Never in my wildest dreams I imagined myself being in Japan. But here I am, sitting by the window of an airport limousine bus on the way to Narita International Airport. We’re flying back to Manila by 5 pm today, after a week of indulging ourselves with the super cold weather, the efficient transpo system (even though we often find ourselves getting lost too many times), and lots and lots of Japanese food.
When I was a kid, I never really had the desire for travel. I’d like to think that when you grew up having one of your parents as an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker), there’s a possibility that you don’t want to associate yourself with airports and aircrafts. All my memories of airports when I was young were always about goodbyes, and the joy of having a complete family always felt like it has an expiration, which is normally in about a month or less.
I guess riding airplanes never really sparked any interest in me until I turned 21. It was the time when the word “travel” started to become less daunting. I have come to appreciate travel for all the good things it has to offer. That it doesn’t always have to mean leaving loved ones behind and sacrifice the memories you could’ve made with them.
I cannot recall writing down in my pre-teen journals the desire to travel the world, or atleast anywhere outside the safe places I have established for myself in the city where I grew up in. All I wanted to do when I was younger was to be able to play good music, and just write good thoughts. Pretty basic. I could be a good candidate for a hermit with the kind of lifestyle I was dreaming for myself. However, at 23, I have found joy in embracing the “living life like a nomad” mantra, after surviving to live in a city far away from home for almost a year.
There’s a common belief that travel changes us as a person. But doesn’t “travel” just set the stage for change to happen? I mean, it does have the potential to change our lives. But do we really allow it? How are we different when we get back home? How does it solve the issues you have before you even left? Does it guarantee that we will all become more adventurous, friendlier, less anxious, or even happier? Or does it become more of an escape? Because when the post-vacation high finally wears off, you’ll just find yourself dragging your feet and your whole being back to your normal every day.
I haven’t been to a lot of places in my lifetime. And that’s fine. I still have plenty of thoughts from this trip to help me reflect more about life and its uncertainties. I don’t even know if I’ll have the opportunity to do this again in the next years to come. But one thing’s for sure. Experiencing life in an unfamiliar place gives you the ticket to learn something new, hoping you’ll take it with you back home.
// This is me writing my thoughts, inspired by the things I’ve observed and experienced in a country which is not my home, while I’m still at this fuzzy state between the dreams I’ve never dreamed of and reality.