A journey of a thousand miles starts with a first step, it does, if you plan on getting lost, a lot. A journey starts way before you even started making your first step and sometimes you won’t even know it already started. A casual “I want to go to the beach.” statement I floated to my girlfriend for example, little did I know I set off a small trickle of interest that became a flood of ideas that sent me flying on a one hour flight to a remote island plus a 6 hour drive to an equally remote beach where 7/11 isn’t a thing yet when I could have went to the same beach on the same island where I live and drive three hours to a beach , which is a tourist destination on its own right and spare myself the expenses.
I never really thought that our journey to Palawan would come through, it was just a small footnote on my afterthought until the day we actually booked our flight 2 months before our actual travel date. Even with our flights confirmed the excitement of the journey really never got hold, what did got hold was a chilling and cold feeling that started to creep up on my back, could I afford the trip? would my vacation leave be approved by my boss? the list just went on and I didn’t know which to tackle first. We booked our flights on impulse because it was on the airline’s flash sale, 70% off the usual price , why not right? the right question would be, should I? a perfectly good beach is just a three hour drive away.
I’m a couch potato, potato is singular, a sack of potatoes on a couch and the thought of simmering on a small Trimaran on some deserted island is far from appealing nor is it fun, Sand on your shoes, not fun, Getting dry on the boat after treading and swimming on water, not fun, I’m probably coming off as a cynic guy, (if your wondering: about ish), but if you live on a tropical island with beaches why go to another more remote tropical island? Such were my thoughts that clouded any hint of excitement for the trip as the day for our trip looms close, Erra , my girlfriend, on the other hand was the complete opposite, She wouldn’t let me forget about our trip not that I need reminding, the constant quick calculations my mind would make every time the word “hotel” , “tour” , “flight” and anything related to vacation would spark dread that hung on me like a rain cloud with matching thunder.
I gave Erra the job of planning everything, I didn’t want to look at the numbers and if I had my way, we would be staying in a shared room or worse a tent. A month before our trip I felt relieved that we were getting close to our budget so I chimed in with the planning and immediately I was lost, I didn’t know where to start, the internet is literally a flood of information so I almost gave up on being a part on planning our trip but Erra insisted that I should so we planned coffee dates and spend entire afternoons planning about our trip. It was really fun, I was already on a journey even before our trip. I slowly appreciated traveling and I was enjoying it and we haven’t boarded the plane yet.
We didn’t know the first thing of planning our trips ourselves. It was a first. If there was a universal travel guide, we would have been all over it by doing step 9 then step 1 then step 3 and step one again. We didn’t know where we were going we just knew which airport we were going to land, our travel dates and the length of our trip were decided on the cheapest flights available. We probably would be the example of “how not to plan your trip.” We booked our flights without even knowing how much the trip really would cost. It was already an adventure, hunting the internet for affordable hotels and equally affordable tours. The hours of diving on the internet pent up my excitement for the trip.
Weeks before our trip everything was settling in its place, we have booked our hotels and our tours. Erra was the one who basically did most of the planning and I just knew the general details, I wanted to surprise myself when we get there and surprisingly my excitement was through the roof I couldn’t wait for the flight but we all know life, sometimes it throws you a curve ball. Two weeks before the flight Erra caught a mild flu and had to be admitted to the hospital. You can imagine the rollercoaster of emotions I went through, from the pent up excitement to a state of panic and worry, nevermind about the trip but Erra had other priorities, she was more concerned about missing the trip than her health. Our itinerary was already confirmed and book and with our non-refund economy ticket there was no going back now. Erra had to spend her birthday in the hospital but the doctor said she would recover just in time for the trip.
Thankfully a week before our flight Erra was discharge from the hospital much to the dismay of her doctor, he was concerned that she needed a month’s rest not go off galavanting on an adventure on a far flung remote beach. So we had a couple days left to prepare and we stumbled head first to our first adventure.
by: Ishmael Fusilero
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