Travel, I think, is not only about the destination. It is also about adventure, growth and life, all of which can be experienced in the journey itself.
By no means am I suggesting that we be less awed at the journey’s end—whether it be in the few paradisiacal sanctuaries that remain untouched or the myriad emerging tourist hot spots oozing with history and culture. No doubt, the many travel destinations our country offers are our treasures, each one a facet of a thousand-sided gem that is the Philippines. To be in any of our 7,641 islands, amidst pastel-colored skies, white sand beaches, and turquoise waters can be tremendously enchanting indeed. One can easily get lost in the magic and forget about the rest of the world. The photos taken by tourists in our vacations spots put to shame a great deal of postcards around the world. This is further reinforced by the fact that despite the difficulties we sometimes encounter in our quests to find privacy, or the most secret, the most tranquil place for a vacation in our country, there's still that urge to post the location on social media. We are often stunned by sheer awe, fascinated by the many beautiful places we go to...that we are compelled to share what we see.
We are eager to share the aesthetic aspects of our trips, the surface level. But ultimately, as we gain insights and learn from our travels, we share the whole experience––from start to finish. We like to share our excitement on our way to our destinations, regardless of where this is. A company of commuters often tend to discuss topics related to the moving scenery they see along the way, the hectares and hectares of tropical land, hedged by hills that dive on vast rice fields at one end, and into the sea at another. Instagram-ers post snap shots of their discoveries en route places of interests, and in the process multiply exponentially the number of places they plan to explore in the future. No matter how bumpy the road, a sense of life seems to takeover our hearts while we ride out an adventure, and somehow we want others to feel this, too.
People travel for all sorts of purposes—for work or play; for self-gratification or for outreach; to stoke their own egos or to do some good while on vacation (as in the case of an emerging new trend termed “volun-tourism”). But sometimes, particularly for explorers, the trip is enough reason for traveling. The journey in itself is the purpose.
We become more aware of life as we travel. It is often on journeys that our minds, too, get to wander from usual routines and then to probe life’s deeper meaning. While aboard a train or a boat, while driving a car, or riding a bus, we usually get into some kind of introspection and toy around questions such as: why are we here? what do we really want in life? what must we do while we are here?
With this introspection comes something we really should not take for granted at the end of any trip: the narrative, the story that we bring home. The stories we gain from our travels bestows an awakening in all of us, a higher consciousness of some sort, a learning experience better than any classroom lecture. In both disseminating and absorbing these experiences, we contribute to humanity's collective knowledge. We get to inspire others. For as long as the message is conveyed—of life, and of learning through our wanderings—adventure in itself, minus any misfortunes on the way, should be a gainful experience for all mankind.
Here are a few inspiring thoughts from some renowned lovers of adventure:
“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”— Amelia Earhart
“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” —William Feather
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” —Jawaharlal Nehru
“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” —Helen Keller
“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves - in finding themselves.” —Andre Gide
“It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.” —Christopher McCandless
In light of this, perhaps we should deem as important the act of emphasizing the travel experience in itself, the excitement and enlightenment begotten from journeys that help unravel the unknown. With globalization and the increasing sophistication of the way mankind travels, often now for sheer pleasure, we are seeing the dawn of "adven-tourism". With things like Air BnB, Trivago.com, Trip Advisor and a host of travel apps that eliminate the need for travel agencies, it's like the world itself is urging each and everyone of us to explore, not only our country, but the farthest points from it, around the globe.
Live. Grow. Travel... Adventure.