Traveling By Foot: Reflections

Conozco is a Spanish term for knowing. Conozco Pablo literally means "I know Pablo." Through my blogposts, one will understand my personal and social perspective.

In the past two years of blogging, I have already written exactly 200 posts by now. There are several themes revolving around life, emotions, relationships, social issues and travel. Those topics maybe irrelevant from each other, but all articles are deeply associated with my experiences and from where I come from. Not long ago, I was struggling for a decent future and even with supporting my family's needs. I strongly believed that through doing good in school, I would be successful in life through hardwork and determination. From that dream I had and to where I stand now, I could say the distance I traveled was quite long enough. It took a lot of effort, luck and guts, but I am happy on what I have become - imperfect, changing for the better but satisfied.

If I could make an analogy of my life in the last decade, it would be walking in my travels. Known to those closest to me that when I am in a new place, I have prior travel route on hand, and for the rest of the day, I would be walking most around the metropolis to visit and pass by the major tourist attractions of the city of destination. This is quite disadvantageous to those I am with. I take only public transportation when necessary, and usually it is seldom and planned well ahead to where and when. This has made my travels less expensive and would give more opportunity to learn about the city I am into. A short silent immersion of the culture of the locals living in the place I visited is what my objective is. In the end, after perhaps over 200 cities worldwide, I have a significant knowledge about world history, culture, traveling problems and the people living in the planned over 200 cities worldwide. Call that as "Pablo's 200 cities world challenge, " and I would write about all of them in my blog.

Back to walking, aside from learning, I actually gain several life perspectives in doing so. There are symbolisms to why do it and how I do it. I could well correlate my life with it. Here are the major associations:

1. Walk with all your courage and might.

Fear is always present during travels. Many unexpected events might happen on the way. However with courage, ine would transform this fear into enjoyment when one holds on the primary goal of the travel. Same way in life, it is courage and faith that keep us going. There are unexpected bumps and humps, but what matters most is the strength shown in the end, manifesting undying resilence to fight back against life's challenges.

2. Walk with a plan. Never just go astray.

People just stroll around the metropolis and take pictures randomly. Go to the main attraction and everything seems done the rest of the day. That is not my travel route. I have a starting point and end on the same spot during the day. I prefer not to repeat going to places I have been to by creating a map that I almost religiously follow. In my life, one must have a master plan and several back plans, so that when failures and mistakes come, one certainly knows the way out of it. That is the most important I believe.

3. Walk enables one to meet different people. Most of which you will never talk to.

When I travel, I usually hesitate talk to strangers even with directions or recommendations. I only do this when it utmost necessary. Literally, I see people passing by without the intention to know all of them. This is perhaps one of life's greatest lessons that life is about you and what matters to you. It would be good to contribute goodness to most number of people, but that is just unrealistic and exhausting. No one who aims to do so will get the courtesy back and gratitude by doing what he intended to do. People forget and are naturally selfish. When they are finished with what they want, then they move forward. Do the same. It is not unusual to do so.

4. Walk involves many discomforts and challenges.

So far, I walked around the city in the middle of a rain, snow and a very humid hot afternoon. In one time, I almost did not get to the airport on time. Once my Debit card was rejected because it was incompatible. Worse, I had a sore on my soles, preventing me to walk faster and comfortably. Those are just spices of the journey. What matters most is the meat and core of what you are doing, not the garnishes accompanied with it. It just takes one to change the way he or she thinks before something useful and beneficial will result in the end.

5. Walk requires one to trust oneself, more than anyone else.

Even with someone, in traveling, one must take responsibility. Be the captain of your own ship. Take the consequences of your decisions, regardless it was right or wrong. Never blame others. When you let others do the decisions for you, never blame another for a wrong choice because in the first place, you already waived your right to complain the moment you gave the other to decide for yourself. Your mistake in judgment is yours, not caused by anyone else.

6. Walk does not guarantee satisfaction on one's destination.

When I travel, I have a map, not showing the names of the places I will go to. I do not research beforehand what that place is all about. I do that after. By doing so, I maintain my objectivity in appreciating the attraction and learning more thereafter cements all insights I gained from the travel. However, this would also mean that it is possible that I have walked so long without appreciating the place I reached into. That is also true with life, exerting tremendous effort does not guarantee one success and happiness. Sometimes, the greatest success comes with an easy-to-open packages. This has resulted me to think that to succeed and to be happy require one not to toil and suffer. One must be happy in the process and on the journey to success.

7. Walk seems shorter, knowing someone is present to help.

It is all in the mind. When there is someone accompanying you during travels, time flies so fast, while the distance between destinations seems shorter. That is just the gift of life, being with people that matters most. The decision to keep one in one's life depends on whether the other provides the significant reason to live. It is therefore necessary to get rid of people in your life, who continuously pull you down. People that matters in life are those who are genuinely happy and satisfied when you succeed in life.

8. Walk demands one to never hesitate to go back when need arises.

I have been lost several times in my travel. It usually happens in the first minute of traveling. Worse, I did not find my hotel in South Korea for 3 hours, carrying a 20-kilo baggage with me. My assumptions were in correct, and was in the verge of hopelessness. I can not take the bus or taxi, with fear of getting lost further due to language differences. Several times, I went back and forth in one street, struggling with the heaviness of my baggage. It took time, but it ended fortunately. By the time, I found the hotel, it felt very rewarding. I did thought of the time wasted, rather on the time left. That is what life is about. One must not regret everything bad that had happened, rather must be excited on what the future would bring. That is the  grit's spirit!

The reason why I started blogging in 2014 was the need to empty my mind of what bothers me. Perhaps, in the long run, this blog will provide me of a remembrance of what happened and the feeling associated with it. By blogging, the readers will know a bit of me. This is the reason I called the blog, Conozco Pablo from the Spanish sentence, "I know Pablo." Hopefully, you reading this will appreciate my thoughts and feelings to provide a deeper understanding about the author, who made his travels more meaningful by learning more and gaining more life insights. This is in the hope that I, Pablo and you will get something significant for us to better caring social individuals. Keep reading.


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