I am Filipina and I love to travel the world. In my two years of backpacking, I learned a lot of things and experienced the good and downside of travelling. I love my experiences and I want to share it to you:
1. Maps aren’t that helpful – don’t get me wrong, if you are first time traveller in a foreign land, the first you would get in the airport is a map. But the reality is you don’t understand it, you can’t even pronounce the place you are going to. So the remedy here is to ask the airport personnel to give you an idea on where to enter / exit, train station or bus station.
2. Train station is like a maze – riding a train in a foreign country is the most convenient means of transportation. But there were countries that the train is connected to other trains and the difficult part is where to enter or exit especially if the signage are not in English. Remedy, ask for a English speaking local or if you are in south east Asia countries look for a kababayan or fellow Filipino
3. Can’t control yourself for converting – everyone would agree that every time you shell out money, you would convert it to your country’s currency. This will bring either smile or heartache on your part. So better not to.
4. You will find out that internet is a good source of information – yes, the hotel or hostel that you researched is as good as it gets. The feedbacks that you read says it all and you want to write your review immediately with TripAdvisor
5. Locals would recognize your nationality – it simply means that Filipinos has a certain features that leave the heart of locals maybe its the smile or simply our good disposition. As you would be flatter yourself and wanted to wave the Philippine flag.
6. On the other hand, locals would also judge you when they found out you are from the Philippines. One of their question: Is it safe there? , that’s Abu Sayaf , I don’t want to go there but some would say that they love Palawan and wanting to surf there.
7. Just be friendly – understanding the culture of other countries can be interesting. As the saying goes ” be a local, not a tourist”. On my travels , you would see me talking to locals at the corner of the street or eating exotic food in the market. I also got a chance to talk my adventure to fellow travelers.
8. Getting lost is mandatory – how many times do I get lost when I dont know where is my north, east, west and south. I cannot also figure out how far is 500meters when locals gave me instructions. I think Filipinos can relate to this. We get used to (walk straight, then left turn then right turn to the 2nd street)
9. Feeling Lucky – yes, I’m not just luck but blessed to travel to other countries. Got fascinated with how each country preserved their culture and beliefs. In Cambodia, I was able to teach my tuktuk driver how to read English. ( so, you can also do good deed, while on vacation).
10. Discipline your self – simply means follow instructions and road signs. You cannot cross the street anytime or else you will be in trouble.
11. Eat, Pray, Love – its your chance to try their local food ( whether in posh resto or along the street). Pray by visting temples, chruches , mosque to respect the variety of our faith. And of course, love everything that you see and learn.
12. Maturity – going back to your country with all the learning. You survived your first travel adventure and you can share it with people who is hungy to your experience.