30 days and 30 nights

It’s 2AM, the rain’s pouring heavily and my eyes are screaming for rest. I was about to actually. But then, I saw a post that said “and just like that, August is over”. And I was like, “Yes, August is over indeed!”

Actually, I think I realized this already since I greeted everyone with a Merry Christmas, typical for us Filipinos who celebrate the longest Christmas season ever. But before I stray to that topic, I wanna return first to the present and to my more immediate future. Yes, it’s already September 1. This also marks the beginning of the 30 days and 30 nights countdown I would be doing for the next, well, 30 days and nights.

Feeling the heat of Dry Season 2010 (At the back of NIA Nayom-Bayto RIS Office, Sta. Cruz, Zambales)

First off, 30 days because the Project I work for is set to end by September 30. By that time, I would’ve worked for the Project for 2.25 years. And as I’ve said, apart from the learning and experiences I had and the impact I believe to be making for Filipino farmers, I also hold this Project dear to my heart coz of two things: the people I work with and yes, the 52 travels it afforded me.

Project Management Office-JICA Team Pre-Christmas Lunch at Asya Restaurant, Centris Walk (our treat for the bosses, after they gave us our Christmas Bonus!)

I mean really, the opportunity to work with people who share the same passion as you and have, beyond the call of their duties, shared their knowledge and experiences to help uplift the lives of Filipino farmers—-that’s really rare. You know, these kind of people are hard to find these days. I think much harder if we would factor in that some of these people are even foreigners. Anyway, all I want to say is I’m grateful. And though the next 30 days will be generally more hectic and difficult than the rest, I know we’ll get through it. So I look forward to a stress-free-already despedida on the 27th. Hehehe

Me and my (Kuya's) Backpack

Anyway, next of the two things is 30 nights. Without counting the previous night since it’s already dawn, it’ll only be 30 more nights before I go on my “essentially” solo backpacking trip around South East Asia which would begin on October 1!

When I say essentially solo, what I’m driving at is that I don’t believe that we would ever really be traveling alone (unless of course you’re somewhere out there really alone, trying to figure your way out of the sub-Saharan dessert). I look forward to meeting new souls and perhaps even like-minded individuals from whom I can learn many different things about life, and of course, traveling. 😀

Additionally, Tetet and Lalai would be joining me for the Singapore to Kuala Lumpur leg of the trip. I would also be meeting with Macon (and maybe other Soc friends) in Sg and then Rajie in KL. Sirinchon would be meeting me in Bangkok (I must not miss that jazz bar!) and I’d probably find other people to meet in Kota Kinabalu, Brunei, Phuket, Cambodia and Saigon.

Anyway, the point is, in 30 nights, I am really about to try something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time: international travel (not just in IndoChina but also in Sabah and Borneo), solo exploration and cross-cultural immersion. Yes, 28 days won’t be enough you’ll say. But for most people, to be able to travel 28 days is already a glorious feat, especially for Asians/Filipinos, and most especially if you are a female traveler.

For one, it is perceived that women traveling alone are more vulnerable to risks of crime occurences. I agree. And yet, it did not stop many female soloistas to travel. I guess it would all depend on how you take care of yourself when you’re out there having the adventure of a lifetime.

Second, I believe it’s hard for the average Filipino to travel internationally for a week, let alone for four! No, I am not being discriminatory. I am just saying let’s face it: our hard-earned pesos here are hardly any worth as compared to other countries’ currency. And as proof of not being discriminatory, I would admit that with 30 nights to go, I am just at midpoint of saving up for the $$$$ target. Hayayay. I guess I would have to pray harder for a miracle then! But anyway, I can make it happen. At least I am already halfway, just another half to pull out of thin air. Hehehe

Oh well, it’s almost 3AM now. It’s still raining and my eyes are already begging. I guess I better tuck in already.

Happy wandering everyone! I hope you look forward to the next 30 days and 30 nights of your life too! And oh, Merry Christmas!

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