Featured writer: Angel Bombarda
We all travel for many reasons, and mine are much deeper than just wanting a vacation.
The view from the plane window. Bali to Singapore, 2011
Last year was my first time to travel out of the country, and I was gone for almost half a year. But growing up, traveling was a luxury I couldn’t afford. I had to be content with sending off relatives to airports. As a young girl, I was fascinated by planes and airports. I would wonder what was waiting at the other side of the wall after my relatives got through security. I often envied my grandmother, who would go from the US to the Philippines anytime she wanted, at least when she was still strong enough to do it.
I also remember hearing stories about my grandfather who always wanted his grandchildren to be able to go to Disneyland. My aunt brought him there once, and my lolo felt like he was too old to be there, but he wanted his grandchildren to experience it. It’s a nostalgic reason, but I travel for my grandfather, who passed away many years ago when I was too young to remember him clearly, but who wanted his grandchildren to be able to see the most magical place on earth. I still haven’t been to Disneyland though, but I have been to the States so somehow, it will do.
At an airport in Japan, on the way to Detroit.
Last year, I was able to finally get inside an airport, and fly on my own. It was a number of firsts for me: first trip outside the Philippines, first time to fly, first time to fly on my own…and I was hooked. I know a lot of people can say they love traveling, but not a lot will say that they like flying. Well, I, for one, love flying as much as I love traveling.
This was my first time to board a plane this way! Siem Reap, 2011
I know it can be difficult sometimes, what with baggage and security, and all the hassle that comes with it. But I think that it’s such a wonderful thing, being able to fly. I once watched this interview where the guy was saying that we fail to realize that when we are in a plane, we are on a seat flying in the sky. It’s like the ultimate roller coaster ride.
And I love the energy of airports too- of people leaving and coming back, of people chasing their dreams and coming home. For me, it means being at the entrance of a world of possibilites. That’s what I felt like when I traveled last year. I was going to a place where anything was possible, and I could be anything I wanted to be.
Coming home to the Philippines after my exchange in Singapore
When I look back, I believe that traveling somehow saved me, and I traveled because I needed to be saved. It gave me a chance to create an experience with my father who passed away a couple of years ago. I believe that I got from him this desire to wander off on my own. It was traveling that allowed me to get away, to learn as a student and as a human being. It happened at a time of my life that was quite tumultuous, and I had a lot of baggage on my back. I was tired and really uncertain, but traveling gave me the hope and the direction I needed. I was on my way to becoming this really angry, bitter person but getting away made me kinder. I also made very good friends, and met some very kind people. That’s something you can’t put a price on-being able to experience kindness from people whom you are just getting to know or are complete strangers in a place that is also foreign to you.
Sunrise after I landed at Kuala Lumpur
If I didn’t travel last year, then I wouldn’t have made the decision to pursue journalism as a career, a decision that I made after my summer program in the States. Had I not gone on exchange in Singapore, I wouldn’t have learned another language, met the friends that I made, realized that I am brave enough to live on my own, and make my own decisions. God knows where I’d be now if I didn’t take the risks that I took and simply lept with faith. My life would have been completely different. It scares me to even think about what would have happened had I been too scared.
And life really is too short to be scared…and to not travel.
Read more from this author at: www.angelbombarda.wordpress.com