Me and my Backpack
As I write this post, Monday evening, I should have been at a riverside cottage in Vang Vieng with my father. It would have been my 23rd country and would have been another trip that will surely be memorable because I would have done it with my Dad. I planned a trip for both of us to three countries - Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar - which my dad has never been to. It would have been my third time in Thailand (I love that country so much) and, Laos and Myanmar, aside from being my 23rd and 24th country, would also have completed my list of 10 ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) nations. But of course, the pandemic (or Corinna as my friend Iris Flavia would call it) decided to visit us all for good. I feel really sorry for my father more than me, because he has been very excited to travel again to another country and it would have been very fun for him to spend a week in three different countries.
As a little boy, I have always been a lover of Geography. My uncle taught me each and every country, its flag and its capital, and got me to memorize all of them at the age of 4. With that, it was more than drills and mind-sharpening for me, it started my love for culture, diversity, and the different kinds of people on this planet. Different attitudes, skin colors, and lifestyles, but all my brothers and sisters.
Travel has taught me that I am not alone and I am not original. That people can differ in ways and beliefs but all are capable of understanding and accepting. For every photo I see on books that have become a "right in front of me", they all were proofs to the cliche 'dreams do come true'. It has helped me know amazing people who some become my friends, foods so foreign but became tastes that are stapled to my mind, and experiences and adventures that books and movies can never really enlive.
About the Photo: This photo was taken by my cousin. All the patches on my backpack represents each and every country and territory that I have visited. In front of me in the middle of the lake is Taal Volcano, which erupted earlier this year and spewed out tons of ashes into the sky that covered a huge part of the Cavite Province. It displaces thousands of families not just those that are living on the volcanic island but also those that are at the coast of the lake. At this moment, some of those families are still in evacuation area battling more of nature's challenges such as this pandemic, and worse, the upcoming storm months. I just hope we don't have strong typhoons to come in this year.
I missed an adventure, but never the hope that it will still happen, just on a different time.