When you seem to stop feeling in control of your life, at some point you want to run away as fast and as far as your feet can take. One day, I found myself not running, but flying away from my comfort zone. Taking my whole heart with me, I have traveled miles away from home with endless possibilities in mind which by far the first and biggest investment I’ve ever made in my life.
1. Ticket for one
I am still amazed on how I managed to get through my first international flight ALONE at 21. The uncertainty let alone the fear in facing the immigration by myself made me believe of not making it through. I have enjoyed every inch of it but I have never felt so paranoid, focused and keen to the smallest details in my entire life. I embraced the fear, even though most of the time it’s just nonsense taking over, but not once did I let any stranger see it despite my transparency. The moment I got my last baggage on the final destination I already knew that that day marks my independence and the first day of my adventure. I knew I can never be prouder of myself.
2. Skiing, falling and getting back up again
I got stuck, at first, as I’ve watched other people take courage in letting go of the ski and slide from the top of Mount Peter. I’ve seen lots of people fall HARD but most of the kids surprisingly enjoy skiing more with less falls. As I’ve witnessed that, I felt extremely ashamed of myself for behaving worse than those kids. My first attempt of skiing down was when my trainer was holding me, but I can’t seem to let go of her. I tried and also got a little technique in acquiring no fall. Until she left me standing on top and left me with no choice. But hey, where’s the fun in it without a little bump or bruise? What doesn’t kill you definitely makes you stronger! The moment I started enjoying, I fell on the snowy ground. But the worse part is getting back up with my skis on. I stayed for a few minutes until God sent good Indians to help me out. Yes, God always provides no matter what kind of situation you are in. Instead of freaking out from the hard fall, I got better, just a lot better than I expected.
3. Drive crazy
I am not at my very best when I drive. Well I believe so only every time I scare my friends away back in Manila. But driving in a complete foreign land was a different story, where you are an alien and with a very trusting yet half-as-crazy-sister as I am. I was too stunned of even asking If I can drive but I was lucky to be given a big privilege to do so! At that time, I have not practiced for some time, but drove just the same. It was a little awkward, strange and difficult at first since the foreign land has a lot of ground rules in driving which include a minimum and maximum driving speed to different places. But with my sister by my side, nothing seemed to be a big problem. And with us, I’ve found a team, as always. Again, I or we made it through the long 30 mile-drive to an outlet shop and another 30 miles to home. Sometimes, you just have to take enough courage, chances and confidence in yourself.
4. Leave your heart somewhere
I have never felt so attached in another foreign land. Flying solo again, I managed to book a flight, stay in a hostel and get lost in the city (with just a backpack with me) knowing that something was about to end. I never knew I can find so much beauty in the place which I can only treasure in my heart forever. Or maybe it was the experience of being completely alone, for the very first time in my entire life, that made the trip even more memorable. I valued the walk on the downtown streets of Frisco like Chinatown, ride in the cable car, long walk in the Golden Gate Bridge (1.7 miles times 2), peaceful people watching alongside the pier, taste of the infamous In ‘N Out burger and of course the bliss of drinking and enjoying my Sea Salt Cocoa in Ghirardelli Square. On that trip, I’ve learned to trust and love myself even more, knowing that I can keep myself together even without anyone else’s eyes on me. And just to get through everything, all you would need is 20 seconds of insane courage and something great will come of it.
5. You gotta give something
To sum it all up, it was quite a long journey of ups and downs, twists and turns. Nevertheless, I have never regretted any decision I took along the way. It was what I just needed the most, a new perspective of things. As I remembered a line from one of my favorite Netflix series Grey’s Anatomy:
“If you’re willing to take chances, the view on the other side is spectacular.”
I couldn’t just agree more. It was the most wonderful view that I’ve ever seen. In life you simply got to give something and after a while, you’ll see yourself receiving and gaining more rewards.