T R AV E L I S S U E
expensive, and I realized that I couldn’t afford to stay there for six months. I came home after a month as originally scheduled, and found myself draining what was supposed to be my “untouchable” savings as I wallowed in my posttrip depression and grappled with plans for the future. Somehow, even in my unemployment, I was able to sneak in a trip to Boracay, but that only led to me being so deeply indebted to my parents that when I finally found a new job, my first few paychecks all went into paying off debts. As we arrived in CDO, I thought about all the trouble I go through just to travel and wondered why I even bothered to go anywhere at all. Some people stay in their own cities all the time, perfectly settled. So what if I feel rather like a wilted flower if I go for some time without having gone anywhere? I could have sucked it up and lived with it. I sulked even more. Meanwhile, another friend, Hussain, was still trying to talk me out of my mood. “You should be grateful, you’ve been to so many places,” he said. “I’m just grateful for what I have.” I tried to defend myself, but I knew he was right. I was being ungrateful even if I had so much to be grateful for. I had an Instagram filled with photos. More importantly, I had the stories behind those photos. I had friends all over the world, and we had the best non-romantic Meet Cutes. (I had a couple of romantic ones as well). I had memories of sunsets and brackish water, and rainbows appearing at just the right moments. Most importantly, I had a few hundred pesos left, and still a long way to go.
The memories, the stories, the interesting company—these are the reasons that Thought Catalog articles, BuzzFeed lists, and Tumblr instaquotes give when they encourage young people to travel. “Be selfish,” they encourage. “Never touch the ground.” Careers, master’s degrees, and savings accounts can wait. There is no better time to travel than when you’re young and
Being young and hungry to see the world can be incredibly difficult, especially if,your salary is on the meager side of modest. it’s still appropriate to be wild and free. One simply needs to be on the reckless side of responsible and accept that while traveling often has no assurance of a secure financial future or a stable career, more often than not, a trip will be worth whatever it is you gave up or gambled for it. Bank accounts, insurance, a car, a retirement fund, all the trappings of a responsible adult life—while these are certainly important, I don’t
think anyone’s youth should revolve around them. You will never be more able than you are now to climb mountains and walk distances, befriend strangers, and laugh at inconveniences. More importantly, it may also be that you will never want to see the world more than you want to now. That was something I came to terms with when, after my little outburst and subsequent chastisement, we finally decided to go to Iligan. When we left, I spent the last of my cash buying a bus ticket. Krista spotted for me for the rest of the trip, as if it were tradition that whenever I ran out of money on the road, someone, whether friend, family, or stranger, would always help me out one way or another. At the Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan, the pink sunset cast the trees in silhouette, and I faced it full-on. When the sun finally set and the stars started coming out, we walked to the highway and waited on the side of the road, waving our arms at each passing vehicle like proper hobos. At that point, we were on the brink of being completely broke and our bodies ached after a full day of swimming in lagoons and climbing up and down the side of a mountain to see waterfalls. We walked on anyway, and I knew whatever happened to us then—whatever happened to us ever—we had nothing to worry about. We had our feet and our wide open eyes, and more ways to go, and more things to see. In my experience, those have always been enough to go by.
Scout Magazine | scoutmag.ph | 15
Scout 3.indb 15
9/22/2014 12:01:32 PM
Published on Sep 1, 2014
Published on Sep 1, 2014
Scrappy. Creative. Curious. These are the words that describe Scout, the only free publication designed for millennials that focuses on the...