The mountain will always be there but the people you climb with will not always be around. Treasure them. Plant good memories in the hearts of people you meet on the mountain, and open your own heart to them; allow them to plant memories in yours. These memories will keep you warm even during the coldest and darkest nights. – Letter to a Young Mountaineer (Pinoy Mountaineer)
Truth be told, I don’t have a friendly disposition. I am usually mistaken as somebody who’s mad at life, problematic, or worse, constipated bitch with how I look like. Probably, this is the reason why I don’t have a big circle of friends. I am not a people-pleaser either. I don’t force myself to individuals who make me feel that my presence is unwelcomed; but this I tell you: I am easy to be with, crazy most of the time, and will never get tired of telling and listening to stories and adventures – include there the drama, failures, childish decisions, and anything that can be shared under the stinging hot rays of the sun. I was solid with the thought that I don’t need a lot of friends in order to survive, but the more I travel, the more life has taught me that there’s more to life than solitude.
Meeting new personalities – I was not the type of person who usually strikes a conversation; however, after an encounter with a foreigner from El Nido whose name still remains a mystery to me, I have realized that if I don’t want to be haunted with regrets, I need to make the first move. That’s the reason why I don’t hesitate to talk with fellow travelers met upon adventures; and strikingly, some of those strangers are now my travel companions.
Try something new – All my great blog entries started with the group travel in Argao. That was the first time I saw people who are so much in love with nature and adventure. Almost all my firsts happened there – first rapelling, spelunking, river trekking, seemingly endless hike to Argao Coal Mine Resort, and most importantly, the passion to share my experiences through blogging.
Exchange of stories – Aside from the scenic views, my favorite part of group travel is when people start to share their other experiences in other places and give pieces of advice and wisdom to beginners; and what makes it amazing is that these stories shared remains in the hearts of those who truly listens!
Inspiration to keep moving forward – Meeting a lot of personalities and having to hear their stories are truly inspiring! Imagine a guy who found the nerves to travel alone from Davao to Cordillera in order to witness the sea of clouds of Mt. Pulag, a group of travelers who saved every centavo in a jar just to finance that Mt. Apo climb, and a guide whose love for the mountains has been running down through his veins. How couldn’t you be inspired with these people?
Food Sharing – There are neither cafés nor restaurant in the mountains; thus, you have to bring your own food consumption. But what makes hikers and mountaineers extraordinary is that they never fail to share their food to others – probably, a one of a kind trait of a Filipino or a value sternly kept by those who were able to experience the dreads of the mountains.
Helping hand – While it’s good to travel alone because you get to move at your own pacing, having to travel in groups will allow you to be safe in your endeavors since there will always be a somebody to give a helping hand.