Last March 11 – 13 of 2016, my team and I were blessed to have had a chance to share a part of our lives to the participants of the 31st SYA Weekend Retreat at the Santuario de San Antonio Parish in Forbes Park, Makati. Part of my sharing to the 28 wonderful participants was a light talk about “What am I searching for at this moment in my life?”
Here’s my answer to that question 🙂
I’ve always had a taste for adventure
I remember scaling my very first mountain when I was around ten years old. Okay, it may just be a hill near our village but to my 10-year-old self, it was one of my most awesome accomplishments that did not involve any adult supervision. My neighbors and I chose to go up that “mountain” because we used to see helicopters landing there from time to time and from afar, we noticed that there was a small wooden cross on top of it. Reaching the summit was not as fun as the journey of figuring out what path we needed to follow, taking breaks under a tree, and trying to carve our names on some big rock formations along the way.
Now, you might wonder if what I’m searching for is to scale higher mountains. Mt. Pulag? Mt. Halcon? Mt. Apo? Mt. Everest? Could be, but I’m more interested in embarking on an
Epic Travel Adventure
When I was young, travel was also interchangeable to “outing”. As a family, our travels were limited to my Father’s company outings which were mostly around Luzon and primarily involved swimming in a pool or at the beach. We also had the yearly family summer outings where we either rented out a private pool or a house on the beach.
When I started working, I was now limited to the number of leaves I can take, plus, the timing of the leaves of my other friends who worked in different companies. Of course, our budget was also an issue because we would really want to make sure that a lot of our friends can go. During those years, I was blessed to have the chance to travel around the amazing islands of the Philippines and to some of our Asian neighbors.
But, for me, an Epic Dream Travel Adventure is to spend a whole year across the globe. My top destination is Europe. If you’ve ever heard of a “dream board” before, my dream board is a picture collage of numerous places in Europe. First stop is in the lovely streets of Paris, where I can see myself eating a croissant for breakfast at a local boulangerie and sipping coffee at a street cafe. I want to marvel at the iconic monuments and architectural masterpieces scattered around the city. Check out Mona Lisa’s smile and stroll down the luxurious Avenue. At night, I want to get to experience the majestic Eiffel tower from far away and from the top.
Up next is Italy, where one of the loves of my life was born, pizza. After hunting down the place in Naples where she was born, I’ll head over to Milan to check out the church in Duomo, take a very touristy photo at the leaning tower of Pisa, enjoy the colosseum in Rome and visit the Vatican to have a glimpse of the Pope, finish up at Venice by a romantic Gondola exploration of the Grand Canal.
Amsterdam would also be a destination for canal cruising and some night strolling on the streets just to satisfy my curious mind. Flying west will then take me to London to visit Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral. I can finally see the changing of the guard at the Buckingham Palace and have a towering view of the city aboard the London Eye at night. I won’t forget to drop by Warner Brothers’ studios to have a behind-the-scenes look at the sets of Harry Potter and have a trip to the mysterious Stonehenge. Greece also appeals to me because of the Acropolis and Parthenon of Athens plus the scenic Santorini overlooking the sea.
Obviously, a year of travel covers much more ground than what I’ve enumerated.
Now the big question is why?
Why would I want to spend a whole year traveling the world?
My answer, because I love reading books.
The moment I came across Saint Augustine’s quote saying that
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page,”
I knew I had to see more than what the Philippines and what Asia can offer. Those were like the first two chapters of an exciting adventure novel. To continue understanding the characters and the plot, I had to read through the other chapters of the book. For me, witnessing other’s diverse cultures, tasting and devouring their local cuisine and getting lost with people I love are just some of the immediate benefits of traveling.
Aside from the physical experience, there’s a mental factor that I’ve recently experienced when I went to Japan. Every detail there blew my mind. The train system, the discipline of the Japanese, how they respect time, and the best part was the marrying of advanced technology and traditional culture. Those kinds of “aha” moments expand my horizon even more. It makes me think of what ideas I can bring home that would be beneficial to the advancement of my home country. These physical and mental experiences were deeply imprinted in my memory and it makes me more and more excited to enjoy a lot of foreign lands in the future.
If there’s a will, there’s a way!
Let me know if you are interested in attending the next SYA Weekend Retreat! It’s going to be a very fruitful weekend for you!
To our success in all areas of life,
Argel Tiburcio, CIS
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