Australia, Travel

Flip n’ Wanderlust : Hunter Valley

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

It wasn’t only Greenday who yearned to be woken up when September ended. For many, September’s a Wednesday– the hump day, or in this case, hump month, before the merriment of the Yuletide.

My September, for instance, was one full of questions– introspections that when said out loud, bordered on seeming lunatic. My husband, Jonathan, gracefully bore the misfortune of trying to understand my euphemisms; nevermind that on most late nights, my musings threatened, even his place in my life.

Normally, I would have my words to cling on to. But I haven’t been writing in a while, so I knew that it was only a matter of time before my fears will get the better of me.

Ron Cruz‘s arrival, however, hushed my fears. I used to think a lot whether or not I should give in to conventions. But Ron’s muchness validated the fact that it is possible to not let go of fancies like mine and lead normal lives without necessarily being, well, normal.

So one weekend in October, we drove through the valleys of the Hunter, with Maude pumping travel anthems in the background. In between, I was lip-synching to the entire April Maze discography.

The whole trip was liberating. I was wearing a flower crown the whole time and Ron’s pair of leopard-print Vans said it was okay. It was okay too that we favored pulling over unpaved roads with trees whose arms extended into a mesh, straining the light of an angry sun; and forgotten suburbs with rustic billboards; and road signs that led to both nowhere and everywhere; and vineyards from an angle that spoke the most poetry.

Understand that this wasn’t the norm; that we were in a wine country famed for its wine cellars and restaurants. Sure, we’ enjoyed a handful of those, but we’ve had side trips too; to nooks where tourist buses never bothered to go to.

Over paddles of beer samplers, we talked about falling for good conversations, and gravitating towards people that weren’t–aren’t– ours. Over wine and cheese, we mused about Travel, and how it both sustains and drains. Over every thing else, we shared equal doses of hysterical laughter and necessary silence.

Also, we talked about sins. In the end, even if it was Jonathan who wore the more wine country-apt long-sleeved top-khaki pants-suede shoes ensemble, it was I, who proved to be more mere mortal.

I thought on the drive home that weekend, that maybe the struggle on what to blog, was also part of my September hump month blues; the biggest part perhaps. For how, in an ocean full of feature-writing travel bloggers, I find more interest in the stories at the back of each itinerary; that I almost always wish for footnotes beyond each narrative; that I relish not on the tick before each destination– but in the pitter, patter and pause of each journey–

— very much like the ones that weekend, when, the very person who inspired me to go into travel blogging, unknowingly, taught me it was okay to be not like everyone else.

I hold so much respect for those who can detach themselves from their travel articles and serve the world an impartial plate of travelogues. But try as I may, I cannot be impersonal; never, with Travel.

I know what to write now. There’s no stopping me anymore.

Published by Rain Campanilla

Born under the star of Sagittarius, the centaur of adventure; and in the year of the Rat, the ever curious--- Travel is my birthright.

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