“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber
As the new year unravels, it was again time to reflect on one’s life, accomplishments and future. Being a traveler at heart, not a day passes by without me thinking of my next destination, or planning the far-fletched dreams of going to Europe or having an adventure in South America. Yet, the beginning of this year has been extraordinarily depressing when I think about travels.
A lot of money is involved in each trip, especially when you only try to squeeze in a few days of travel in each year. While slow travel appeals to me, I simply couldn’t afford to do so – I just can’t leave my job because I wouldn’t have enough money left. Plus, I wouldn’t be granted a visa without a huge amount in my bank account, thanks to the rampant migration of undocumented Filipino workers. See, that is my problem – while I can spend all my savings in a trip to Europe, the embassy might not believe me that I’ll be coming back because of the prejudice that I will be staying there to work. Life is unfair, indeed.
So that’s how my year started.
Realizing this, I have only one thing in my mind as of the moment – saving for travel. I needed this. While I keep a travel fund for the occasional weekend getaways, I know that it wouldn’t be enough to make my dream of traveling the world come true. A more aggressive savings approach might be necessary.
This year, I will be cutting back on my travel expenses. I will be trying hard to actually be a budget traveler (I care about the budget but I’m willing to spend more for comfort). I will try to stretch my peso to its maximum, and will hence focus on travel in the country for this year (so I wouldn’t have to pay travel tax).
Here is what’s on my list for 2014:
1. Go to my parents’ hometown. It’s been more than three years since I last visited. It’s time to go back.
2. See the Anawangin Cove. It’s one of the closest getaways from Manila, but I’ve never been there.
3. Do white water rafting in CdO.
4. Trek in Batad – a long overdue trip.
5. Try five restaurants in The Fort.
6. Go on a food trip, maybe in Chinatown or in Maginhawa or in Timog.
7. Visit the National Museum. I grew up in Metro Manila, but never had the opportunity to visit this.
8. Attend a festival.
9. Climb a mountain.
10. Wander through Policarpio St. during the holiday season.
I hope I can get to all these places (or more!) by year-end. Happy travels! 🙂