It has been 7 months since I did my solo backpacking trip to Vietnam and Cambodia , and now I find myself in Singapore.
I remember clearly that I made a promise to myself that I will write about how I felt about my backpacking trip.
Ever since I was young, people around me specially my late mom knew that I am such a “lakwatsera”, Filipino term for wanderer. And as I grow old and matured, this certain characteristic of mine grew stronger. 3 years ago I ended a 6 years relationship due to one thing, “settling down”. My boyfriend back then wanted to settle down already and start a family, but I was at the peak of my strongest realization that I want to travel and see as many place as I can. And I’m just not yet ready to settle down even before I can go out there and see the world. And the main reason was that he is not into traveling. Yes he will travel, but because it’s what I want not what he wants for himself.
After sometime I got into another relationship again, this one was different, he loves to travel and curious with the world like me, but as different as he is to my previous one, we’re also in a different situation, we were on a long distance relationship. I thought at first we can manage to stay to be in a long distance relationship but just like other LDR, ours didn’t work out. The distance is just too much, and we were both at the peak of growing and realizing what we want in life, and one of which is that I realized I can’t handle long distance relationship. To be in it is like you have to have a special talent. Just like singing, everyone can sing but not anyone has the voice. This was a good realization for me actually, it made me know what I really want and set atleast conditions before I get into the next relationship, the next time will definitely not going to be a long distance relationship. Another one is that he has to be a traveler by heart. Meaning to say that by nature he is as curious as me, I don’t want to drag or change a person from what he is not. I also discover this when I was traveling.
I was out backpacking for 5 weeks, and without exaggeration this was the longest time in my life that I spent time realizing so much things. First of which is that I realize I envy couples that travel, mostly couple backpackers, in fact after I came back from the trip, I did a lot of research about couples traveling and learned a lot and so I decided to have that criteria on my next relationship. He should be a traveler by heart so that we can share both our passion in life. And we can actually nurture the relationship while on the road or traveling. I know that traveling can really make or break a relationship specially when you travel for long time together. I started to write down some things I noticed from traveler couple and non-traveler couple.I will blog about it on a separate entry but I made a decision that I really want to take that road, to be with a guy who is a traveler by heart. Yes he can be working for a company or have his own business ow what have you, the important thing is by nature he wants to travel. That the force to travel is coming from within him not just by being influenced. When I traveled by myself I did all the planning and preparation so I knew to be a traveler is innate. Some people spend their time learning the instrument it’s just the same case with traveling. If traveling is really one’s passion he will find more reasons to do it than not to do it.
While I was traveling I met a guy that has been traveling for almost a year non-stop. He is older than me and more experienced when it comes to traveling, I learned a lot of tips from him when traveling, things as basic as how to tie your backpack when checking in at the airport, he also gave me the idea of a good towel to bring when traveling so it doesn’t eat much space in your back pack or doesn’t consume so much weight. I realized “oh boy, i still got so many things to learn traveling”. A beginner backpacker can be easily spotted, older and more pro backpackers are more learned and relaxed while I still get to panic once in a while. But I think that’s normal, to get scared once in a while. While traveling, we never ran out of things to tell, majority of which were about his 1 year travel stories. He sky dive in New Zealand, broke a rib in a car accident in Bolivia (not sure if I remember correct thou) and experienced food poison in Cambodia and Vietnam. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I have to listen to myself and the signs I’m showing.
It will take a special guy to understand this, special in a sense that he knows how it feels to yearn to travel, knows how a curious- to-travel mind is and most importantly knows that a traveler is a very different kind of person for he or she have seen so many things in life already.
I remember I messaged a traveler I met in Cambodia, and asked her how she’s doing after traveling, and if life is back to normal with her. and she said she’s ok but a lot of things back in her home changed… It was something my mind got interested in and asked her, “Lydia, do you think it’s our surrounding back home that changed? or could it be us ?” and to her surprise it came to her as a realization too.. that indeed when you travel for a long time, and then you come back, you will be a different person…