It took a lot courage out to me and inspirational people to get on my feet and start traveling on my own. People who have become my friends and some people just left you a wonderful memory of kindness and companionship.
When I finally did it (decided to travel solo), it wasn’t easy, the paranoia of the conditioned thoughts that made me fearful was still there but one step at a time and replaying words of encouragement in my head got me through it, made me addicted.
There were a lot of moments that I have encountered kindness from strangers, people from another country, culture, and religion were just sincerely trusting and helpful for a stranger like me. Those people changed my views about selfish people, all along I thought almost everyone are selfish but these people touched me and realized there are more sincere and kind people out there willing to help a vulnerable person…. I called them, Angels On The Road.
Angels come in many form, some are just happy to point you at the right direction, some are friendly ones willing to reach out and share something to a stranger sincerely; some will teach you more wisdom, how to love, and how to live, some will go out their way to make your unfamiliar surroundings safer, some would save your life, and some will CHANGE your life.
In 3 years that I have been traveling on my own, I’ve met a lot. One thing I assure you, that the people that made the most impact, they are never forgotten. I do have different names for the angels who have imprinted a lot on me and it started from…
(L-R: Doug, me, Leizel, and Nick)
It was in Krabi when Lezel and I were running away from this sick Spanish dude that keeps following us everywhere we go. When I saw Doug and Nick, who by the way, referred us to our guesthouse when we met them at the sidewalk eating Fried Chicken and Sticky Rice and ate with them before looking a guesthouse after a 14 hour bus ride from Bangkok. It’s funny how the life saving conversation started,
Leizel saw me rushing from her spot taking photos, “Lyndsay! The guys are here!”.
I didn’t hear what she’s saying because I was furious but I looked at the location where she’s pointing and I saw the guys hanging out there… Nick taking photos and Doug just sitting on the sand. I rushed to their spot,
“Hey guys, how are you doing?” I said trying to hide what’s strange situation I’m in.
“Oh we’re good, we’re good'” They both said, “How are you?” said Doug,
“Oh, I’m just running away from this strange Spanish dude!”, I casually said.
Then this guy came rushing in with Leizel and my stuff calling me, Nick asked, “Who is that dude?”, and I said, “That’s who I’m talking about!”.
As the 3 of us sat on the sand and Leizel still busy with her photos without any idea what happened that one last time, the crazy dude just put down all our stuff near us and laid his sarong there as he laid there for hours. We ignored him the whole time, I intentionally did.
The 3 of us started talking and whispering whenever we talk about that crazy guy, how did it start and what happened from when we left the guesthouse. I asked them to please not to leave us alone with that dude, and when its time for them to leave to get some food they said, “We’re all leaving this place together.”
Isn’t that awesome? They’re there for a reason. That friendship will be there wherever we are in the world. They’re one of the best people I’ve ever met in my travels. After almost a week of hanging out with them in Krabi, we left to Bangkok. Leizel came back to Manila, I stayed in Bangkok met Doug in Bangkok before he left to Canada and Nick visited us in the Philippines as he promised because he didn’t make it to Bangkok.
(Above: Ate Jen; Below: Kuya Mac and me)
KK Filipino Angels
I met a lot of nice people in Kota Kinabalu (KK) like Kuya Mac and crew who gave me lots of island activity free of charge (which made me come back), but Ate Jen, was one cool lady I met at the bus station to the hostel. Her apartment is just at the back of the hostel and she invited me to have a dinner with her and swim at her place. She even offered to cook breakfast for me before I leave, but was more touching was that she drop me off the airport, treat me to lunch and waited until I’m checked in. There was one young Filipino guy I met in a van as I keep asking questions about where is where, he offered to walk me from his place to my hostel, paid for my fare too. When I told him it was too much of a hassle for him, he said,“No, you’re traveling alone on your own in an unfamiliar country. It must be scary for you.” Even though it wasn’t true that I was scared, he gained my respect for thinking about others, for extending his kindness to a not so stranger (because I’m a fellow Filipino) like me. He was young, probably younger than me, but he’s got a kind and genuine heart.
(Christmas 2010 with Masahiro Family)
My Singaporean Foster Home
Masahiro Family took me in for a month like their own family when I had a conflict with the Singaporean dude that manages the hostel I was staying in for supposed-to-be a month(because I paid one month rent). He got mad at me when I backed out from his job offer. He offered me to give me a work permit justto work at his bar and restaurant below the hostel. I said yes, and because I don’t really go in there I didn’t know what it was like and when I gave my CV in, I saw that it was a sleazy bar and quit. The lady manager after reading my CV even understood that my qualifications aren’t for that kind of place, but the Singaporean dude was so mad pointing out that I said yes and now I’m backing out tried everything to make my remaining stay there difficult. I still have 5 more days then but he wants to move me all the time everywhere, so my mother’s friend Ate Beck took me in for a month during my 3 month stay in Singapore.
In Davao, a simple adventure that I thought went horrible became the best adventure so far. Doing it on my own, I was short on that research on how to get to the Zip City. I asked a cop at the police station for directions but it sounds easier as it was. “Just go straight on that road and when you find a surplus shop then turn right.” After walking half an hour after the roasting tropical heat of Davao I asked a local and she was surprised I was walking. She said “You have to ride to get there, still a long way to go you can’t walk there… Go back at least to that gas station maybe you’ll be lucky to get a motorbike taxi filling tanks there.” So at the gas station, I waited for maybe an hour, chat with the staff until one motorbike guy was kind enough to give me a ride for free. While he’s filling up his tank, he saw the Zip City’s service vehicle just pulled out, he then said to the driver if he’s heading back to Zip City and when he said yes, they told my story. Lucky! Not only that I got a free ride to the place, I got free entrance to all other three parks connected to Zip City!
There were so many people wherever I go that I call my angels on the road just because it was an unexpected help from people I don’t know. Most of the time, I don’t even ask because they offer and who am I to decline a help. Which restored my good faith to people. I’ll try to pay it forward, these are the things you encounter when you travel alone. I know all of you guys who travel around solo or not, you have your angels too!