I never imagined there would come a day when I’ll brush my teeth in restaurant wash rooms, change my clothes in public toilets, sleep in a bus instead of a hotel in time to catch the earliest flight, and attend meetings without a bath.
This was an intensely long week for me, on the road. I was afraid my children won’t recognize me when I get back. Or if I could ever get back in one piece.
Probably due to the exhaustion from visiting seven provinces in five days, I thought I didn’t really like traveling the way I thought I did. I thought it was just the shopping I liked, or the food trips in local restaurants. And the rest of the trip would just be obligatory.
When I go on a business trip by myself, the part of the trip that I enjoy the most is visiting the local public market. Just to snoop around, get a feel of the local culture, shop for local produce and items unique in the area. But it wasn’t just that. I also enjoyed riding local public transport. Riding jeepneys, instead of tricycles or taxis, and discovering jeepney routes. It gives me the fulfillment of really knowing how to get around. I also enjoy random conversations with random people on local politics and economics that normally ends with me convincing them how much nicer it is to live in their area compared to where I live.
When I go on trips with my family, the part that I enjoy the most is getting to spend time with them. So it really doesn’t matter where we were, just as long as we’re all together, right? But I realized it does matter. I love bringing my family to new places. Better if we discover new places together. But even if it’s just me taking them to places I’ve already been to, I realized I enjoy it more when they also enjoy the places we visit and the things we do during the trip. And I bask in that feeling each time.
Travel is such a big word, I can’t even attempt to define it. I wouldn’t call myself a travel buff in this sense. And I can’t say there’s a traveler in me. But there is an explorer in me, a researcher in me, a learner in me, that keeps me on my toes every time I go out. Probably the reason why my favorite place in the world changes each year.
It will never be the sights, the attractions, the festivals that would lure me anywhere. My thing will be the getting there, staying awhile, and going home to tell amazing stories. So except for the fact that I so miss my kids, a life in transit isn’t so bad after all.