Travel, almost everybody does it but not everyone can really grasp the true meaning of it. Fortunately enough I was a finalist and a part of 2go’s Trip of Your Life. 12 individuals were selected among the thousands that applied and were given a chance to tour some scenic spots in the country. From Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, we were on a journey of self discovery and crossing out some of the dream destinations in our bucket lists. It was literally a trip of our lives, from historically rich churches and streets in Taal, kayaking in the rivers of Aklan, to the seafood fiesta in Roxas City, a grand welcome by Merzci in Iloilo City, chilled in the white sand beaches of Guimaras, the “I can’t breathe cause I’m finally here” moments at the ruins of Bacolod, up the highlands of Negros where we drank coffee, enjoyed the view, drank and dined from the best hosts and met Nanay Remedios, screamed our lungs out as we rode rafts and paddled in the city of Golden Friendship – Cagayan de Oro, rode all the rides at Opol, Misamis Oriental’s Seven Seas waterpark, marveled and took a dip in the beauty that is Tinago Falls in Iligan City and finally searched for that perfect instagrammable shot in Cebu’s Osmeña peak.
It took us 12 days to finally finish our journey but travel will never be the same for us. Anne, Bill, Emman, George, Jameson, Yuki, Limuel, Mark, Van, Yen and I were different people from all walks of life. You name it! We had a cosplayer, pilot – geek – turned model, swimsuit loving duos that can project for hours on end, a master free diver, the senyora/life of the party, the heartbroken animal lover, the lightroom guru, the guy who’s gel we still don’t know what brand but want to try because no matter where we go his hair is still on point, a proud member of #packboys, an auditor for a pharmaceutical company, and a wandering photographer / travel writer. It was a group where it could go zero to fiesta in milliseconds.
I have learned in this trip that travel isn’t totally about yourself or the things you want to happen, but it is the experience that you can give to the people in the destinations that you go to. From a simple amen or bless to old grandmothers and grandfathers can simply light up their faces, buying pasalubong and have chit-chat with the owners of the stores, voluntarily taking the group photo of tourists who needs an extra hand so that all of them can be included, and without a doubt, buying local products so that the way of life of these people can go on. Travel can be an advocacy, through our experiences, photographs and writings, we can teach the next generation of travelers that we can do so much to save the environment, conserve the history and culture of the destination and be a better person by being a positive force in life. And like what I’ve been saying the past few days, I am looking forward to my next adventure because I will always be #Ready2Go.