Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Fuel That Is Determination

I am not really sure if what we are about to do could be classified as long-term travel or an RTW trip. I mean, it's just three months. Two months and a week, if we're really being exact. And we won't really be going 'round the world. It will just be a small area of a huge, huge continent.

But, following the running theme of this blog, I am saying, the hell with it. Besides, very few Filpinos my age have done or will do what we are about to do. Many will opt for the well-trodden path of school, job, marriage, house, and kids. Not necessarily in that order, of course. (I am not saying that's bad and I fully respect anyone who makes that decision.)

More than that, though, it's that many Filipinos my age will never have the option to even consider extended travel simply because many just cannot afford it. I am one of the fortunate ones to have had higher education and the opportunity to acquire a highly valued skill.

Even then, I don't think that's enough. If you really want this, then you really have to make this your priority. You really have to be determined. And you have to sustain that determination day in, day out. But, as I recently discovered, that's not necessarily a difficult thing to do. In fact, after deciding that I am doing that trip, how I handle my finances just became a lot easier.

Living in the big city can be expensive. Tha's that. Then, about every single minute, you are bombarded with images that make you want to spend your money. Clothes, shoes, gadgets, food, entertainment, massages, etc. Things that are, for the most part, less about your needs but more about affirming a lifestyle you are told you deserve.

As that trip draws closer and closer, I found myself wanting to save every single peso I earn. Every time I get the urge to get myself something I can afford, and that happens a lot, I contemplate long and hard if I really really really need it. If I don’t, I forgo it. And never look back.

It's really empowering and I find myself smiling as I walk away from that store stand. I don't need it. So why get it? That's what I tell myself. And weirdly enough, I don't feel denied or deprived of anything. It feels as though I have, in my own little way, found an escape from the powerful pull of consumerism.

Did travel just teach me a really valuable life lesson there? I like to think so. And it's not the kind of lesson that's easy to forget, too, because you get the chance to live it every single day. Until that day arrives when you finally take your bag, get to the airport, and start reaping the rewards of your determination. Now that you deserve.

What fueled you to save up for your long-term travel?

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