here, the volcano capital of the South (I made that up). Then again how dare myself to label everyone as a tourist. I am no expert. Who knows, maybe they are locals. Then again judging from all the pink shirts, bermuda shorts and fake Ray-bans that I see, I can’t help but assume. I don’t know about you but ain’t that the generic attire for tourists? Everyone looks like they are the beacon of trendiness. Good thing BOB is not packed enough to make it hard for them to spare a lonely table for the pathetic loner that is me. I am given a nice spot near the bird cage where I have a good view of all of these wonderful, giddy travelers.

So here I am, the self-proclaimed random tripper who is currently in a travel rut, in the middle of a sea of newly shaven, newly bathed excited travelers who are ready for a debauchery-filled weekend. Their freshness and excitement emit in the air. I think to myself, I wonder where these travel creatures get the energy to travel? I wonder what drives them to escape their poetically lovely and mundane day-to-day existence? I wonder if they will ever get to a point when they will silently say to themselves, I don’t want to travel anymore dammit! I know I was like them sometime not so long ago. Excited and whatnot. Currently however, I think I am something else.

I wonder. I snap out of it. I get-up. I attack the buffet spread.

Really, what gives?

 

This post was salvaged from the archive of my old travel blog. The now non-existent and formerly hilarious trippingsbydrew.com.

An Evening with Fellow Travelers

Written February 8, 2012 in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

“You have to detach yourself from your present life so you may look at it from a distance and discover what it is that you are doing wrong.”

This is my biggest take away from an evening with fellow travelers on my first night here in Siem Reap. A few hours after we arrived, Mica and I found ourselves in the Pub Street area frantically searching for a restaurant that we’ve never heard or seen before. We were to meet a fellow traveler whom we’ve also never seen and in my case, never heard from before. Tough situation is kind of an understatement. Not to mention, it was only a few hours ago when we were stuck side by side in the front seat of a Toyota Camry while being driven to our guesthouse. A 2-hour butt numbing drive to the guesthouse from the border, which almost made me want to turn around and go back to Thailand. Our exhaustion level was at its peak. But we knew we had a goal. And after having asked several locals who all gave us an I-don’t-understand-what-you-are-saying-but-please-give-me-1-dollar kind of an answer, we finally found the joint and immediately saw our fellow traveler.

We settled in a simple establishment and ordered ourselves a round of mixed fruit shake. Our fellow traveler is well respected in the community that we belong to. The evidence was so clear when Mica switched her fangirl mode on the moment she saw the well respected traveler. Gushing like a groupie, she asked various questions about blogging, about life and about other matters to which “the dude” generously had not just one definitive reply. The dude shared to Mica and to myself, a lot of important lessons that he learned whether on the road or off. Many of which, sensational enough to keep us dreaming and wishing we could be like him sooner if not later.

It was a rich exchange of ideas and thoughts over 2 rounds of mixed fruit shake. I was amazed at the amount of learning that I can get from a few hours of small talk. Hearing the stories I realized, when a person starts putting his act together, remove himself from the rut that he’s in and starts relentlessly chasing after what he believes is his true destiny, is when he becomes genuinely happy. Our fellow traveler or whom I most lovingly nicknamed in this post as “The Dude” is the best example. I witnessed how he was stripped-off of all the unnecessary material possessions but very, very focused on living a life that he sincerely believes is his fate. Devoid of fancy corporate clothes and without the latest gadgets on hand like it used to be but having the time of his life seeing all the goodness that this planet has to offer.

This for him is nothing short of bliss. And for me, a true eye opener.

After having experienced this, I wish I can say that I will one day commit to a life on the road. However, I can’t. As it is, I have been living as if in suspension all this time (almost like being on the road) trying to painstakingly achieve a certain set of goals. This reality makes living on the road for me sort of impossible.

One thing’s for sure though, at this point, I cannot be happier that I was given a chance to peek into the life of one who has dared to do it. Truly, I am beyond inspired.

 

This post was salvaged from the archive of my old travel blog. The now non-existent and formerly hilarious trippingsbydrew.com.