Life Lessons From Filipinas Who Travel the World
The life lessons you encounter when you travel the world can range from practical to profound. Read about what these Filipinas learned from their trips.
One of the most effective (and fun!) forms of continued education is travel. Seeing new things, experiencing new cultures, meeting people from different backgrounds, and being responsible for yourself hold life lessons you won’t learn in the confines of a classroom. Read about what these Filipinas who travel the world have learned, from the practical to the profound.
Managing Time Zones
One of the most disorienting things you encounter when you travel the world (aside from sudden gate changes, handling foreign currency, trying to speak a foreign language – you get the idea) is keeping track of time zones. It gets even trickier when you’re in a or . Kat Darauay, a corporate writer for a development bank, is doing both.
“For the first few times I had to travel for work, adjusting to time differences was my most pressing concern. I live in South Korea for most of the year and travel to other parts of Asia, but I follow the work hours in Manila,” Kat shares. She adds that while traveling is fun, it can get confusing and overwhelming when you do it so frequently. “You need to be alert and on top of things so you don’t get into minor mishaps or cause delays, especially at work.”
“To acclimatize to time zones, I adjust my sleeping hours a few days ahead of my departure date. I also adjust my eating schedule and cut back on caffeine and alcohol.” She adds, “Doing this helps me keep jet lag at bay and avoid falling asleep during a meeting. My mind is sharp, not foggy, and I have had less trouble adjusting and coping with changes.”
Discovering How Strong You Are
Not all travels are roundtrip vacations – some lead you to a totally new life without your usual comforts. These are the kinds of trips that can shake you to the core and show you a side of yourself you never knew existed.
For Kat Ungco, this life-changing trip came sooner than expected. After working for one of the country’s biggest e-commerce platforms, Kat left the Philippines to pursue a post-graduate degree in Digital Business. “I moved to New Zealand to study and work. It was my first alone! It was scary. I cried during my flight, thinking of my family, friends, and BF!” she shares with a laugh.
It’s been a few months since she left Manila, and Kat has gotten used to her new life. “I’m glad I’ve adjusted as I got to explore more of New Zealand and met good people here.” She adds, “Traveling taught me more about myself, that I can do things I thought I couldn’t, that I have a strong heart, and that it’s okay to ask questions! More than that, it taught me that we have to make sacrifices to achieve the things we want.”
Realizing the Importance of Health
It’s usually during rigorous, demanding journeys that you learn to appreciate the things that really matter, such as health, endurance, and mobility. For PR practitioner and travel blogger Kelly Austria, these life lessons came in the middle of a grueling hike in the Philippines.
“There was an old man who was trekking alongside our team, a local farmer. He took one look at us and said, ‘yung mga taga-Maynila, bata ang mukha, matanda ang katawan. Yung mga taga-bundok, matanda ang mukha, bata ang katawan.’” Kelly shares, “That felt so real to me. That was when it became obvious na hirap na hirap na ako mag-trek.”
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Appreciating the Kindness of People
It’s usually when you find yourself in a bind abroad that you are reminded of just how kind people are. Managing editor Gretchen Fragada experienced this during a three-month extended vacation in the United States. At that time, she had just resigned from a job that made her burn out, and was lost and uncertain about life. This inspired her to travel the world, starting with a solo trip.
“In 2017, I went to the US to finally fulfill my dream of watching WrestleMania live. It was one of the craziest but bravest things I’ve ever done.” She adds, “More than checking it off my bucket list, the trip was an Eat, Pray, Love moment that allowed me to . I stayed for three months and even considered not returning despite only being on a tourist visa.”
“One of the life lessons from that specific trip is trusting others and letting them help you. I survived through the kindness and generosity of family, friends, and even strangers,” she shares. “From providing a roof over my head to navigating my way through unfamiliar territory, they proved that the world is still full of kind and genuinely good people.”
To honor that tough time and show appreciation for the blessings that came after, Gretchen makes it a point to return the favor to the universe. “To this day, I try to pay it forward – by showing the same kindness and generosity to everyone around me.”
Going With the Flow
, are reminded to plan, plan, plan. Create an itinerary. Stick to a schedule. Bring these things. While these are all fine, even necessary, having so many rules can take the fun out of the trip. It can also make you rigid and afraid of the unknown – a recipe for disappointment when you travel the world. Travel blogger Ana Gonzales knows this all too well.
She says one of the most important life lessons she’s gained from her travels is knowing it’s okay when things don’t go your way. “Traveling taught me that no matter how much I prepare, not everything will always go as planned,” she says.
“I am guilty of creating very detailed itineraries before because I don’t want to waste time, but I’ve since let go of the idea that I can accomplish everything on the dot.” A frequent traveler and prolific travel writer, Ana has learned to see where the tide takes her. “Sometimes, I’ll be pressed with time or would get lost in navigation. And, usually, it’s during these detours that true adventures begin,” she shares.
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You will encounter life lessons when you travel the world. They can creep up on you when you least expect it or laugh in your face right when you need them. The key is being open to the experience and embracing the ups, downs, and wrong turns you meet along the way.