Since I was a little girl, I had always enjoyed going on trips. Getting inside our car meant arriving at a new destination or an old favorite to visit family and friends. Growing up, the thrill of travel never left me. However, none of the people I knew had that same passion for travels. *sigh*
One early weekend morning, as I was browsing the dailies, I came upon a travel article in the lifestyle section. It talked about this (worldwide) travel organization that lets you travel cheaply mostly by having a free place to stay at and make new friends while you’re at it since members offer either their couch or their time. It was my first encounter with Couch Surfing and I was amazed!
Unfortunately, I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name of the org! It was a year or two later that I encountered it by chance online and immediately signed up. CS has allowed me to go to different places within (and out) of the country because if, say, I’d be intimidated to travel on my own to a certain place, I would only have to start a thread about where I want to go to on the forum and other willing travelers would respond. Also, I can just arrange to meet up with the locals of certain areas over a cup of tea or over a meal which is more often the case. With this set up, I found the courage to travel on my own. :D
Traveling in the Philippines
Traveling out of the country’s always an adventure but I find myself addicted to traveling within our own. The Philippines with its more than 7,000 islands made sure I’d keep wanting more and more! ;) However, aside from our breath taking landscapes (from rice terraces to caves to karst mountains♥), wonderful water/seascapes (Boracay, Palawan and Bohol to name a few) and fauna (from whalesharks, to stingless jellyfish, to tarsiers), the people I meet in my travels definitely played a part for me to have that positive experience. :)
The People I Met
Case in point, for my trip to Davao, we went out partying til the wee hours and so I wasn’t in the best shape the next day. Sore throat. Hoarse voice. By the end of that day my feet were injured too from too much friction with the sands and my sandals. I was feeling bad and unhappy. Still, we went to a dinner hosted by a dive instructor with his partner whom we both met the other night. They served us delicious foods and Marilou (our host), upon seeing (and hearing my voice) the state I was in set about to try her best to fix me up. Not yet finished with her own meal, she got up and busied herself with grating some ginger. A few minutes later, she gave me her home-made concoction of honey-ginger tea for my throat. I was in love! It tasted so good and felt soooo nice! I thought she was making something for her partner turns out it was all for me. Thank you so very much, dearest! My companion seeing it, wanted some too so she made one more. hehe When the others went out to smoke some shisha and eat some durian, she stayed with me and bade me to lie on their couch so I could rest/ nap for a while. Knowing I had injured my feet, she got some antibiotics and band aid that I can put on my wounds. I was a very happy and contented person by the end of the night! :D
On another trip, this time to Cagayan de Oro, a local (Ann) met up with us so that she can show us around her city. She brought us to her favorite hang out place, met her friends and got toured by them too!
I’ve gone on trips wherein the main purpose was to volunteer. I’ve traveled with people who are advocates of different causes and vocal supporters of tourism of their (and/or adopted) localities.
Aside from the locals, both the people that I traveled with and those that I have met on the road who travel just for the love of it truly amaze me! They have this passion and thirst for life; there is this need to experience new culture; and they are open to everything. Their lives are being changed by the people they meet and they in turn are touching the lives of the locals they’ve encountered along their journey.
I’ve had many similar experience from all over and it’s one of the main reasons why I think every person is (innately) good, kind and generous. Experiences like these bring out the best in everyone and hopefully make this a better place for all. :)
This is an entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival themed “Unforgettable Human Encounters on the Road”. Hosted by Marky of Nomadic Experience for the month of September 2011.
To read more previous Blog Carnival entries, check out this site.