Thursday, March 23, 2006

Wander wonder

Ferdz's most recent post in his wonderful site "Around the Bend" inspired me to write this post. Nope, I don't intend to copy his rules, just express my own ideas, and this has got to do with tripping around this wonderful country. Here are my two cents' (plus e-vat) worth of advice... 

• Be prepared to wAnder - First things first: it pays to have info in your hands. The Internet. Jens Peters' excellent travel guide (available at national bookstore). Friends and families who've traveled. Consult them, ask them, cajole them for tidbits. One most valuable lesson I've learned from mountaineering is to prepare an itinerary on paper. Simple thing really, put down into writing budgets, transportation details, things to bring, travel plans.

Then again, allow for adjustments here and there because there's no such thing as a perfect plan. Bus/jeep/transpo can be late/unavailable. One can get lost. No sense getting tense or hot-headed for unexpected things like these. For every thing that happens, there's a reason. And getting lost means opening up yourself to a new experience or adventure. Savor the moment and learn something new. To wit: the most exciting part of my Sagada trip last new year's day wasn't any tour, it's in wandering through three towns with no expectations but to meet, talk with and learn from people from these parts. To befriend fellow Pinoys who come from a very different background is a pleasure that's not found nor advocated in the travel guide books but nevertheless is as satisfying (if not more) than any guided tour.

• Be open to wOnder - Curiosity may have harmed the cat but then again, it can reward the adventurous. One just have to be open and willing to ask. I think an important element of adventure is the capacity to wonder - what will happen if i try this road instead of this? Can I befriend the locals if i just up and introduce myself? Why does the travel guidebook say so-and-so? I guess the answers are up to us to discover. but first, we must be open our eyes to wonderment.
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