On July 2, 2004, I wrote my first blog entry for Tabulas from a 20-peso per hour internet cafe. I will always remember that day for it unearthed a passion I never knew I had. Back then, when blogging was more passionate than it was strategic, I found my happy place.
When I eventually decided not to pursue the degree I studied years for, the link to my blog was the only arsenal I armed myself while traversing the big mad world. And I slew.
Blogging provided an avenue for me to bare my spirit without the pressure of awkward real-life introductions. I was led to friends of like mind, of people with whom I shared the madness with.
Together, we called ourselves The Solar System. Together, we unraveled life while weaving art over coffee, Redhorse and sometimes, Marlboro lights. We explored islands, conquered cities and dreamt of, until now, unrealized Batanes.
Then matters of consequences happened. I left the country and took on a job that didn’t inspire as much writing. But I earned well. I earned well enough to buy myself tickets to everywhere. I took advantage of the privilege of having the currency to pursue a passion at whim. Traveling became the rock I held on to when making a living didn’t necessarily mean making a life.
Since then, my blogs slowly evolved into travelogues and narratives. My poetry began to take root from the imageries of places I’ve been to. Not only did I redeem myself by traveling, It also allowed me plenty of brooding. As the whole world spun madly on, I kept pace by rereading my archives (to understand) , writing continuously (to grow), and seeing as much of the world possible (to live).
Years passed and I went on wayfaring. I went on until things began to be more traveling than writing; more of the present than the past; more creating than mending. It was in the spirit of this awakening that one day, I decided to break free from all that was going on to pay the happiness forward to the world.
On October 15, 2011, I overhauled what was then a dumping blog of prose, poetry, photographs and turned it into a still personal, but more travel-related blog. My first post was a letter addressed to Kathmandu, a Kiwi Outdoor Adventure shop, after a shopping spree in preparation of my quick Southeast Asian escape later that year.
One day, while surfing the internet for ideas on how to kickstart a travel blog, I came across Ron and Monette’s Flip’nTravels. Right then and there, I was enlightened by the reckoning that yes– to move, to remind, to inspire and to have people relate to my travels like how Flipn’Travels resonated with me, that’s what I wanted. For days, I found myself digging up their archives, kicking myself for only knowing them then. Eventually, they led me to Pinoy Travel Bloggers. I wasn’t surprised I saw my friends Aileen, Marcos and Yowee in the group. I’ve known them to be wayfarers ever since.
Not knowing who he was to the travel community then, Journeying James added me to the group. But it was The Pinay Travel Junkie, GayE, who added me on her friends list first. When I think of it now, I cannot help but be proud, that it was actually PTB’s most famous who welcomed me first.
For a time there, it was hard to point a finger to the source of my euphoria– finding a community of vagabonds as travel-hungry as myself, girl crushing Gay Mitra-Emami, or being secretly thrilled by the fact that James Betia was (and still is) single.
It was humbling how, instead of imparting the ultimate travel experience to the world, the world imparted the same to me. Same, but different. The Rashomon Effect. It is by such principle that travel blogging is made possible– we see the same places, but we always tell different stories. It is in this fashion that a world so small like ours, is made bigger, boundless.
As for me, the wanderlust has just been rippling since. I am afflicted, and there is no cure.