To be honest, compared to the many inspired and motivated people I know or read about, I don’t have a New Year’s resolution or a big, hairy goal for 2013. (These people have my admiration.)
Perhaps later I will have one of those goals that so excite me I can’t sleep, much like the time I was planning my seven-week solo adventure.
What I do have now, though, is an inner compass to direct me this 2013.
My long-term backpacking last year prompted me to see the world with new eyes and start following my bliss. I am slowly discovering that that bliss is a life of adventure, freedom, writing, and making a difference.
While 2012 was a thrilling, humbling downstream ride I rode in faith and abandon, this 2013, I want to learn to steer my boat and row with purpose, all while still going with the flow. I want to start creating my life of bliss. And while I do not imagine I will be finished by the end of the year, I hope to get closer to the life I want.
Onward to bliss (Photo by Phyl Miram)
Here are actions, general and specific, that I commit to this year:
1) Keep showing up – and then some. I definitely plan to keep writing and traveling this year, two clear activities on my path of bliss. Last year, I had the opportunity to write a few stories about inspiring people, ideas, and projects I encountered mostly during my travels. I am a believer of the power of stories. While I will continue writing articles that inform, I intend to write more stories that incite, inspire and/or move, in this blog and in other platforms.
Right now, I contribute for an online publication and a magazine, and this year I will aim for more magazines and platforms to reach more people with the stories I write. At the same time, I hope to increase my blog readership. This platform, after all, is the one where I am truly free to share stories I believe are worth sharing.
Tatay Ete, one of the inspiring people I met last year. Read his story here.
As for the type of traveling I prefer this year, see #2.
I mentioned “freedom” in the life I want to create. Part of this freedom is about making a good living from doing what I love. I’m still figuring this out – actually, I still have a lot to figure out – but I hope to get there.
2) Give. I am so blessed with my travel experiences. In many of them, I was able to explore beautiful places, and receive kindness from the people I meet. But the happiest and most fulfilling of my travels are when I am not just able to explore and receive, but also give.
Facilitating an activity at an environmental awareness camp in Danjugan Island
So this year, I intend to incorporate voluntourism in more of my travels. It need not be a big event, but I hope to serve at least some of the people I meet in my own way.
While I am open to almost any volunteer opportunity, at the moment, teaching baybayin, the ancient Filipino writing system widely known as its misnomer alibata, particularly appeals to me. The greatest colonization done to us Filipinos is the wiping out of our collective history and memory, and thus identity (see how our history textbooks only have little information on the pre-Spanish period?) Part of what was wiped out was Filipinos’ use of baybayin. This is such a shame, since that time, Filipinos are one of the few people in the world who have their own writing system, a sign of civilization. It also binds Filipinos amid different languages – our ancestors from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao wrote in baybayin. I believe learning baybayin will help reclaim our Filipino identity and restore some Filipino pride, too – I certainly saw it in myself and in my co-participants in the baybayin workshops in Manila. Kids especially enjoy learning – and they learn fast, too!
Learning baybayin can help reclaim Filipino pride and identity.
I have already taught baybayin to some people, though informally, and I plan to continue to do that and hopefully conduct workshops – alone or with baybayin teachers – for people who want to know more. I have found that learning baybayin is beyond being able to write the characters.
If you feel your community in your province can benefit from learning baybayin, let’s talk. =)
3) Learn. I feel that there are skills I need to learn and improve on in order to make a living doing what I love, and to serve better. I bought books and have enrolled in courses which can improve my writing and blogging. I will also be taking a comprehensive facilitators’ training this year, with sessions every month.
4) Make room for surprises. I look forward to experiencing more crazy firsts this year. And, there is the flickering desire to go on another long-term backpacking adventure. But with a commitment to a monthly facilitators’ training, I am not sure how long-term my adventure would be, or even if it would push through. I have a lot of adventures brewing in my mind.
More firsts like this, please? Read about it here.
If there is anything I learned last year, though, it is not to be attached to plans. After all, my backpacking adventure almost did not happen, and when it finally did, it did not exactly happen the way I expected. Meanwhile, many of my later adventures last year were things I could not even think of during the start of the year.
So my advice to myself – which I am taking – is to plan what I can, then go with the flow. And be open to change and opportunities.
5) Just be. Taking time out to relax – and just breathe – is essential to do all I plan to do this year. I found that not doing so only leads to burnout and delay to my projects. Thus, I really appreciate slow travel, where I can simply take in the scenery at an unhurried pace.
An afternoon of simply taking in the view
With all my plans, and possibly surprises coming my way, 2013 looks like it will be another great adventure.
Happy 2013 and here’s to more adventures!
This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ January blog carnival with the theme “New Beginnings,” hosted by Roj Braga of Adventuroj.