Life Lessons and Travelling

I woke up this morning battling if I should jog or not. It was drizzling last night and I was seriously hoping it still is so I can have an excuse to stay longer in bed.

As the id and superego were fighting, I decided to check Facebook on my phone first.  I have a message. It is from Jen!

Jen is one of my best college buds who now lives in the US. After passing her MLE (United States Medical Licensing Exam) and flying to the States to specialize, I have only seen her once since then. I love this friend so much and despite the time and distance that separates us, I know she is a real one for keeps.

Anyway, her message reads:

Though I cannot claim that I did excessive travelling, the author’s realization somehow rang true.

1. Good company is hard to find, but easier when you know you’ll never see them again.

I cannot agree more. The friendship that I was able to form and keep when I was still living in Turkey was far from perfect. Being with people with totally different backgrounds, beliefs, personalities and attitude can sometimes make you tick. We all agreed to that. But thinking about the likelihood of a Moroccan, Russian, Brazilian, Ukrainian, Austrian, Romanian and Filipino being together again in one place at the same time is close to nil. So despite the fact that we sometimes hate each others’ guts we just think of this thought, we will probably never see each other again. So why worry? Just enjoy and make the most of each and every moment. And enjoyed we did.

And to fortify this lesson, one of my best moments this year or maybe the best so far in my life is because of this thought, that we were pressed for time, that this might not happen again. So maximizing the time together and throwing caution to the wind whatever the cost and result maybe is worth all the laughter and heartaches.

2. You learn to associate certain places with certain people.

I have caught myself several times on this. My Facebook page will bear witness. Just the slightest stimulus of a place or an experience and there, memories will come gushing through and I will find myself either posting photos and tagging friends or writing a post and tagging friends in the hope to reminisce the shared moments. I think that’s how romantic to the point of being pathetic our brain is. It never fails to associate places and experiences with people especially when the bond is so strong.

3. Home is where you make it.

I always battle with the word home. The latest one was last Wednesday. I recently moved to Indonesia and as I try to “immortalize” that moment by labelling it as a life event in Facebook (yes, that’s how I immortalize events in my life… sorry) I was typing and retyping. I wanted to say “This will be home for the next n days, weeks, months, years(?)”, but as I write that I got pangs of guilt. How can I call an unknown place home? There is only one home. Home is Philippines. Home is where my family is. Home is where I grew up in.

But I have proven time and time again too that home is that place where my heart settles. That place where I know that whatever happens they got my back. I am so fortunate and grateful that I have found several from my travels. And it’s interesting that these “homes” are from perfect strangers who opened their doors for me, welcomed me, cared for me, and treated me like real family.

So what really is home? I would always hang on to my belief that it is a construct, a construct which means that place where the heart settles.

4. Paradise is temporary; reality is there.

Receiving bad news while away is the surefire way to bring a person back to reality. It has happened to me several times. Learning about a demise of an uncle, of a near-death-experience of a cousin, of illnesses of family members, all returns me back to earth with a thud and let me face reality. I can be all existentialist in these moments but really, being miles away while these things happen make me just want to drop everything and wish to be where I think I should be.

5. You find the most important people in your life when you’re the furthest away from them.

Those people you can hardly wait to spend time with and who gets the first dibs on your schedule when you are back matters. For sure.

6. If there is one thing that you could spend the rest of your money on for the rest of your life, it should be this. And by “this” I mean traveling, new experiences, and new places.

It will always be different from person to person. But those who tried “this” never had regrets. I never had regrets, only lasting memories.


Here is the link to the full article:


The rain has stopped after I read it. Yes, the superego won. I jogged.


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