Saturday, 29 October 2011

Backpacking Tip No. 1 - Write down your goals

The list I made 2 years back. It helped me achieve my backpacking dream

I came to the backpacking scene quite late. Though I have been to several parts of the globe already, this was mainly due to business meetings from my previous jobs. The first real backpacking I would consider would be my single-man expedition to Qingdao, China to observe an Annular Eclipse during sunset. It happened only in 2010.

I had my first backpacking trip to Europe last September. I felt a twinge of envy whenever I mingled with my fellow backpackers in the hostel.  Most were either fresh from university or had worked for only a couple of years and decided to quit their jobs. I consider it an immense blessing therefore that I relatively look younger than my age thereby allowing me to blend in with the younger generation. (sounds like am tooting my horn here  hehe but allow me please)

My late foray to the world of backpacking is arguably excusable. From a culture standpoint (at least that’s how I perceive Pinoys to be and I could be wrong here), backpacking is something not embedded in the main consciousness of the mass. Travel especially to the countries abroad, to find one self, is something unheard of. So it is not usually an expectation that one travels after schooling.

Also unlike our western counterparts where it is a piece of cake to book a flight to a nearby continent, we Filipinos have to put up a considerable amount of show money in order to get a visa. The foreign embassies it seems always has this impression that Filipinos travelling abroad will never come back if given the chance to do a “TNT”. Hence the Herculean task of showing proof that one does intend to go back (gasp!) after travelling.

The currency power is also against our favor. Perhaps for some of us, we might even have to work our ass off for five to ten years to build up a respectable travel fund. And I couldn’t help but get envious whenever I hear stories from Caucasian counterparts how they just work on the sides-baby sitting or waiting tables- for a year then able to fund their travel.  I doubt if you can do that here in the Philippines in a year’s time. It sucks, I know,b ut what can we do.

Lastly I had to prioritize some family expenses. I had to settle the debts we incurred when my dad had a stroke in 2008.

I recall almost two years back I listed down my short-term goals. Backpacking was one of them. Back then it seemed like a lofty goal. Owing to my packrat nature I am glad I saved the note.

On hindsight it seems that it does pay to write down your goals. You might have read this new age concept . The one that claims of having the universe aligning to your dreams if you write them down.  I think there’s a tinge of truth to it. Something about writing your goals down forms a certain commitment with yourself that unconsciously directs your effort in achieving them. The universe does conspire in helping you achieve what you want.

It came to me.  Late, admittedly. But the important thing is that it came. I have no doubt it would come to you sooner rather than later. It would ,if you will it.

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