As a Solo Filipina traveler, I’ve been asked a lot by people:
- Why Do You Travel a Lot?
- How Come You Travel So Much When You are Poor?
- Why Do You Travel Solo?
The actual message I received on my Facebook messenger:
- No experience working abroad ever.
- My working experience in an office at IT Park in Cebu was just for 10 months (regular employee). I quit due to health reasons and it was a low paying job.
- Not a Bachelor Degree Holder – I quit studying during the 3rd year of college in 2008 (took up Bachelor of Science in Information Technology) due to financial problem and to some disappointments. But I was a late graduate in Associate in Computer Technology in 2014 as I finished 2 years in college.
- I don’t have a rich family.
- I’m single and I don’t have a boyfriend. It was me who broke up with an ex after being 6 years in a relationship. If you asked me why I broke up with him, that’s another story.
Question #1: Why Do You Travel a Lot?
A Facebook follower sent me a question and good thing it’s a multiple choice type of question. I cracked a laugh with all the choices and the possible answer is E. Brokenhearted. How I wish it would be A, B, C, and D. Traveling and having a lot of money won’t be a problem.
Answer #1: Being Brokenhearted (2013)
If you have read my previous blog post about ‘How Travel Improves My Life?‘, I wrote my thoughts in a raw manner (no grammar check, no proof reading). My first out of the country was Malaysia. From then on, I promised myself to travel yearly in a different country.
Answer #2: Fibroadenoma/Surgery (2014)
I’ve been traveling in different provinces of the Philippines already. After our Camiguin trip, I was scheduled to undergo biopsy. A person I’ve never met paid my hospitalization. If you have read my previous blog post about ‘A Stranger Paid for My Surgery to Pursue my Love of Travel to Hong Kong‘. That was my second heartbreak.
So another raw article I wrote, ‘How a Painful and Traumatic Health Threat Forced Me to Travel More?‘ where I described everything. Reading it again reminds me the pain I experienced. It was the worst.
Another promise was made that I would be traveling a lot like YOLO. A friend paid for my one-way ticket to Palawan. Somehow, Palawan healed me with wonderful memories.
After Palawan, I made it to Hong Kong and Macau. I came back home to attend my college graduation. Congratulations!
Answer #3: Canada Visa Denial (2014)
Before the year ended, I got my passport with no Canada visa. I needed to move on and I was able to book for Japan. Not just Japan, I was able to book a flight to Malaysia (home base for a volunteer work) as I was planning a solo backpacking trip.
Answer #4: My Father’s Hospitalization and Death (2015)
I almost not made it to my first solo trip to Japan although my Canadian client forced me to pursue it since I was really stressed. Pursuing almost two weeks in Japan while my father was sick was a terrible idea but being the only person who was earning money that time, I had to save myself or I’ll get stressed. The rollercoaster ride experience in Japan helped me to scream out my stress. What happened in 2014 was traumatic for me. Yes, I’m prone to emotional stress.
I have a confession: While I was booking flights for Japan and Malaysia in 2014, suddenly, an envision just appeared in my mind. Something bad would happen to my father while traveling. I shook my head saying it would never happen. My father died while I was in Malaysia. Anyway, that’s another story full of drama.
Although I just booked Japan and Malaysia, I got an unplanned visit to Hong Kong, an invitation to Thailand while I was in Malaysia, pursuing Singapore and Japan again due to different reasons and mixed emotions: I missed my flight, stranded somewhere, emotional stress, watched Maroon 5 concert and dealt my sadness alone during the fall season in Japan.
Related Article: How Travel Changed My Life?
Answer #5: Getting More Adventurous (2016)
Although I had my third heartbreak in 2016, I cried a lot because I was expecting too much. Gosh, never again. I was given the opportunity to get myself certified as a scuba diver. Just traveling monthly in the Philippines then I was able to visit Taiwan twice in November and December.
Answer #6: Denied South Korea Visa (2017)
This article I wrote about South Korea Visa Refusal has been the most searched topic on Google and it’s on Top 1 on Page 1. A lot of people can relate to the situation. In that post, you will learn how was I able to move on from a failed trip to South Korea.
Answer #7: Living Independently (2017)
I moved out due to a family problem and it was too much already. You can read here all my thoughts here, ‘Living Independently – What It Feels Like Moving Out and Living on your Own?‘. Although I feel sorry for leaving my mom again (yes, I was in Cebu for a week), but I am still praying for her recovery from a surgery while I chose to be away. I flew back in Palawan finding my peace. My presence at home is not good for her and to my siblings. I got frustrated due to some factors. My mind wanted to stay but my I needed to save my sanity and to find my peace.
I have a confession: What happened to my mom was unexpected. My father and I had a heart to heart talk before he died. I have issues with my brother and he’s the reason why I moved out.
Okay, so how can I say this? In 2014, after my surgery on my breast, my brother and I had an argument due to his usual self as an irresponsible person. As being selfish as he is, he cursed me that I would have cancer in the later years. The moment he cursed me for cancer, another visualization just occurred in my head that it was my mom.
I was in Taiwan (my 4th time) last June 2017 when I received the news from my sister. My mom got diagnosed with cervical cancer. I thank my aunt and her husband and other relatives who helped my mom for her hospitalization. To be honest, I wasn’t ready for it.
Question #2: How Come You Travel So Much When You Are Poor?
Answer #1: Some Friends Do Invite Me
Some friends do invite me. Sometimes it’s an all-expense paid just because a friend won in a singing contest. Or I got messages from the readers of this blog who would like to meet me and show me around if I’m in the same place.
Yes, I am poor. I am not rich. It took me several years to save money: How I Saved 100K Philippine Pesos to Travel 5 Countries in 2015?
Answer #2: Travel Blogging Invitation
The perks of a travel blogger, although I am not doing this professionally, being part of a travel blogger group or a blog contributor has the advantage. You get invitations or be a representative to cover a travel event for hostels, hotels, and guesthouses, trying out their adventures and other services they can offer related to travel.
This is how I got invited for a trip to Samar: 3 Days 2 Nights Itinerary Calbayog City, Samar
Answer #3: Be-friending the Locals, They Will Show You Around
Other perks of a solo traveler, you have the chance to meet the locals who are willing to show you around. Some of the locals are interested to listen to your stories. When you’re in a different country which can’t speak English, they love to talk to you for conversation. Solo travel gives me surprises.
The locals in El Nido invited me for an island hopping: The Second Time Around in El Nido, Palawan with Free Island Hopping Tour
Question #3: Why Do You Travel Solo?
Answer #1: I Enjoy My Own Company
There are moments when I just wanted to be alone. Although alone, I get the chance to meet other people. Sometimes, I’m okay not to talk to anyone and stay being aloof. If I get the vibe of the person, expect me to be talkative and have a funny conversation due to travel misfortunes and mishaps.
Answer #2: An Overnight Stay is Not Enough
Some friends invite me to travel with them but there are chances I just decided to extend and stay longer in a place. Even though the initial plan was to stay overnight, I would have just extended three days to a week. An overnight stay is not enough for me anymore.
Answer #3: My Friends Can’t Keep Up with my Travel Schedule
I always score cheap flights out of the country so I always find myself traveling solo. Although I have invited some of my friends to travel with me, it’s just that they can’t keep up with my schedule. Most of them are working in an office so they can’t easily take a vacation leave.
Some friends decide to drop the planned trip but I always see myself pursuing it alone. Still, I have no worries. I can still enjoy my trip and take beautiful photos.
Answer #4: Solo Travel Gives me Surprises
The beauty of solo travel gives me surprises. Although some friends decide not to pursue the trip because of some reason, I can meet locals who are willing to show me around. Sometimes I bumped with celebrities and take a selfie with them. I can meet other solo backpackers and be travel buddies for a while.
Meet online friends in person at last, as if you’ve been friends for a long time. Just randomly go to a bar and be crazy from evening until morning. A chance of seeing other traveling friends again who happens to be in the same place as you are like you’re having a reunion reminiscing how all of you first met.
Answer #5: I Can Work Anywhere
The perk of a digital nomad is that I can bring my work everywhere as long as there is wifi. Since no one’s pressuring me to get back to the office, I’ll just stay a few more days in the hostel where I can work in the morning and go surfing in the afternoon. Or go snorkeling in the morning and work in the afternoon.
Good times in Taiwan: iVideo Pocket Wifi – A Filipina Digital Nomad Experience in Taiwan
Answer #6: I Have my Time of Freedom – Be Spontaneous!
The last but not the least, I have my time of freedom even though I have less money. The reason why it’s easy for some people to invite me because I can go anytime and anywhere I want to. I can easily extend if I want to as I don’t have to rush myself going home just to catch up work on another day. I have more time than money, to be honest.
Most of the time, I just enjoy being myself and go with the flow.
So why do you travel a lot? Has anyone received the same question? What’s your answer? Comment your answers below. 🙂