What is the differentiator of this blog, “Journal of a Lost Wanderer”, from others? Here, I do not write about the how to, budget tips, or 10 best whatever. This is a blog of that testifies friendships that I found among the countless crossroads of my many adventures.
The internet nowadays provides endless information to most places that we wanted to go. Through our fingertips, the social media can share thousands, if not millions, of random information. But it can sometimes defeat the greatest perk to any traveler – friendship.
The world wide web can sometimes give the illusion that we are an expert traveler. We pretend to know more than the locals do, and isolate and confine ourselves for fear of being taken advantage. But the truth is – we can never be more expert than the locals.
While there were times that we can have frustrating experience with some of the locals, the art of befriending them to reach the common ground of trust is the very foundation of an adventure of a lifetime.
If you travel without local interactions, you lose the perks of the traveler’s ultimate adventures. You may have gone to so many places, climb to so many mountains, swim to so many beaches, or visit to so many countries. But do you make friends as much as the numbers of your travels?
It’s an empowering mindset to be able to create conversation. People nowadays are so concerned with how the world sees them that it is hard to talk to others. Through my experiences, I learned that people are usually friendly and happy to talk to you.
I am still in contact with my friends in General Nakar, my host family from the mountains of Sierra Madre, my boatman in Sibulan, the security guard in Batangas, my favorite fish vendor in Leyte, and my lively millennial friends in Caliraya. These are most priceless memories beyond your gorgeous selfies or landscape pictures.
I write about the stories of people I befriended along the way. The best travel experience is not reaching your destination. It is sharing life with the people of the community, and for you to become part of the stories of their lives.
It is on how many friends you make along the way, how many locals you connected, how many of them remember your name, how many of them welcome you when you revisit their places, and how many of them wish for you to comeback even without leaving them yet?
You need not to travel to the best destinations of the world. You need not to go to the best places to visit. You need not to trek to the wonders of the world. Just go and visit ordinary places. But emerge yourself with the people of the communities. Then you will start writing your wonderful and beautiful stories of adventure.