I Am Not A Traveler
*I actually wrote this while in Banaue when I was sick, waiting for an overnight bus, and avoiding some monster thunderstorms…
“Are you traveling or on a vacation?” I was asked by a young German hippie with long dreaded hair and as if trying to be sterotypical, wearing a bright tie died t-shirt. It was just after 2 a.m. and we were just making small talk as we stretched our legs during the second stop on a ten hour overnight bus.
I simply said, “I’ve been in the Philippines for three weeks and I’m headed home next week.”
“Ah, so you are on vacation. I have just started my travels, but I will be traveling for the next one year.” was his reply.
I met a lot of great people in my travels to Northern Luzon, most of which would fit the German’s definition of “traveling.” They had sold their stuff back home and had open-ended travel plans, they were on sabbaticals from their jobs for extended periods, in their gap year from University, or just dirty hippies with no plans or money. Of course all of them were European or Australian – this type of travelling is unthinkable to most people the States. And I know I would never actually do it myself either. But of course I’ve thought about it – I enjoy it when I do it, so why not try to do it for longer?
(Batad, Northern Luzon)
I don’t know what changed for me while travelling the Philippines, but for some reason, even if given the opportunity, I’m not sure if I would want to do it.
I left Colorado nearly six weeks ago and I’m ready to get back. Despite the amazing (amazing!) places I’ve seen, I think I’ve felt antsy for about a week now. I’d like to not be unpacking/repacking my bags every couple days, not consistently searching for a place to stay and how to get there, and not be sitting at airports, hotel lobbies, or run down bus stations in a bad part of town for long stretches of time. I would like to have constant power throughout the night, to use a toilet that doesn’t involve a bucket to flush it, not have to worry about running out of cash because there’s no ATM within 100 miles, and not be washing my sweat-drenched clothes in the cold shower each night.
I miss my dog, miss my friends/family, and in some way, miss a routine. Of course I fall in to ruts with a routine. Everyone does. But at least my weekends change all the time and are rarely stagnant, especially during the summer. I’m really itching to get back on my mountain bike, to get out hiking and camping, and to not only plan some backpacking trips this summer, but some even bigger road trips for the fall.
Wifi has been abysmal throughout the Philippines, but over the last few weeks when I did hop on Facebook, I hate to say that a part of me was almost jealous of friends pictures from Moab, Grand Canyon, Cali, or Great Sand Dunes. (Yes, I am aware the weather in May SUCKED in Colorado.) #MyLifeIsYourVaction is partly a joke for us Coloradans, especially in the mountains, but it has never rang truer for me than towards the end of this trip. I’m heading back to the States in a few days, but am very, very lucky that I’m really just going back to continue my ongoing trip. Just with a little work, routine, and luxuries mixed in there.
(Home, Sweet Home)