In South America, I learned that the best days of my life haven’t happened yet
When I started this blog in South America, the goal was not to boast about places I’ve been to nor give tips on how to ‘tour’ a certain country. This blog used to be for my friends and family: to update them on what was going on with my life while I am a thousand miles away from home. I wanted to write honest and raw thoughts without expecting that people will read it. But they did.
Today, I became a life doctor instead of being the travel blogger everyone asks for tips and tricks. Every day, reader e-mails would pile up and they are not asking about itineraries, cheap flights or where to go. Most of them are going through a very rough time and thinks that travel will solve their problems. My inbox was filled with a series of dramatic messages about people’s lives that I am not allowed to discuss in public, of course. I am happy that people look at me as someone they can go to when they are going through something tough. After all, it’s so easy to open up to a stranger, right?
The problem is, everyone is so worried about how their life will turn out. I cannot blame them but I am bothered with this way of thinking.
When a heart-breaking episode happened to me three years ago, I never thought, not even in my wildest dreams that I will ever recover. I never would have imagined myself being the person I am today. I wasn’t fun, I lost my charm, I was a robot, I was boring as fck. But South America, the trip that changed my life took me to mountains and stars, the desert and the rain, the salsa and the beautiful Latinos who became a part of my whole being. They taught me that I am not a robot — that I am human and I can feel again.
I never believed that I will survive until I did.
South America gave me the things I never asked nor expected. I traveled the whole area by land, met some amazing people who are my friends up to now and had breath taking moments in the wonders of the world. I seriously couldn’t asked for more. Then I went home: changed, recharged, a new person. Just when I thought I can endure every confusion that will come my way, being home was depressing. I changed, but the people around me didn’t. I wanted to run away again because I felt there was no room for growth at home.
I wanted to go back to South America because I felt comfortable there. I often asked myself why did I ever leave? It is my home. It’s where I was truly happy. Why did I leave? Then something came: I had the chance to travel my country and it turned out well. Boracay parties left me dancing until 6am, I was able to attend my best girl friend’s wedding in Guimaras and tomorrow, I am on my way to Cebu. Spontaneous adventures came: I toploaded on a jeepney in Iloilo, slept on the sand underneath the stars, danced like no one is watching. These were memories that flowed underneath my skin. There were nights that I did not remember with the people I will never forget. But what I realised was no matter how much I hated being idle back home, it’s so easy to find a way to make myself happy.
I thought I will be really bored here and that my South America experiences were incomparable but life exceeded my expectations. It simply astonished me with its timing.
Come to think of it, I was constantly showered with happiness and I wasn’t even asking for it. I thought South America was already too much but this? This is a lot. They may not be material things but this is good enough for me. Sometimes, I think I don’t deserve to live a life like this but what I learned is to be always grateful. I look up, say thank you all the time even if I don’t know who I am thanking. It’s just feels good to give thanks.
“We often want it so badly that we ruin it before it begins. Overthinking. Fantasizing. Imagining. Expecting. Worrying. Doubting. Just let it naturally evolve.”
Lost, crossroads, confused — these are some of the words that my patients (readers) always use when they e-mail me. A 17-year old reader messaged me yesterday and said she is really confused with the path she will take. Oh wow, this is how 17 year olds think now? When I was her age, I was having fun, getting drunk, making mistakes. I never even thought of making it through college. Jesus, I was a teenager and I don’t think there’s anything else I needed to worry about but to be a child. To act my age.
I cannot say much to my “patients” because I don’t know them personally but what I always tell them is: The best days of your life haven’t happened yet. There are a lot of sunsets we haven’t seen and good souls we will fall in love with, food you haven’t tasted, places that made your heart jump up and down at the same time. A lot of you think I don’t have problems in life but I do, too. I also worry. I also doubt. I overthink. I fantasize. Today, I am writing this from my home in Subic Bay, Philippines and I have no idea what I am going to do next. Whenever this happens, I direct my energy to now because I know I will never figure life out and that the Universe has always something for me. I need not ask. I have programmed myself to accept that I don’t have control of things. I have trained my mind to be excited about not knowing what will happen next. I haven’t complained. I don’t want to put the puzzles together. I don’t want to plan. My life pretty much turned out well because of this. Now life excites me! Tomorrow is another day and I don’t need to think about it. Otherwise, I will just be wasting living “today.”
Always remember, we have not felt it all. The world has still so much to give us. The best days of our lives are about to happen. We don’t even need to anticipate nor wait. Just chill the fck out. Nobody’s got life figured out.
What are your best life experiences, traveling or not? I would like to hear your story! Share it on the comment box below!