The Perks of Being a Single Adventurer

El Nido Taraw Cliff

Rock climbing Taraw Cliff was one of the highlights of our 10 days Palawan trip. Not only that we were privileged to witness the glory of the aforementioned municipality, but we  were also able to engage in a heated argument with our tour guide, Gilbert,  in the midst of our journey: is it better to travel alone or with a partner?

I don’t know if it’s because we were already ‘travel high’ after that eight hour trip from Coron to El Nido or because we were forced to hike as early as seven in the morning. But things really did spice up the higher elevation we reached.

I already forgot who started it. Maybe it was Badeth. Or maybe Gilbert. But what’s clear is that everything began with the couple we were tagging along with: Agustine and Wilma. While the guide promised that we will be able to reach the peak at around forty-five minutes, given the trail difficulty and the fact that we were only wearing flip-flops at that time, such estimate was irrelevant.

Climbing up Taraw Cliff in El Nido, Palawan

I know, I know. It was such a crazy idea. From an outdoor enthusiast’s point of view, this is absolutely foolish, not to mention risky. We were novices at this time – and was absolutely sold out to that YOLO idea.

So back to the story, while we were concentrating as to how to properly position ourselves so as not to slip and lose grip on the way up, we noticed that we have been losing sight of the lovers scrambling behind us. They didn’t get lost actually. They were just having a hard time climbing the rocky and slippery trails. It was then when that the debate of “how being couples hinder from making a relevant adventure” began.

Which is Better: Travel Alone or with Partner?

Sana all may choices no? Kidding aside, here are some points that Badeth and Gilbert highlighted during their discussion.

  1. Achievement
  • Badeth: Your pacing will be faster without helping and guiding someone. Therefore you can achieve more and finish a lot when you are alone.
  • Gilbert: You will be more inspired to finish what you have started because of that one person who never gave up on you. (char)
Yep, that’s Wilma and Agustine trailing behind us.
  1. Expenses
  • Badeth: You can save more since you will only spend for yourself. You can also buy whatever you want because the money is all for yourself.
  • Gilbert: It’s good to have someone to share your possessions with. Someone to eat with and divide the payment with.
Gilbert vs Badeth. Choose your fighter.
  1. Pacing
  • Badeth: You will be on par with your group since you will be focused on keeping up with them.
  • Gilbert: It depends. What if, you don’t get along with your travel buddy? It’s best to stay with a loved one.
Yes, that’s the trail.
  1. Freedom
  • Badeth: You get to choose from all the options without considering anybody’s thoughts. Thus, you get to blame yourself when everything else does not follow your expectations.
  • Gilbert: It’s best to always ask for an opinion from others. You can solicit more ideas. Two heads are always better than one. 
  1. Conflicts
  • Badeth: You will feel lighthearted because you will not be in constant debate with somebody who thinks they can take care better of you than yourself.
  • Gilbert: It’s healthy to have those conflicts sometimes. It makes the relationship grow.
Taraw Cliff, El Nido, Palawan

Upon reaching the summit of Taraw Cliff, the debate ended. We were too astonished with the view set before us to further think of the conflict. El Nido is a very small town but surely offers tons of surprises. Such astounding vista made us forget everything that we had to go through before reaching the summit.

And after relaxing and allowing our senses to feast on the beauty set before us, we decided to head back. As the ascent was not enough, going downhill was even more tricky. For non-hikers like us at that time, it was beyond stressful and difficult. It’s harder to estimate the steps and the edges of the rock were honestly difficult to deal with. There were times when we thought it was already impossible for us to go down!

But still, we made it all in one piece. Before we arrived at the jumpoff, we realized that the couple was missing once again. The three of us looked at each other and a knowing smile later on crossed our faces. Badeth tried to start an argument again but Gilbert was already blown away with his reggae music. He conceded and finally agreed that having a love life is sometimes not healthy in an adventure. Badeth won, yay!

Taraw Cliff, El Nido, Palawan

We shared this to the couple when we were already on the town proper. We were just laughing our asses out with this. We know that more than anything else, our safety was our priority. It is of no importance whether who won. We were safe. We were happy. And we succeeded in conquering Taraw Cliff. That’s what matters. Because no matter what status we are into – single or committed – as long as we are happy with our dispositions in life and there are no bitterness in our heart, relationship status will not matter. It will never ever matter. (Hindi naman kasi lahat ng nasa relasyon masaya. At hindi naman lahat ng single naghahanap ng makakasama.)

Once it's already okay to travel and explore places around and outside the country, would you go solo or stay in group? Would you dare to make bold choices on your own or enjoy the company of your friends and family?

How about you? Which would you prefer: traveling alone or with a partner? Share this post if you can relate. See you on trails!