Bit By The Travel Bug

A Tricycle in Cebu City, Philippines, Taken By S.D. Flood

I’m back from a two week trip from the Philippines, and since I’ve been back, all I can think about is traveling. I reminisce on these seemingly ordinary events on my trip, like when I was opening up to a family in Manila, sitting in broken hammocks, the sun setting, and I’m radiant with life. My mind goes back to the time I’m walking down a street with this wonderful and ferocious 75-year-old woman, the rain is pouring, we have only one umbrella but we’re laughing anyway, both not knowing where we are.

I recall the way others looked at me, when they found out I was foreign, and suddenly I’m more than just Stephanie from the United States, I’m an ambassador, I am a student learning new culture, and I love this kind of learning.

I learned and felt most alive getting myself in a few interesting situations in the few countries I’ve fumbled through, even though in the beginning, I was pretty fearful of everything, dirty hostels, cold showers, people in general, drinking the water, getting sick, getting kidnapped, you name it, I thought of it. Then, I recall Mexico, where I actually tried backpacking for the first time on my own, and yes, I’d been ripped off and had my stuff stolen, faced a tsunami that never came, and after more car sickness, bus rides and walking without a clue, I get cold feet and my parents buy me a ticket home, back to the U.S. That was that for a while.

I didn’t think I’d be traveling anymore, but then this Philippines trip came knocking at my door, and I was given the opportunity to met my birth mother, and in 6 months, I’m flying off to the Philippines. I’m strangely not as fearful because of Mexico, and my experience of course, isn’t what I’d expected nor did I think I’d be leaving so soon.

Neverless, I changed so much during this short time. But the trip was emotional, so I came back early.

There was this time when I was seeking adventure, with roadtrips in my early twenties, but now, after these travel trips mixed with personal soul-searching, I wonder if life is the adventure, or it can be, if you live it so right, that you don’t have to seek thrills out anymore. People are your everyday heroes, children are symbols of God, your world is constantly changing, and you’re never bored, because you’re doing something you care about every day. You really don’t have to go anywhere, if you’re happy in your life.