The life of a traveler is not as majestic as our Instagram posts and stories. Like any pursuits in life, we also do experience boredom, rejection, and exhaustion. And in these pondering moments, we begin to wonder the essence of this venture, the reason to keep going – because sometimes, it’s not always adrenaline and sense of fulfillment.
After my Masbate trip few months back, after a series of unfortunate events – from riding the wrong van, to sleeping in a bug and ant infested room (which then caused rashes boils around my face and arms), and skipping dinner – I suddenly found myself at Cataingan Port as early as six in the morning. Sitting aimlessly at the waiting shed where I learned that the trip back to Cebu would still be by twelve, my mind began to wander the real point of visiting the said province. I tell you, when you’re all alone… a lot of crazy things get unto your head. HAHA. In fear of missing the trip, I decided to stay on the area for six hours. Six daunting hours!
I tried examining the area to find interesting things to do. But what’d do you expect to do in a port when all there is are cargo vehicles, boxes of supplies, fishermen, and porters? So I tried to find a resolution with my phone – Kdrama, Wordscapes, “To Kill a Mockingbird” pdf, but to no avail. My eyes felt heavy and the thought of surviving that six hour waiting time seemed more difficult than completing a dayhike. And just when I thought of giving up on life (insert char), a woman on her late sixties began to strike a conversation by asking common questions like where I came from and what am I doing in the place. Two porters with well-built bodies joined the conversation and added flavors to the dialogue. From them I’ve learned the daily struggles of students who had to cross islands for hours in order to reach Cataingan to be able to go to school. I’ve also learned how the play of economy greatly affected the lives of these locals. But amidst the hardships of living in an underdeveloped province, I found it rather ironic that it is in these people that I found the essence of camaraderie and happiness beyond simplicity. For someone who has been raised in a society of competition geared towards greatness and excellence, it is but enthralling to realize that probably we have set wrong standards for a fulfilling life. Maybe achievements are indirectly proportional to success and happiness.
Truly, time flies when you’re having fun. Quite ironic to hear from someone who thought surviving six hours was a miracle! Before I departed from the place, the locals then arrived to that familiar “Why are you traveling?” and “Why do you do what you do?” kinds of inquiry. I looked around and saw soldier, porters, snacks vendors, ticketing officers, drivers, and passengers routinely doing their tasks. Aren’t we all get tired of doing the same thing over and over again? This then led me to one of the TEDx videos of the film maker Louie Schwartzberg where he shared the life in slow motion between the interaction of plants and insects in his talk entitled “The Hidden Beauty of Pollination”. He started with a childish query on the purpose why pollinators do what they do aside from survival. In his words he said: Nothing lasts forever. Everything in the universe wears out. But life has to move forward. This life force that passes right through us makes us a link in the evolution of life – a mystical moment where life regenerates over and over again.
There would come a time when we’d all get bored with what we do – most especially when we begin to achieve what we so long for. In this dreadful times, when you no longer find it essential to continue, remember the significant others who are relying on you. Try to lose yourself in the service of others – maybe that’s where you’ll find your missing link, your venue to move forward and contribute to the evolution of life.
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See you on trails!