Going Solo

01Feb12

Friend: Fascinates me you traveled alone.
Me: You know what’s even more fascinating? It is when you go solo and that big Guy up above sends angels to journey with you.

I think that’s the beauty of solo traveling, when you get to meet strangers, converse and exchange beautiful “life” stories.

Backtrack three months ago,  I booked myself a ticket  ‘Manila- Kalibo- Manila’ (taking advantage of the season’s seat sale) without even thinking what I’m about to do and who I’m going with. Fact: Kalibo is my ex-boyfriend’s hometown so I have to admit the place is pretty familiar but, going there without my him for the first time would mean something else. Sure, I booked the tickets without even thinking where to stay, who to go with and whereabouts. But ‘what the heck’ I said to myself,  I’ll do it.  Made a note to self to attend the festival for 3 days and head to Boracay for an overnight stay on the beautiful island, alone. “Freedom!”

I have attended Ati-atihan for 2 years already and this year   I have to admit is somehow different, mainly because 1. I am not with my ex-boyfriend 2. Without him around, I was partying with his crazy (and I mean that in a good way) friends.  3.  5 strangers made my journey interesting.

Simone, 28, English girl, passionately teaching children in China.The last day of the festival was the most outrageous one. Everyone is expected to attend the town procession, dance and drink like crazy. So I did.  I was dancing in the middle of the street, with some of my friends, while S approached me, and said ‘Hi’, followed by an introduction. Instantly, felt at ease with each other, danced our hearts out doing salsa along the streets of Kalibo. Each other served basically as a dancing partner, exchanging stories in between kicks, salsa and the beat of the drums behind us.  We  then agreed to meet to Boracay the next day and ironically felt like we were 2 long lost sisters who got reunited with each other. Too much similarities from strong belief in woman power, love for sunsets and reggae.

Jeff, Half indian, half English, freelance engineer . As we were dancing along the streets of Kalibo, S and I spotted a tourist guy coming from nowhere dancing in front of us, automatically became friends , exchanged contact numbers, and to cut the story short, agreed to also meet in boracay the next day.

Two  local boys
, 18, 21 –  I decided to take the van ride to Boracay alone to be able to have some “Me” time before Simone arrives on the island. At the van, I was seating next to a teenage local boy who surprisingly offered me 4 things 1. a smile 2. free boat ride ticket 3. carried my heavy bags  4. pay for my tricycle fare. That instantly boosted my Boracay trip,  and from that moment knew it would certainly be good. No doubt.

AB– 23, South African , currently based in Korea, English teacher. Simone and I were supposed to share a room however , due to unexpected circumstances and miscommunication, we didn’t. Instead S got a bed from hidden youth hostel and there we met AB. He joined the sunset walk with us, which led to a “talipapa” dinner with the rest of the grp (S, Jeff and me) ,  drinks  after, Sisha  session and life stories in between to cap the night.

I must conclude, my first solo travel was an accomplishment. It was like taking a plunge without knowing how to swim. Scared for a while, but definitely did not last because the Big Guy up there has it’s own ways to send beautiful angels to journey with — to make beautiful connections that hopefully will spark a lifetime friendship.

ps.  Last Saturday night, I met with AB (together with Erica [his colleague]) before he left the country, introduced them to Central’s notorious “Bad Trip” drink and a taste of what Manila nightlife has to offer. Next week, Simone is staying in MNL as well for a week before she flies out to China.  Already making a list on how I’m going to make her experience how fun and crazy “legit” Manila life is.  *all smiles*

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4 Responses to “Going Solo”

  1. i will b traveling to Boracay in April (holy week). i am not sure whether my best friend who happens to be my ex will follow. i’ve been going there yearly with him for 5 years straight. i dont know how im going to survive this trip alone. I wish God will also send me angels

    • Karen, I believe you will (Survive).

      Just take with you 3 things:
      1. Courage
      2. Openness (heart and mind)
      3. a Smile

      Enjoy the island life and I’m sure you will come home with lots of stories to tell!

  2. I miss your stories, K! Happy to catch up somehow through your blog and FB posts! :)

    missing you,
    M

    • M! IMY big time. If you’re only a cubicle away (just like before) you’d be the first one to know about this story! take it easy miss! :)


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