“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.”
I started this blog a year ago. I used it to document my self-transformation, my journey, and to inspire others somehow with my photography and writings. A few months before this blog was born I had made the decision to quit college. I felt as though I wasn’t serving my soul’s purpose. I woke up and dragged myself to school everyday with this strong nagging feeling that I just wasn’t supposed to be there. That I needed to be somewhere else, doing something better with my life. Doing something that would fulfill the desires of my heart. So I decided to pursue photography and something I have dreamt of since I could remember: to travel the world.
And I did.
I spent three weeks with my friend in Costa Rica and Panama. Then I came back to California. Worked and saved for five months. Then left again to go backpacking in Thailand and to visit my homeland, the Philippines. I was away for six months. And now I’m back “home”.
I know now more than ever what my definition of home is. It’s not a place. Or a person. Or a thing. You can “feel at home”. You can “be home”. But that’s not it. That was never it for me.
And so, what is my definition of home?
Never in my entire 24 years of living have I felt more liberated than I did when I am traveling. When I am wandering on the road I call home. I feel the most alive and liberated when I’m out there. Living like a vagabond with nothing but my possessions in a huge backpack. Moving as my only constant. Anything is possible as I am given a brand new day in a place I have never been, with no set plans. I find comfort in not knowing what the day will bring and surrendering to the currents of the universe.
But, what happens when it’s all over?
I’ve been back in California for almost two months. And to be honest, it’s been tough as hell. I miss traveling. Found it hard to adjust to the American life. Dealt with discouraging people who think I’m making a “mistake” by my life choices, just because it’s something they don’t understand. I’m still technically “unemployed”. I’ve had to deal with disheartening “family issues”. I’m trying to find a place of my own so I can move out and avoid it. I’m working hard to make a living with photography. I’ve spent endless hours working on my blog to be location-independent but above all inspire the others. On top of it all I’m trying my best to stay positive despite all the adversities.
Deep down I know that it is happening for a reason, as everything does. So I will continue to trust my struggles, to trust the universe, stay in the present moment and let bliss occupy my mind.
And so that’s the truth. When we come back from whatever adventurous journey we’ve embarked upon reality will settle in. We will have to work harder than we did before we left for our trip. We would have to overcome obstacles and we will have to continue to fight for our dreams. But no matter what happens, we must be grateful and manifest the light through whatever situation we are in. Nobody ever said making sacrifices and taking risks for our dreams would be easy. But it is sure as hell worth it.
And so, what’s next?
I will continue to work hard for my dreams before I embark on another journey.
This year I will stay in California to work on my photography business, work and save up for my next backpacking trip, and work on becoming location-independent with my blog and photography so I can do it while traveling anywhere in the world. I will feed the wanderlust by going on camping trips in Northern California and its surrounding states. And take a few weeks to go backpacking somewhere in Central America or Hawaii until I go backpacking long-term again. And who knows where else this year will take me.
In the summer of 2014, I’ll be back on the road for several months. My journey will start in Bali, then Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Vietnam, Malaysia, Nepal, India and my homeland, the Philippines.
It’s important to hold on to whatever lessons we learn on our journeys. To keep the travel spirit alive. To let the adventure permeate through every cell of our being and to keep it breathing. We have to let traveling and coming back teach us and we have to learn over and over again. We must grow with every experience, good or bad. We have to make it through each triumph and defeat of our journeys and let it sustain us.
So here’s to never-ending journeys. May it continue to bring us to the most breathtaking places we will ever lay our eyes on, lead us to meet beautiful souls, and the most blissful experiences we will ever have in our lives. May we continue to fall in love everyday eager to see the world we know so little about, to feed this insatiable wanderlust, and the curiosity to explore.
And so where do we go from here?