The Hodophile's Diary (My Travel Stories)

Hodophile_...That's probably how I could describe myself now. Who does not like traveling anyway?

Ever since I was young, I always dreamed of traveling to different places, in and out of my country. Staying within our perimeter made my mind wander fictitiously to other sides of the world. The television shows even motivated me to explore the world someday. That's how I thought when I was young.

"IMG_20220312_094934.jpg"Tagaytay Philippines

Would you believe me if I told you that I first visited our city when I was about 10 years old? The next was when I was in high school about two times only. But luckily, my parents allowed me to study in the city in college, and that's when I had a chance to explore the city I was longing to see.

I always wanted to traverse the longest bridge in our country, the San Juanico Bridge, and was curious about how the capital city, Manila, looks like. I want to visit the beautiful places of Tagaytay, Baguio, Palawan, Cebu, and more and explore our own country. I'm hoping that someday, I could make this happen.

Picsart_22-03-12_09-32-12-240.jpgVenice Grand Canal, Taguig Philippines

My province has a plethora of beautiful tourist spots but I never had a chance to visit those places, believe me, or not. As I stepped out of college, my life just revolved around the city. And the monotonous life was so mundane, work-boarding house-work-boarding house, and just the same cycle each day. Besides, traveling in my own country costs a lot.

Picsart_22-03-12_09-33-38-960.jpgBantayan & Virgin Islands, Cebu Philippines

Fortunately, when my boat sailed in a different direction, I landed in a place where I could wander freely. For the first time in my life, I felt the real freedom away from the burdens my life has thrown at me.

I learned how to explore on my own and my feet seemed to drag me to beautiful places where they wanted to go aimlessly. I started to love traveling more and aim for more places to step into.

IMG_20220312_093618.jpgFlight to Hong Kong

When opportunity knocked on my door, it granted one of my dreams and gave me more opportunities to travel to foreign places I never thought I could visit for real. Although I was hesitant to step out of my cocoon in this foreign land during my first few months, my dream to travel has pushed me out of it and dragged my feet into places I wouldn't regret visiting.

Picsart_22-03-12_09-25-24-950.jpgKowloon Walled City Park Hong Kong

New adventures began in foreign places. The skyscrapers may be spectacular, but a nature lover would prefer to travel to highlands and secluded places to be closer to nature and to traverse the vast ocean to feel the salty warm breeze and witness the underlying beauty at the end of the harbor.

IMG_20220312_094845.jpgCentral Hong Kong Harbour

I would rather step into a rocky incline, than tiled super malls. There isn't any word and feeling that could give similarities to both of them, as they are definitely different from each other. They are both beautiful, let's say, but the feeling when stepping into those places is different. And a Hodophile would always love to be closer to green.

Picsart_22-03-12_09-23-29-442.jpgA glimpse of Lantau Island mountain from Po Lin Monastery Hong Kong

It is not just the view I am after in traveling, but as well as the wonders it can do to me. Living and working in a toxic place would certainly make anyone toxic as well in some aspects, specifically physically and mentally. There were even times that I felt burnt out and just wanted to go back home and relax in my abode. But looking at where I currently am, I understand that it's part of my life already, and just have to dwell on it positively.

Picsart_22-03-12_09-46-17-202.jpgCheung Chau Island Hong Kong

Who won't be exhausted working more than 8 hours a day anyway? And if we could only pull the hours fastly or let the day jump to the weekend, I would certainly make it. I always yearn for the week to pass and the weekend to come so I could relax and probably travel again if a company is available to tag along.

Picsart_22-03-12_09-29-54-979.jpgVenice of the Orient Hong Kong (Tai O Fishing Village)

It is so relaxing seeing green spaces, the blue sky, and the vast ocean, dancing trees along with the chilly breeze, flowers beautifully putting colors to green spaces, and other nature's finest are among creatures I always wanted to capture.

Picsart_22-03-12_09-28-03-503.jpgNgo Ping 360° Cable Car Adventure

And when traveling closer to nature, I felt like I am restarting my mind and body. There isn't room for exhaustion despite the excruciating hike. I would conquer the undulating ridges and mountains just to reach the peak and see the amazing hidden creations of nature, way too far from the toxic vibes of bustling cities.

IMG_20220312_115301.jpgDragon's Back and Tiu Keng Leng Mountain Hong Kong

Another thing that I value more while traveling is I learned how to see life from a different perspective through seeing other people's life, adopting their culture, and practicing their traditions that are different from where I came from.

IMG_20220312_120954.jpg10K Buddhas, Tian Tan Buddha, and Po Lin Monastery Hong Kong

I dreamed of experiencing a different life in a different place and being able to materialize it is indeed an achievement. And as I lived in different environments and embraced cultural differences, I felt like something has changed, and I think differently and positively. Although by heart, I am still who I am, the same as when I started a different journey.

IMG_20220312_121708.jpgChi Lin Nunnery, Yeun Yeun Institute, Pagoda at 10K Monastery, and Western Monastery

It may seem like I love traveling to the countryside, but it is undeniable that cities have spectacular views as well that is truly captivating. And I never thought that my dream to visit my dream places from when I was a kid would come true. Seeing my favorite cartoon characters up close brought back my childhood memories. And who would have thought that I could see the extraordinary underwater creatures that I could only see in the movies before? Upon seeing them, I seemed like screaming silently inside me that finally, my dreams came true.

Picsart_22-03-12_09-20-22-985.jpgHong Kong Disneyland & Ocean Park

And oftentimes, while in places away from my toxic job and bustling cities, all I wanted is to enjoy the view, feel the tranquility of the place, let nature restore my mind and body, let the wind wash off my negative thoughts and worries, unload the burdens on my shoulders, just sit back and relax on top of the summit, and paint my mind with beautiful memories, seize the moment, and have fun! Carpe diem!

Picsart_22-03-12_10-09-37-730.jpgAt the Middle East of Hong Kong (Lung Kwu Tan Mountain)

Thanks for reading!

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