This is my winning entry for Traveloka's 'How Travel Changed My Life' Contest. :)

Whether it be good or bad, travel does change a person’s life. As for me, it changed my whole outlook towards everything. Some of them, I didn’t even notice was already unfolding in my very own eyes.

El Nido, Palawan

I happened to love the idea of traveling at a young age because of my mother. At a young age, she left the comforts of her home in the highlands of Camarines Sur. She has traveled several provinces in the Philippines, before she decided to settle here in Cebu and marry my father.

When I asked her if she ever regretted anything, she just said,”No, because travel changed my life for the better.”

It got me thinking how travel also changed my life. Here are five things I can say how it changed mine.

I Learned How To Be Mindful of My Spending Habits

The first few years of my travel journey were so expensive. I remember how improvident I was when I went to Baguio, Puerto Princesa, and El Nido in 2013. I would spend a lot of money in one place alone, without thinking about the consequences.

El Nido, Palawan

After several trips around the Philippines, and meeting different travelers, I have now learned how to spend my money wisely. And it didn’t just end in my travels. I have also made it a habit to spend wisely in everything that I do, even when I am only at home.

The Ruins” Talisay City, Negros Occidental | This is where I became fascinated of budget traveling. I went backpacking with my best friend around Bacolod and nearby city for three days and only spent 3,500 pesos!

I Lost My Fear of Being Alone

Osmena Peak | Mantalongon, Dalaguete, Cebu

I have to admit; being alone used to be one of my greatest fears in life. Which is somehow ironic because I am an introvert, and I enjoy spending time alone with myself. But traveling alone is different, especially when you are in a foreign place. Yet over the years of traveling, whether I go solo or not, I learned how to face this fear. I have now forgotten what it is to be bored, because even when traveling solo, you will never be alone. There will always be new people to meet, new places to visit, and new food to eat. Being in this world itself, constantly existing with the cosmos, is enough proof that man will never be alone.

I Became Confident in Interacting With People From Different Walks of Life

I used to have this social awkwardness towards meeting new people. I guess it is just the introvert in me. I would hesitate to introduce myself first, because I used to be very withdrawn and aloof. But years traveling kind of forced me to change this attitude. Traveling to places and meeting new people helped me a lot how to interact with people, whether they be old or not. Right now, I can confidently say that I have gotten over my persistent social detachment from others.

My best friend and I met this 80-year old grandpa who became our guide while trekking the majestic Seven Waterfalls of Mambukal. We were in awe of his strength and endurance!

I was given the opportunity to interact with some of the members of the Ati tribe while my blogger friends and I went river cruising at Loboc River in Bohol.

I befriended some local kids when I went biking around Olango Island, Cebu.

My friends and I went backpacking from Central Luzon to Calabarzon for 6 days. We were lucky to meet Ate Precy who became our all-around guide in Zambales.

I Became Open-Minded About Different Religion

St. Gregory the Great Parish Church | Ginatilan, Cebu

Here is an embarrassing admission; I used to be afraid of interacting with people who doesn’t share the same belief as I. I know, I am ashamed to admit that. I am a non-conformist believing in Universalism, but before I became that, I used to be a girl whose life revolved around a particular belief. Meeting people from my travels kind of shaped me who I am today. I am thankful for that change because now, I no longer judge people based on their religion.

It Helped Me Deal With Depression

Early 2015 to late 2016 was probably the darkest moment in my life. It was at this point that I almost lost hope of existing in this world. It was so terrible that it affected my whole demeanor, eating habits, sleeping pattern, relationships with family and friends, and my passion for anything. Because of that, I went on a four-month hiatus from blogging. I stopped doing all the things that I used to love. But one thing I didn’t stop doing was traveling. It was difficult sometimes because experiencing unfavorable circumstances on the road would heighten my anxiety. Yet that experience kind of toughen me up and helped me deal with my depression. I am happy to say that I have become a better person because of that.

Ponong Lake | Samboan, Cebu

Travel changed me and shaped me to have an extraordinary outlook in life. You know, life is never going to get any easier. Just when you think you have already figured it out, you will suddenly be surprised that you have far more things to go through. But one thing is for sure; traveling will always change me for the better.

#TravelokaPH #WhyITravel #TravelokaStories

This is my official entry for Traveloka's 'How Travel Changed My Life' Contest.

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