Confessions of a Solo Backpacker

“Travel the world and explore life beyond a horizon that others exist in. And know, deep down, that heroes aren’t qualified by their capacity to stay but by their decision to return. Remember: All great people leave.” – The Staying Philosophy (everydayisa)


Having to watch the vibrant explosion of the hues of sunset, as it dramatically kisses the modest Pescador island before totally submitting itself to the loving embrace of the calm blue waters of Tanon Strait, is probably the best ending that would sum up that day’s fairytale story. It’s totally ironic how her world turned upside-down that morning and automatically returned to its original axis like nothing happened upon seeing such magnificent sight. Behold, glory really comes to those who believe.


At 21, she was able to visit Cebu and El Nido’s highest peaks, dive the wrecks and lakes of Palawan, cliffjump more than five waterfalls in different parts of the country, drop 120 feet from the ground, and trek rivers and mountain ranges for almost 24 hours; so why make a big fuss about going to the southern part of Cebu when it was nothing of comparison to what she has been to? Why couldn’t she stop herself from unconsciously biting her lips? Why has she been fighting hard to steady her breathing? Why was she calling out God’s name from time to time while holding dearly to that poor little rosary bracelet clinging on her left hand and trying so hard to recall all the saints and prayers she knew? Why? Because for the first time in her life, instead of getting excited, she has been torn between hailing that bus and crossing the other side of the street and walk back home. Why? Because she’s alone. No one to talk to. No one to blame on. No one to decide with.


At 21, she made the hardest decision in her life – to leave and set forth to an adventure alone. She held on to that ten seconds of courage she got and rode on that bus, still unsure on where to go. Yes, she’s impulsive like that but for that moment, being impulsive is what she badly needed. Nobody asked her to do it, but she did; because she needs to prove something: She can do it!


At 21, she had been rereading the same lousy chapters of her boring plans in life, waiting that someday, someone will be with her to fulfill them. But she needs to move forward. Her decisions in life should never be attributed to others. She was the captain of her ship and the master of her soul, as Invictus had put it. She has to spread her wings and begin to fly, soar, dive, fall, and go where the wind would take her. And most importantly, she has to learn; because that’s what really matters.

fin - kabutongan

On the 21st of December, she came back home with heart bursting with happiness. She was tired but felt fantastic. She survived rock climbing and river trekking just to see the hidden beauty of Kabutongan Falls. She relaxed at Mainit Hot Spring and marveled its hidden jewel  – Montaneza Falls. And even with aching limbs and heavy baggage, she surprised herself with how amazing nature can be with Inambakan Falls, Bugnawan Falls and Kampael Falls. She met new acquaintances, laughed with children in the locale and harnessed her haggling skills. This has been a lot for a day but it’s a good start. Hoping for more adventures in 2016. Let’s see what else can she conquer. Alone. :) :) :)

CAMERAHave you been travelling alone? Did we share the same sentiments? Come, let’s talk. :)