Is that possible? Could you be living all 23 years of your life without exactly knowing who you are, what you want in your life, where you are heading? In my case, the proverbial question popped out while I was at the end of a press junket in La Union.
On the last day of a surfing coverage, I decided to take the bus further north, all the way to Pagudpud – alone, running out of money (and clean clothes) and with a very heavy heart.
I was excited to go on maternity leave and finally have the time to sit at home, be lazy the entire day and still get paid. But I lasted only two days. Boredom and frustration forced me out of the house.
“Time. I didn’t have time.”
That was my excuse whenever I cancel my plans of visiting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. A real shame because I’ve missed several interesting exhibitions particularly Van Bosch tot Bruegel in 2015. Last week, I was finally able to go.
Located in Museumpark, Rotterdam’s art “centre”, Boijmans Van Beuningen is small compared to the more popular museums in Amsterdam like Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum.
“I miss travelling. We don’t travel as much as before anymore,” I complained to the husband while suffering cabin fever.
“Are you kidding? Most Dutch go on one long vacation a year, usually camping in France or Spain. We’re going to three Southeast Asian countries,” he answered looking at me like I am some kind of spoiled millennial.
If you put things in perspective in a way my husband does, I do sound like a spoiled millennial. But I did travel a lot more before, going on weekend trips once a month and business trips several times a year. That was two years ago. I don’t know when but at some point travel got too tiring.
Packing for another trip while your luggage from the last one is still lying in the corner of your living room still unpacked is not fun.
It somehow diminished the experience. After all, I’m not the kind of traveller who jumps from one city to the other, takes photos of one landmark to the next or gets crazy with must-see and to-do lists. I am slow traveller. So slow that I can just spend the whole morning eating breakfast, drinking wine and looking at a river flow under a bridge.
2016 had been a great year in terms of travel. Robin and I were together in all of the trips we took this year. It bonded us again, like it did nine years ago when we went to Palawan for a 3-week assignment. We discovered new places, re-visited old favourites and got reminded of how we were before we fell in love.
So here’s a recap of my 2016 in travel, a year I’d looked back with some tears but mostly smiles.
We came half an hour before the temple closed. Just like at the Osaka temple, we were hoping that by this time, the crowd of tourists has already dissipated. But we were absolutely wrong.
Even at almost 6PM, the stairs and halls of Kiyomize-dera were still swamped with local and foreign visitors. Maybe we just got unlucky but there were several groups of Japanese students exploring the temple and taking souvenir photos at the entrance. We inched our way to the main hall and even got as far as the main hall but 10 minutes later the crowd became suffocating so we hurriedly left.