Coming from a conservative Filipino heritage, backpacking lifestyle would not be so easy to explain. Let alone I am a female backpacking solo everywhere my feet leads me and opportunities would allow me, just like my University professor once said “I would probably have to write a thesis to answer it”, but good thing I have my blog, I don’t have to do it that way.
When I start telling people stories when they ask about backpacking, I’m no longer amused by the same reactions, just like when I stayed in a $2 dorm room in Siem Reap, ate local streetfoods, and did volunteering work here and there to extend my trip or stay in one place. Most of the time I stayed longer because I enjoyed the place, nice people, and everything about it. I volunteered teaching English to kids and tutored young adults in Vietnam, although I haven’t done volunteering for housing or any other kind, I want to try them too. I love doing it for some reason though its a bit tiring to teach kids, its always fun just to watch them on their own learning. Guess what? It’s not free, they always give you something in return like free accommodation or a free tour, which is great to enjoy while you stay in that place.
In spite of those wonderful stories, some gets amazed and look differently to you because it really is a humbling experience, others just wouldn’t get it because there’s no career in this kind of lifestyle. I learned not to oppose someone else’s opinion because that is their reality and ‘whatever they think is right’, for them.
I may not have the same opinion as theirs because if we do, they should be traveling around and understanding that there’s more to this kind of lifestyle, but we are all the same figuring out, living, and learning the life that is suitable for ourselves. Then I should ask them back, what is a career anyway?
“Career is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as a person’s ‘course or progress through life (or a distinct portion of life)’.”
[excerpt from Wikipedia]
I think I have a career here, only, it’s not the typical 9-5 job that would give me that nor would keep me tied down in one place and do the routine obligations. People think backpackers are ‘lost’ people but we are the ones who are not. We run our own lives, living life to the fullest, not following orders or smiling with people you hate working everyday, we do what we want to do, and I guess with a good head on our shoulders, we are indeed, the happiest people on earth. We have never lost where we are going, we wander a lot, get lost a lot, its part of traveling, of life and living, but we never lost the sense of ourselves. Honestly, I found myself when I started wandering.