Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In a state of AWE

Growing up, my Mom did not always gave me the newest or the most expensive things. What she gave, however, was far more valuable: the opportunity to travel. For me, traveling had always been a time to discover and experience new things. What I considered new was largely defined by age. When I was four-and-a-half, I distinctly remember getting excited over swimming at Matabungkay Beach Resort in Lian, Batangas. When I was fifteen, I was excited to try the scariest rides in theme parks—I did try the Space Shuttle at Enchanted Kingdom alone. At twenty-four, I got the chance to climb Mount Tapyas, snorkel and kayak in Coron, Palawan. Oh, and how can I forget I stared wide-eyed as I mounted a horse in Baguio at age nine for my first horse ride?

Things changed when I adopted a more holistic lifestyle, which taught me to be in constant state of AWE—awareness, wonder, and excitement. Experiencing new things now means discovering not only new places and cultures but, more importantly, facets of my self.

Traveling became both an internal and external journey independent of the destination. Trips, in order to be special, no longer had to be abroad. I soon realized that what makes a journey spiritual is not the sights that we see, but how we see it. We can be in the most enchanting city in the world and feel like we’re looking through a glass museum case or we can be in a museum staring at a barricaded masterpiece and still feel like we’re inside the painted scene.

Ultimately, as I learned through the ages, it is our choice whether to be a detached tourist or a soulful traveler. But if I were you, just as I had learned through time, the best travel is when you come home enriched and transformed, with realization that all roads are roads to self-discovery and that no matter how far we travel, we can delight in the certainty that we will always come home to our Selves.

P.S. My dream job is to host one of those travel food shows where I get to sample everything from roadside stalls to Michelin restaurants.


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