Some kind of a hate letter

At some point, we all have to take a stand for what we believe in. At some point we all have to stand up and defend the things that we love. At some point, we all have to do something to protect our happiness.

Perhaps I do not have the right to lecture anyone. Who am I anyway? I’m just this socially-awkward, hopelessly introverted girl who would rather spend time alone in a tent pitched in the middle of nowhere than sit in a crowded bar and sip drinks that costs an arm and a leg. I am not an expert nor a veteran in this matter. I am not even experienced. I am just a nobody who hates everyone who ruins my happiness.

Yes, I am looking at you! You people who goes to the mountain, pitch your tent and destroy everyone else’s peace of mind with your loud, boisterous partying. You who leaves your filthy trash the same way you leave your dignity when you get drunk. You who doesn’t respect the world around you. You who doesn’t seem to understand that some of us are out there because we want to get away from your kind. I hate the whole lot of you.

Why do you have to go up there if you only want to party? Why don’t you go back to your bars and crowded discos and stay there?

Yes, I am judging you. You are selfish people who only think of yourselves. You are self-entitled spoiled brats who never truly understands what freedom means. You are ignorant people who keep using the line, “it’s a democratic country!” Democracy doesn’t give you the right to destroy the world.

You party all night with your loud, tasteless music and in the morning, you leave your trash like the whole place is a dumpsite. You should be buried where you partied.

If we want your noise and your trash, we will stay in the city. We took the time to hike out there to breathe fresh air, to see the stars and relax.

Nobody owns the mountain but everyone who goes there must learn to protect it and respect it. If you can’t do something so simple, then you do not belong there.

Here, let me give you a few tips on what to do to truly enjoy nature.

1. Clean As You Go. The world is not your trash bin. Don’t leave your trash anywhere. Put it in your pocket or in your bag. Bring it back with you and dispose it properly. Do this wherever you go.

2. Stop screaming at each other especially if you are only a few feet apart. I assume you are civilized individuals, so act like one.

3. Respect other hikers|mountaineers|campers. Again, some people climb mountains not only to challenge themselves but to relax and enjoy some peace of mind. Try not to get in anyone’s way. If you want music, there is such a thing as earphones.

4. Avoid liquors. Thing is, it is not safe. No matter what your guidebooks might say, the mountain is not without risk. Do not underestimate the mountain, it will not bow down to you. It is best to keep a clear head when you are outdoors. Even if you are hiking on a clear day, remain sober. Remember that trails can change and what appears to be a simple trail can easily turn deadly even when you’re not drunk.

5. Sit down, shut up, look at the world around you. Take it all in. Appreciate what you see then perhaps you will understand why it is important for us to preserve what little bit of nature we have left.

You see, we only have one planet and your kind keeps ruining it. Isn’t it enough that we havr already destroyed the lowlands with our pollution and now you have to go up there and destroy the mountains too?

We all have that one place that makes us happy. We all have places that we are most comfortable at. We all have that one place we would choose over the others if we are given the choice. For some of us, the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees, the view of the stars and the fresh mountain air are what makes us happy.

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*I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors. Proofreading via mobile is a challenge for me.*

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How Traveling Changed Me

I was the type of person who wants to explore but is too scared to do it on my own. I was the type who had to wait for others to invite me before I could get anywhere. I was that one person who is resigned to sit in my little bubble, safe and sound inside my comfort zone. Until one day I woke up and realized that by allowing my fear, I have doomed myself to a life of boredom and limited possibilities.

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I have always traveled with friends or family and never imagined myself traveling solo. I was scared. I don’t have a sense of direction and I don’t know how to budget. Heck, I don’t even know how to pack much more organize a trip in a place I have never been to before. So many questions were running in my mind. Foremost question was, can I actually do this? I was ready to give up.
The day I decided that I will not let my fears get in the way of my dreams is the day I learned what being free really means.  I have learned a lot in this few years that I have been traveling on my own. It still scares me, especially if I have my friends with me because I feel responsible for them, but I have now learned to be brave and face the uncertainties that are waiting for me.

I would say that I have changed a lot. In terms of perspective and in terms of how I deal with things. I have learned so much more, like…

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¤ Open-minded
When you travel, you meet different people from different cultures and diffierent walks of life and the exposure helps you see life in a different perspective. If you only face the same type of people for the rest of your life, you get a one-sided view of things. When you meet people with different backgrounds, you see and learn different things as well. No matter how short your exposure is, you don’t leave without learning anything. You become more accepting and more tolerant to people’s eccentricities. You see the world differently and you realize that there is more out there than your little bubble.

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¤ Independence
You think you are independent because you have a job and you pay your own bills but you’ll never know what real independence is until you learn to travel on your own. Outside of your comfort zone, life can be difficult. Can you survive? That is the question I always ask myself. You learn to find ways on your own without relying on your friends to bail you out. You learn to stand up for yourself more than you ever would if you stayed within your bubble.

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¤ Socializing and Networking
This may not make sense to people especially to those who has no problem mingling with people. For some, socializing is a normal, day to day thing. For a socially awkward introvert, this is a challenge. But when I started traveling alone I became more confident in dealing with people.

Being socially awkward, I tend to say or do the wrong things 99% of the time. Being an introvert, I prefer not to be with people (especially those I hardly know) 99% of the time because it is when I try to be the world’s idea of normal that I become even more awkward.

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Traveling alone, I learned to go out of my way and make friends. I learned to talk to people (remaining cautious) without sounding like a total dumberella. I learned to smile at strangers without looking like a weirdo. I am still socially awkward and introverted but at least these days, I can now join a conversation without feeling like a penguin in a desert.

¤ Enjoy without compromising safety
Like I’ve said, I now talk to people and even strangers. This doesn’t mean however that I just approach anyone.

Traveling alone taught me to be more discerning especially when dealing with people. I never let my guard down but I also don’t let my almost-paranoia ruin my travels. Being alone in a place where I do not know anyone, my safety is my concern. I observe things, pay attention to details, and always on the alert.

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I used to be the type who doesn’t care what happens to the world around me. I don’t pay attention and almost always gets lost in the process. I still get lost these days but not so much anymore.

¤ Be more assertive
I admit, I am not really the assertive kind of person. I prefer to go with the flow and just let people decide because I find it stressful to argue with anyone. When I started to travel alone, I learned to be assertive. I can’t be meek and pitiful when someone is trying to get my seat. I can’t just give way when I know that the other person is actually trying to take advantage of me.

I have to be more assertive in fending off creeps and weirdos who loves to prey on girls traveling alone. I have to be assertive when I encounter perverts who will do anything to harass you only becase you are a girl who is traveling alone.

¤ Resourcefulness, Flexibility
When you travel, you are bound to meet glitches along the way. No matter how carefully you planned your itinerary, something is bound to happen. For me, this taught me to always anticipate possibilities and be prepared at all times.

Whether you travel solo or in a group, you have to learn to be resourceful and take initiatives. When you are traveling solo and something happens, you need to think fast and find a solution. Flight cancelled? Too late to catch the last bus to your destination? Stranded in the middle of nowhere? Whatever problem comes your way, you have to be prepared to resolve it.

This is why i always research my destination before I go. I want to make sure that if worst comes to worst, I will know the way home. 

¤ Being alone doesn’t mean being lonely.
Perhaps one of the most important things I learned in life. I used to think it would be so sad to travel alone. I couldn’t imagine how it would feel to walk around, taking photos of yourself, eating alone surrounded by hordes of tourists who are often in a group. I used to imagine it would be even more awkward to sit alone in a corner while the rest of the crowd are happily enjoying their time with their families or friends.

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When I started traveling alone, I realized that it is actually fun to travel solo. You have more freedom and more time for yourself. You appreciate more the places you go to because you don’t have people badgering you take their photos or to pose for them. You just sit and enjoy the view.

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I think everyone should travel, it teaches you to be matured and responsible. Traveling opens our mind to a whole new perspective and teaches us more about people and culture than what we see in movies or read in books. Traveling gives us valuable lessons in life that changes us forever. It changes the way we see things and the way we deal with people.

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So if you want to explore, go out and exlore. Don’t wait for others to drag you out of your shell. Take the initiative and see the world for yourself. It will be scary but you will see so many beautiful things and will meet so many wonderful people along the way. Go ahead! Make your own path! Stop hesitating, you have a world to explore.

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*I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors. Proofreading via mobile is a challenge for me.*

My Not-So-Secret Identity: Travel Planner

Let me tell you a secret. I am a happy traveler but I am also a happy planner. Even though I often tell my friends how stressful it is to plan for a group vacation, I still relish the opportunity to do it.

In truth, I am at my best when I am creating an itinerary or organizing a travel plan. I love how it feels when I see my plans slowly fall into place. I love how it evolves from a simple idea to a fullfledge event.

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My almost-checklist. This is sort of a guide for me so I don't end up forgetting something important.

When I plan for my travels, I explore all possible venues and options. I create an itinerary for every possible situation. A back-up of a back-up. As much as possible I want my travels to be flexible but not too flexible that I am left wasting my time trying to decide what to do next.

I work best when I am figuring things out. I feel most comfortable when I am figuring out the best strategy to use so I can enjoy my vacation with less hassle and less expense.

When I am forced in a corner and pressured to think, I feel that, that is when I shine the most.

Sometimes I find myself thinking that I should probably just work as a travel consultant because this is where I am happiest. Sometimes I find myself thinking that if I have a lot of money, I would probably just open my own company specializing in helping people figure out their itineraries.

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Mock Itinerary. Gives me an idea of what to do.
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Incidentally, do you have suggestions for this trip?

I would love to help people organize their travel plans like coordinating for their transportation, accommodation and helping them get the most of their vacation. In my mind, it sounds so easy but I do know that it is quite difficult.

I can’t really verbalize this well. I’m trying to but my brain seemed to freeze everytime I try.

Anyway, here I am now planning for another trip. It won’t be until next year but I have already created a timeline and a mock itinerary. I am excited to fill it out in the coming months as we slowly finalize things. Well, I have at least 10months to plan for this. I promise this will be better planned than Sagada.

🙂

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*I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors. Proofreading via mobile is a challenge for me.*