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 were already unfolding in my very own eyes.
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 to 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 about how travel also changed my life. Here are five things I can say about 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.
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 send 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.
I Lost My Fear of Being Alone
I have to admit that being alone used to be one of my greatest fears in life. This is somehow ironic because I am an introvert, and I enjoy spending time alone 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 I would hesitate to introduce myself first because I used to be very withdrawn and aloof.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 of 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.
I Became Open-Minded About Different Religions
Here is an embarrassing admission; I used to be afraid of interacting with people who doesn’t share the same belief as I do. 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 into 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 patterns, 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.
Travel changed me and shaped me to have an extraordinary outlook on 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.