As the plane descended from a sea of clouds, the Bangkok skyline became clearer and clearer. Skyscrapers, green grass and gorgeous Thai architecture made me want to pinch myself.
“I can’t believe we’re actually here!” I exclaimed to my parents.
If someone asked me to make a list of the things I missed the most during the pandemic, I would put traveling at the top. Before COVID, my family and I were fortunate enough to be able to travel abroad yearly. I remember binge-watching travel vlogs on YouTube during the peak of the lockdown, desperate to get a taste of something I missed dearly.
In June, we went on our first international trip postpandemic to Thailand. Instantly, my love for traveling was rekindled. I had forgotten how much I loved it. Everything—from being unable to sleep the night before the trip to wandering the unfamiliar streets of a new place—put a smile on my face.
However, I know that most people may not have the privilege to travel abroad. This being said, you can travel anywhere.
Because of restrictions set on international travel, my family and I ended up going to Boracay and Pampanga in the last two years. From there, I learned that you don’t need to cross borders to enjoy the feeling of going somewhere new.
Whether you end up in Paris or Cebu, I firmly believe that traveling is important. Let me tell you why.
First, traveling allows you to immerse yourself in different cultures. From new food to customs across the globe, you will always learn something through traveling. While in Bangkok, I fell in love with mango sticky rice and ate it almost daily. Through looking up recipes online, I was able to replicate the dessert at home, keeping a little piece of Thailand with me even after I left.
In Boracay, I learned that sand is welcome anywhere, even in hotels and restaurants. When I worriedly asked a hotel employee if it was alright that my shoes left sand in the lobby, they laughed and said, “Welcome to Boracay!”
Second, traveling will give you breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. You could be sitting on the shore of Santorini, watching a world-renowned Greek sunset, or on the top of the Bohol Chocolate Hills, taking in the sight of the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” No matter where you go, there will always be a unique experience waiting for you.Finally, traveling allows you to rest. It is called vacation, after all. While you’re traveling, outside worries from everyday life tend to disappear. When you’re relaxing on the shores of El Nido, I can almost guarantee that you won’t be thinking about a project deadline. We all need a place to recharge; traveling is an avenue for us to do just that.
For all these reasons and more, I hope you get inspired to go out and travel. Whether you get in your car and road trip across Luzon, or hop on a plane to New York City, traveling is always a good idea. —CONTRIBUTED