I owe this to myself to my family, friends who supported me and gave me their unwavering understanding despite my silence exactly 2 years ago today when I left Philippines for Vietnam.

I never knew that this day will be today, the day that I will finally be able to admit to myself the real reason why 2 years ago I set off to travel without future plans nor any foresight of what I’ll do next. That oblivion I was willing to traverse 2 years ago. That oblivion that lead me to one conclusion, the yearning to run away…

2 years ago, I left the job that gave me the opportunity to discover my full potential, left my colleagues who showed me nothing but support and fate in my abilities, 2 years ago, I quit my job.

2 years ago, I left Philippines and took some time off on being a responsible bread-winner to my brother and my grandmother, for months, I left them behind and let myself be absorbed by the pain I was feeling that time… I quit not only my job, but I quit my purpose of being the family’s only source of support and strength. Guess I can say, 2 years ago, I quit my purpose.

Being an orphan at the age of 13, I’m accustomed to looking after my family’s welfare. The responsibility to look after my family was tasked over my shoulder, and that time I spent quitting on my purpose. It felt like my existence is no better than a dust in the wind. I felt guilty for dwelling into the pain that I feel and allowed it to get the best of me.

2 years ago, I was destined to move to a country where I’m more than sure that challenges await me on whether I’m gonna do well with a new job or I’m gonna fail as a foreign worker and end up not supporting my family. All of those questions… were never answered… I never made it to Japan.

Vietnam became my cradle, the replacement country of where I was really supposed to be. She was the witness of how many tears I cried and how many sleepless nights I had dealing with the pain, that back then, seems to be infinite.

Now I had the opportunity to get back to Hanoi, Vietnam and now heading back to my second home, Singapore. It seems that the twist of fate is on me, as today is exactly the same day I first set foot in Vietnam, April 20, 2012. Until now, I’m boggled of this coincidence… exactly the same day! The only difference? 2 years ago I boarded the plane with a heavy heart, today I am boarding with a very light heart, excess baggage in my luggage and not in my voyage.

Vietnam have witnessed me differently this time around, no tears nor pain, only hope, excitement and a positive attitude to what awaits me in the future.

This event had to happen exactly the same day for me to see how changed I was 2 years ago. How I was feeling and how I deal with my emotions back then. I’m glad to say that Vietnam witnessed a matured and learned me. And this has to happen for me to see that I am bound for a different purpose and that is to serve other people an not to have ,my own family just yet, as I know deep inside me, I still have a promise to make, a promise to touch people’s lives in my own small ways.

I am not saying I am now an expert and perfect when it comes to relationship, I know I still have a lot of things to learn, but what this event showed me is that, what’s important is you discover how capable you are of sacrificing your own plans in return for a higher purpose and more meaningful happiness of others.

I know right now, I have friends who are undergoing what I went through couple of years back, and if you’re one of them reading this, I encourage you to travel, find that different side of you and learn. Traveling will open your eyes to a bigger life, get out of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to wander into the unknown, the fear of the unknown is worse than the comfort of the known. Go out there! Widen your horizon and before you know it, that world you are living in is just part and parcel of what the world can offer you.

Travel my friend, the experience it will give you will not only help you heal, it will let you discover other side of you and you will find out that you are stronger than what you think you are.

2 years ago, 2 stamps in my passport, 94 to uncountable tears. Today, 94 stamps 2 visas and
1 million x 100 no regrets on the decision I made 2 years ago…

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Vietnam, you have witnessed the beginning and the end of this chapter of my life.. C’morn (thank you) for showing me what traveling can do in my life….

APRIL 20, 2014

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