In case you missed the traveler memorandum, this is to remind you that the journey ain't all party buckets and postcard-worthy photos.
Homesickness, being broke, and excruciating land transfers. Inflictions all too familiar to us long-term backpackers. Four Filipino travel bloggers will let you in past heartaches today just like Paul, Bino and Flip did in Part 1 of this post.
Here are their stories.
Aleah Taboclaon of Solitary Wanderer
Diagnosis: "I usually travel alone, anytime from a week to 3 months at a time. One thing I noticed about my extended solo travels is that there will be times when I will feel lonely and homesick, when I crave for something dear and familiar that would remind me of home. I experienced this a few times when I did my longest trip—my solo backpacking trip to Europe for almost 3 months."
Treatment: "Whenever I felt like that, I did what I usually do: I connect with others. I find people to meet up with, or I go to places where I’m sure I will see some Filipinos. I don’t even have to talk to them; just hearing them talk in our language is already enough to assuage my loneliness."
Lois Yasay of Sole Sisters
Diagnosis: "India was my trial by fire as a starting point for a 6 month backpacking trip across Asia. My partner and I had decided to go around India from North in New Delhi to South in Tiruchirappalli- by overland travel in 30 days! Halfway through the trip, we had to cross from Jodhpur to Goa in an excruciating 3 day nonstop overland journey by bus and trains. I was not prepared for the fatigue and over exertion that followed. Imagine traveling for 3 days straight without stopping for a hotel or a decent shower. We had to take naps on the floors of bus stations or inside cramped sleeper trains. And I don't need to discuss personal hygiene at this point."
Treatment: Seawater. "After that, I was never happier to reach the beaches of Goa to take a dip. Whenever I encounter challenges while traveling, I always tell myself: 'I can hack through this. I've been through India after all.'..."
Edcel Suyo of Solo Flight Ed
Diagnosis: Lowest point was "... When I wondered where I was going to get money in the next couple of months. In my long-term travel adventure, I relied on freelance work online to fund my expenses. But I went short on budget."
Treatment: "When I found short-term work as a waiter in a resort in Terengganu, Malaysia (blog article here: http://soloflighted.com/how-i-lived-in-a-five-star-resort-for-two-months/). Everything just came to place since I didn't have any itinerary during my stay in that country and I also wanted physical work in exchange for food and accommodation to sustain the travelling lifestyle. I realized that I didn't have to focus solely on online gigs as I had other avenues to earn extra income and extend the backpacking."
Doi Damasian of The Travelling Feet
Diagnosis: "When I decided to go backpacking last February 2012, I was confident that I could do it because I was travelling with friends. I travel on a budget you see. Having a travel buddy whom I can split most of my travel expenses with gave me the reassurance that I could afford to travel away from home on a shoestring budget for a longer period of time. However, unforeseen events almost ruined my backpacking plans.
My travel buddy and I decided to move up north to Laos after living in Siem Reap for almost 2 months. But because of some personal issues, my companion had to fly to Singapore leaving me behind. I did not know what I was supposed to do nor where I'm supposed to go. I was running out of funds and having no one to share the travel expenses with spelled disaster to my depleting money. Homesickness crept in. I got depressed but I knew I had to snap out of it."
Treatment: "I know I should not rely on other people forever in chasing my dream to see the world. So instead of packing by bags and booking a flight back home, I decided to book a bus ticket to Chiang Mai. I found it more practical and economical than heading up to Laos. That decision opened my eyes to meaningful realizations. It dawned on me that my passion for travelling is strong enough to stop anyone or anything from interfering with my dream to travel. Even though I ended up travelling solo, which I was never prepared for, I will never regret making that rewarding decision."
Wrapping this series with a moving story of healing. Stay tuned for Part 3.
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