I used to remember how I loved sitting in front of the television to watch either discovery or national geographic channel. I already knew back then that I was “that odd kid” who would rather watch real time human living rather than cartoon characters violently chasing and hitting each other non-stop.
This difference created misunderstandings with the kids around me. They called me names & bullied me as a nerd because they didn’t understand how entertaining watching culture differences was and thought of it as boring. Even though, it never stopped me from watching. Instead it made me dream to experience the things I saw, introducing the birth of my dream to travel the world.
I started to long for plain rides, jumping from one place to another which I knew would be impossible to achieve. My family was normal, neither rich nor poor. This wasn’t the factor that prevented my dreams to be fulfilled tho. My parents weren’t fond of travelling as much as me. They’d rather continuously save money than spend it on travel opportunities. Their goal was focused on future investments which surely would be a great help for the whole family and I had no problems with that. Even though, this didn’t stop me from dreaming. Instead it made it even stronger, inspiring me to strive harder to achieve it.
Years past as I began to grow old, I was still saving. Trying very hard not to spend that much to keep a larger portion of my allowance. I also started selling random things to classmates, asking for payment for services I could offer like tutorials, drawing commissions and exam reviewers. I also made sure to study really well so that after I graduate I would have better opportunities which would result to larger an employment with a large salary. Convincing myself to think that the larger the salary would mean getting to my goal easier.
My hard work has paid off after I graduated college. I found out that my savings were already enough to book tickets to countries like Singapore or HongKong which could make me experience famous tourist spots like Disneyland. I didn’t book any tickets tho. Maturity made me crave for other travel experiences. I wasn’t into “usual” tour trips. I craved for cultural and traditional immersion rather than costly amusements.
That eagerness provoked me to do better research, finding underrated places which wreaks culture and ethnicity. Excitingly, I’ve found plenty but these places costed more than those overrated ones due to the fact that they had lesser tourists. Again just like how I dealt with previous obstacles, this didn’t stop me. I continued saving and saving and looking for cheap flights.
(Ziro- Arunachal Pradesh, India)
In my surprise I had the chance to visit Arunachal Pradesh, India and Chiang Mai ,Thailand last year. Both places are found on the northern part of their countries which makes it more difficult to go to due to higher expenses. In fact, one of them requires an entrance permit given only through special invites. Trying not to brag, my experience was definitely worth it. My craving for culture diversity and tradition was fed a bit with my immersion to their ethnic tribes.
(Elephant Jungle Sanctuay- Chiang Mai, Thailand)
After those trips, I started saving again. Trying my best to make it quicker this time so that I could again feel the excitement of interacting with different people, learning from them and teaching them my culture in return. To be more specific, I’ve been eyeing for other places again which hopefully would have cheap flights as well. To name some of them are Bhutan, Brazil, Nepal, South Africa, Spain, Peru and Papua New Guinea. This doesn’t mean that I am limited to just these countries though. I am also open to other countries which will be able to fulfill my dream of immersing with other culture and traditions.
Now that I’m older and more mature, I am happy to look back on those times when I was made fun of and surely if I were given the chance to change it, I know I wouldn’t because being “that odd kid” had made me who I am today.
It created and formed me to become a responsible human being who would rather immerse than travel.