What Travelling Has Told Me That Changed My Life

8:22:00 AM Christian Aligo 0 Comments

When I got my passport, I was already happy to have an additional valid ID. I had no idea it could lead me to a panorama not everyone has seen.

It is funny to recall that I even got reprimanded for extending my lunch break just to claim my passport at the DFA Office in Baguio City. A few years later, I found myself finally using it for both my personal and professional interests.

As a real estate marketing practitioner, I travel to accommodate Lancris homebuyers and train accredited property consultants. To add more pleasure to life, I sometimes find myself in the middle of rowdy and silly friends exploring beaches, top-of-the-world views, and historical sites. And every time I go home from a trip, I see a different person- a smarter one- in the mirror.

How did travel change my life? What did it tell me?

1. "Christian, kindly bring your own essentials!"

Talking about “essentials”, it took me 27 years to know what I need 24/7. And that is anti-spam meds which is hard to find during the rare needing times.

After eating various dishes including durian in Kuala Lumpur, I found my stomach not cool with it. I spent the night bearing some excruciating pain.

In Tagaytay, I could not enjoy the view because of my stomach. I found myself hating that I forgot to bring my meds.

Traveling institutionalized Buscopan or Hyocine in my pouch bag.

2. "Christian, OFW life is not as glamorous as everyone thinks."

Being deported because of an expired visa, escaping from a lazy husband, working two jobs in a day, investing in a scam, and sending money to lying family members are quite unexpected stories I have heard when I went to Osaka and Kyoto to assist OFWs in acquiring a property.

I could not have known about this reality if I confined myself within the bounds of our country. After that trip, I changed the way I see my OFW cousins—I now understand why they are not that vocal about their life abroad.

Life in the Philippines is much better, travel has taught me.

3. "Christian, it's the people and not the white sand! "

Believe it or not, all beaches have similar features like the fine sand, limestone formations, mangrove trees, etc. But what makes a beach experience memorable is actually the travel companion or the people of place. Yes, not the destination!

When La Union crosses my mind, I think of Ate Rosa who is my favorite to tease because of her healthy yet underutilized pair of boobs. When Caramoan is mentioned, I instantly think of Charlotte who came all the way from Baguio for the trip. When I remember Sombrero Island, I think of Joanne assisted me because I was sick the entire trip.

Palawan is special to me not because of their pristine beaches and beautiful sunrise. When I tell stories about my escapade there, I share how folks there worked just to make Isla Felomina a snorkeling capital. They are my new heroes.

Travel stories are not about the destinations. It is about the people we were with when we did the travel.

4. "Christian, there is more to the mountains!"

Because I was raised in Sagada, I am always associated with Sumaguing and the burial cave. Most of the time, I get the phrase, “maganda dun di ba?”.

When I traveled to Laguna for a roadshow, I had the chance to mingle with locals there who are native Tagalog speakers, Catholics, and live the typical Filipino lifestyle in the lowlands craving for ice cold drink and the comfort of an air-conditioned home in the middle of the day.

I realized I am different but I love discovering how we all meet at the same points like believing money should be spent with practicality, family first before friends, study to have a good future, etc. A typical Sagada native like me has a hard time speaking straight Filipino, an Anglican, and living the typical highlander lifestyle of craving for soup and the comfort of fireplace against the cold mountain weather.

Traveling made me realize how different we all are. But we all eat three times a day and all look for the love of our family.

5. "Christian, protect your life." 

While I was waiting for my flight in Cagayan De Oro back to Manila, I got annoyed with a group that was very rowdy. They were speaking a different tongue.

Crazy things started to run on my head like, “what if these are terrorists on the plane”, “what if I don’t make it home?” and other what if’s. I just prayed that the journey would end safely and it did despite the one-hour delay.

Upon landing, I started checking insurance programs. In the meantime, I find peace of mind in texting my mom and brother whenever I go on an out-of-town travel and of course praying to the Almighty.

Travel made me value my life more.

Sometimes I think of the money I and the Duraville Group of Companies spend on the holidays and business trips. But I always end up thinking money kept on the bank cannot buy me all the wisdom that has made my ongoing journey a very blissful one. 
I cannot believe that the money I spent on the passport and my stress from the memo reprimanding me for the over-break are but good investments. See the returns?

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