"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu
I am literally packing my bag for a short trip to Samar, that place I mostly abhor but despite that I am almost always drawn to it like a magnet. What ambivalence. If I have a genie in a bottle by now, I would still be confused, to say the least, if I will ask him to make Samar a nice place or bring me instead to Europe. I wish it is that easy.
Lately, my wish is to go somewhere where no one knows me and stay there and be part of the community. Someone recommended that I volunteer with VSO Bahaginan where I could travel and share my knowledge to certain communities. The lazy part of filling up forms and exhuming my relevant documents produced nothing, of course.
But honestly, I am wishing to travel again, without consideration to time and money. And the effort.
Among the places I have been to (and would like to go again!)-
Bohol. Yes. No matter how pure blooded Boholano I am, I would still love to go and explore my home province again and again. I am tired of those places you saw in promo collaterals. Some of them were glamorized to the max. Believe me, I have made several campaign collaterals for Bohol already. But people do not know there are unknown and outside of the tourist track places in Bohol where you can still enjoy a much appreciated quiet beauty. No noisy and nosy tourists and tour guides. Just you and nature alone. Like lovers staring into oblivion.
Bangkok. There is something in that place that I love to visit again. Not the bargains stuff or the sex things. No. I love Bangkok for its natural calmness despite the fast-paced life. No blowing of horns despite the traffic. Almost all places I’ve been to are literally clean. Even highways traversed by a lot of traffic. And the food. Wow. Just writing this article makes my mouth water.
Zamboanga. I think Zamboanga suffered from some degree of evasion by prospective tourists due to its proximity to Basilan, that place known for kidnappings and bombings. In fact, Zamboanga has also its threats years ago. But my recent visit, my second actually, Zamboanga is still the perfect city I wish I could go back from time to time. The city has a sense of maturity despite the fact they are trying to compete with the urban status others have imposed to cities. You know- the malls, transportation, call centers, etc. This is the city I would like to walk from the hotel and around.
Now the difficult task is where to go next. So many places to explore, so little money to spend. Or nothing at all. But who knows some readers here may bring me along with them for free. I wish!
Israel. Since I was young, I have wanted to go to Israel. The stories I heard and read about (the Bible, the Holocaust, the religions there, the tea, etc.) act like a magnet to me. Something is drawing me to that place. That’s beside the fact that my name is Hebrew. If I only have the money now, I would be there in no time.
Prague. UNESCO won’t be wrong if they named Prague a heritage place. I have never been there, and can’t even pinpoint it on the map, but its history is tempting enough for me to wish to go there. Culture, culture, culture. Prague is all about culture.
Anywhere in Africa. The dangers of Africa is embedded in me. Later when I grow older, I realized (based on my readings) that we all came from that place. That God-forsaken place media has shown the world- AIDS, famine, death, rogue tribes, cannibalism and District 9. I want to have my own perspective of that place.
Some places I would also like to visit- South America! (Imagine tango, virgin forests, Indians, and beauty contestants who always have a place in all beauty pageants around the world.); Australia (Ayers Rock, Sydney, Bondi Beach, Great Barrier Reef. Ahhhh!); the rest of Canada (I have only been to Alberta areas and Canada seems a great place to explore. And the people there are more friendly and warm.)
Meanwhile, I will go back now to packing my bag and prepare my trip to Samar.