While I am looking forward to my seven-week backpacking adventure around Visayas, how I arrived at this starting point in my adventure is also a journey on its own that amazes me.
It was October last year when I decided that I would travel long-term this summer. I initially thought of going around Northern Mindanao and Visayas. With some savings in place as a safety net, what I thought I just needed to do was set up my adventure fund by summer.
I started building up my adventure fund through freelance writing and research projects, but as the saying goes, while I was busy making plans, Life happened.
- My dad got sick and I had to give up my savings to help pay for surgery and other medical expenses. From dreaming and planning mode, I suddenly found myself in crisis mode. Thankfully, my dad got better, but I continuously struggled with the idea of postponing my trip because of my depleted savings.
- When I finally let go of my attachment to my trip, the projects to fund my travels poured in. Ironically – or should I say predictably? – when I stopped obsessing about my trip, I successfully raised my adventure fund and earned back half my savings in a few months.
- Friends invited me to climb Mount Pulag with them at the time I should be in Mindanao so I changed my plans. Excited at the chance to climb this picture-perfect mountain, I changed my planned route of Northern Mindanao and Visayas to just Visayas to also fund my Pulag trip.
- Five weeks before my Visayas adventure, I got sick. My symptoms went on for weeks, and the doctor suspected I may have adult asthma. I again opened myself up to the possibility of postponing my Visayas trip, but thankfully I got well just in the nick of time – less than two weeks before my planned departure.
- I did not join the Pulag climb but kept my Visayas backpacking route. The natural treatments I took to get well and help me manage possible symptoms during my travel ate up my Pulag funds, so I decided to push through only with my Visayas trip.
When I look back at the past few months, I am grateful and amazed to see that despite everything that happened and how much my plans have changed, my original intention – that of traveling long-term – is still being realized. In some ways, I have arrived where I started, but with different eyes.
I have planned my route around Visayas, with the knowing that this is just a plan, which might just have some tweaks and changes later on, depending on the circumstances. If there’s one thing I learned in my journey that led to this journey, it is to be flexible and allow space for changes, which just might be in the realm of magic and miracles.