The saying goes that all good things come to an end. To me that just meant that my vacation was over, but I know I will return. I cried as we drove away in the van on our way to the Siargao airport. I didn't want to leave. I had created friendships with other foreigners and the locals. I felt like I was a part of a community, a culture, a new way of life. I didn't just feel this way in Siargao, but everywhere we went in the Philippines. People would just smile, wave, and start talking to you. If someone did that here in the states, people would automatically label them a creep, a sketchy dude, or think that person was trying to get something from them. It was another reason I didn't want to come home.
I had spent 3 weeks in a country where I didn't hear a complaint once. People with nothing were happier than the people with everything. Life was simple. Nobody was chasing the next big thing, other than the waves each day. People were not impressed with the car you drove. They were impressed by how genuine of a person you were. The people of the Philippines should be the model citizens of the world in my opinion.
When you travel you should always learn something. If your going to a destination just to take selfies for your Instagram/Facebook, because you have seen others do so, rethink why you are traveling. You're probably rolling your eyes as you read this, but it's true. Travel is supposed to open your eyes to other cultures, in hopes that you can form a better understanding of how we should all coexist. You should take certain things from each culture and add them into your day-to-day. It's what the REAL Human Family is all about. Immerse yourself in a foreign culture!
You can find yourself in a country that your government says is too dangerous to go to (i came back alive didn't I?). You can find yourself in a culture that your supposed to be watching out for kidnappers (didn't see a single one) rather than enjoying the experience. Instead, when you are kind, sincere, open your eyes, have a clear mind and show respect to others amazing things happen. You create this learning experience that brings you back a better person than you were before you left. You realize that all the crap you complain about doesn't matter. You realize that all of your priorities are in the wrong place and you're always chasing something. You realize that happiness is way easier than you thought. You realize the amount you can learn from others, rather than trying to tell them how you should be. You grow! To the Philippines I say SALAMAT!!!! I will see you soon!
A big thank you to Michole, Mark, Eliza, D-Ding, Pedro, Noli, Lisa, Gerald, Jasper, Junil, Jing, Katy, Janna, Kelvin, Faina, John John, Danny, Stephanie, Karina, Moshiko, Eunice, Gareth, Andy, and Joy for every part you added to our trip. A massive thanks to my amazing girlfriend as well. She put up with me for 2 REALLY long flights, and 3 weeks traveling. That is enough to win some type of award!
Island Hopping the Philippines from Freas Photography on Vimeo.