The Year of Travel – My 2009 Year End Special

Everyone seems to be in the year-end-special feel; and I too think that it is something one must do when they have a regular thing in their lives, just as the blog is to me. So here goes…

No doubt 2009 has been a memorable one for me, mainly because it is the year that my life as the Diplowife began. But most importantly, 2009 will always be significant in my life, because it is the year of travel. One might think that I am over-reacting about how I now find myself abroad, in a country so very far and different from the country I grew up in, so allow me to explain how amazing this is to me and why 2009 was a great year for someone like me.

I grew up in a very average Filipino family, and like most average Filipino families, money was always the main concern. We always only had enough for the necessary things, so travelling was never a big part of the yearly agenda. In fact, going out of town was even a rare occasion. Sometimes we get to go on excursions with other relatives, but never on our own to wherever we want, never ever on a whim. Perhaps when I was little we did, but that was before my mother (who may I say, still did the best that she can) wasn’t that much concerned over tuition and bills, and besides I was too young to remember.

This is also why I have such a soft spot for beaches. My birthday is in the summer season in the Philippines, so it was almost always expected that my party would have something to do with leaving the city to go swimming. We used to do it years before, again when I was too young to recall; but when the times got a little rough, it was a long time since I was able to go to a beach again. I do have some vague memories about our trips to the beach, which always seems very happy ones -thus, my attachment over it.

I used to dream about going to New York or Paris one day, or (since I have a repressed longing for it) live in a beach in Hawaii perhaps. I thought maybe if I find a good job after college, I can save up and travel the world, or at least Asia. But I also know that was a near impossibility. Yes, it is possible, many OFW’s have done it, but like many of them as well, they had to go through the eye of a needle, to find a descent work first, and then borrow a ridiculous amount of money to be able to get there. And I for one cannot bear to leave my family in debt whilst I run off to uncertainty. Many have done so, and got lucky, but many weren’t so lucky too – and I am not the lucky kind of person. Truthfully, I would have been thankful, if we had the means to see the entirety (or at least most) of the Philippines. It is a shame that many dream of leaving for another country without even trying to explore our own. So I just set my sites on that more reachable goal, and hoped that I can one day start to travel around sa Pilipinas kong mahal (in the Philippines that I love).

When JG passed the Foreign Service exam, it seemed wonderfully surprising to think that the once impossible thing, has turned into a big/major/very possibly possibility (of course he hasn’t proposed that time yet, but I was always positive about that). So come 2009, two years after JG was sworn into office, I urged him that it is imperative that we see as much of the Philippines as we can. As you may read in several previous posts, that is exactly what we did.

April 2009 was also a very special time for me, because for my birthday JG took me to Boracay, one of the most popular beaches in the Philippines (which by the way, was also my first plane ride).

At Boracay, savoring the beautiful beach

We went to Zamboanga in Mindanao the month after.

On a tree house in Pasunanka Park in Zamboanga

And to another beautiful beach in Moalboal in Cebu, that time with close friends in June.

Moalboal beach in Cebu. That little speck on the upper right part is me snorkling.

We also went to Baguio and Tagaytay, earlier that year, so I can pretty much say that I have at least been to all three, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. It made me feel proud to say, that I was able to explore my country first before flying off to another.

And as they say, the rest is history (well historical to me at least). I am here, in a beautifully developing country, and Insha’Allah, as they say here in Libya, get to visit in others more in the years to come.

Diplowife in the ruins of Sabratha

My only regret is that I still haven’t had the chance to travel with my family yet, especially that I want to be able to take my Mom to a trip. But I will, as soon as we get back. Who knows maybe she may even come visit me here?

So years from now, I will look back and think that 2009 was indeed a great year for me. I have many other things to be thankful for, and many other things that I would rather forget. Nevertheless it was a great year simply because it is the year when something that was once an impossible dream, really came true. Who would have thought that I am somewhat lucky after all.

Happy new year everyone!

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