I can barely remember where my first travel to was.

I grew up in a family who loves to drive and travel, hence the many long out-of-town trips every holiday or as my parents’ jobs permit.

But I can vividly recall my first airplane ride.

Who wouldn’t?

It was my first visit to my mom’s hometown in Albay, Bicol!

I was in gradeschool and taught to dress decently for the ride.

I got a picture that plane rides are for the rich, the famous, the well-traveled, the stylishly elegant, formal and business-like.

I can precisely recall how my only sister would tell me to travel in style– no paper bags, no slippers. Always anticipate to bump into someone you know in the airport. Never in an outfit you wouldn’t want caught dead wearing. (Some wisdom huh? She has a lot more of that.)

I don’t exactly recall what I wore for my first plane ride.

I can remember, though, I had a photo taken beside Philippine Airlines, on the runway.

Then there were several, Baguio-Subic-Clark-Pampanga-Cagayan Valley-Batangas-Bataan trips that followed one after the other on several occasions.

Several simple things I love when we travel as a big family:

  • the sing-along inside the van (as we always travel in numbers) on full volume (especially when it’s my eldest brother’s turn to drive)
  • the passing of chips
  • the stop-overs in the middle of a national highway for a picnic packed lunch, with piled up-with-so-many-compartments Tupperware (we all had that in the 90s!)
  • the rush of the tollgate and the heart-pounding express way
  • the cold wind gushing through your face via the opened window
  • the habit of calling the street food peddlers for nuts, pies, corn, you name it! And the messiness entailed
  • the nostalgic feeling being woken up from a long drive, only to see your house’s gate already (or your bed, we all secretly believed we can teleport as a child :p)

This family habit turned me into an adventure/travel lover.

I knew, despite the motion sickness or the curse to sleep the moment the car starts moving, that I will be traveling.

I will be going places, touring the Philippines, and the rest of the world.

It’s a far-fetched dream then, but I’m just convinced in the gut.

I can say that I grew smarter not because of the books, or the school, but because of the many exposure I got from traveling.

The retention was far better, learning definitely more fun.

You get a piece of history without even trying to. And it made me appreciate the differences in people–the manner they think, the way they act or speak, their looks, the intricacies, you can say.

It grew in me a deeper appreciation for society, which maybe why, I didn’t have a hard time in my Sociology subjects in school.

There was an instant connection, an instant understanding on why things are the way they are, and how we are interconnected with one another despite geography.

I may not be able to share the many pictures of my first travels, but I hope these thousand words will suffice for the missing pictures, for now.

This is an intro to my travelthon life.

How the love for travel begun.

A recall of the places I’ve been even before I recognized I was traveling, or knew the word travel.

It might be so obvious to say, but if money was not an object, I will live to travel the world one place, one day at a time, skin-tanned, hair dried, or nails undone.