Breakups have a funny way of defining a person. They could shatter you into a million pieces and toughen you up both at the same time. It is paradoxical that it is a dying moment in as much as it is a rebirth. Something in you dies, but something in you is also alive again. And anyone who has been witness to the decomposition of a long, exhausting relationship know this to be uncontested, unequivocal.
When the fight becomes too much, flight becomes an inevitable response for one’s survival. Travel could be a tricky escape plan after painful experiences, but in my case, travel has been a rewarding pilgrimage back to myself.
Before Julia Roberts ate, prayed and loved on screen, inspiring chicks worldwide to go about their personal journeys solo, I found myself on a solitary trip to Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, then eventually, back to my motherland, the Philippines. It was one of the bravest things I’ve done and in the end, not only was it mine – all of it: memories, sights, conversations, lessons – but also because it led me back to me.
That particular trip to Asia has been THE trip of my lifetime. It is when MY travel story began. It was the most defining and I doubt that I will ever have another experience like that again. It taught me the power of travel for soulsearching – and soul-finding. It is that transformative force that made me value traveling more than ever before. Especially when I found myself sleeping alone in a tent on a remote island in Southern Thailand, I was made fully aware that the world is still a safe place and in the end, I can trust myself again.