As much as I deny it, Baguio holds a very dear place in my heart. I have never really had the guts to venture out of it in my two decades of existence, let alone imagine leaving it and living somewhere else. I’ve always thought that Baguio was the perfect mix of urban and rural – city-like enough to keep you sane but province-like enough to keep you humbled. Baguio is my comfort zone; somewhere I can get lost in but have the assurance that regardless of where I go, I am safe. Last year was the first time that I ever left my safe little bubble and enjoyed another area or country. And because of that experience, I am now hooked on this high that leaving gives me. Yes, I have the travelbug. Wanderlust. Incredibly satisfying but an agonizing experience at the same time.
One of the most difficult things to deal with when you have wanderlust, for me, is the fact that I don’t really have money to just get up and leave the city at any whim. My trips are strategically planned so that I can spend months saving money in order to use it all in a week’s time. Yes, I save almost 80% of each month’s salary in order to pay for my trips. I do this because I do not want to have to ask my mom for money in order to pay for my experiences. If I want to go somewhere or do something, I use my own money. And I’m pretty proud of this considering I’ve been able to fund several domestic trips and an international one in this year alone.
Six months into 2014 and I’ve already been to Vietnam, Cebu, Coron, Subic, and Sagada. All of which I’ll be writing about pretty soon. 🙂 I admit, travelling to these places has put a major dent in my bank account but I never regret feeling (or actually being) broke after my trips. The experience of being in unfamiliar territory, discovering it, and enjoying it is something that no amount of money in the bank can ever compete with. I’m really looking forward to the next few months since I already have several trips planned. This July, my high school friends and I are finally going on a long overdue out-of-town trip. Since most of my friends have work, or have extremely strict parents, this is the first time that we’re going to actually leave Baguio as a group. August has a homecoming in store. Paolo arrives on August 6 and I plan to be the first familiar face he’ll see as soon as he arrives in the Philippines. And of course, with Paolo back, this means that we can have one last escapade before school starts for him. In October, I’m finally going to go on my first solo trip. Although it isn’t out of the country as I originally had hoped for, I’ll get to do something I’ve always wanted to do (clue: baby sea turtles!). And lastly, I plan to end December with another international trip, this time with Paolo in tow. We have our hearts set on Cambodia but maybe (just maybe) I’ll end up visiting his home before the year ends (keeping my fingers crossed).
There is only one other feeling that rivals the high I get when I pack up and leave Baguio to discover a new place – coming home. Being enveloped by the fog and the cold, crisp air that meets me as soon as I reach the city is something I always look forward to. And coming home to my mom and our dogs is something my heart always yearns for. Yes, I enjoy leaving but I also love coming back.