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Saturday, July 23, 2011

What is the experience of travel?

I just read an article from Lonely Planet - The Distance of Travel. It was such a nice article which prompted me to blog today. I believe I have a few more articles to write which are about the Rizal Rediscovery Leg I had some weekends ago but this article got me reminiscing that time in the past about my experience of travel I would like to share.
What is the experience of travel? It is the sense of movement through the environment or culture around me. It is getting lost. It is the parallax of trees, buildings, hills. It is wind and sea spray in my face. It is the personality of the horse pulling me. It is the sense of gravity while drifting down a river. It is the pain of hiking up a mountain. And the achievement in reaching the top.
 I re-read these few lines in my head. And I will have to emphasize on the words 'Getting Lost'. And here's my story...

Two years ago, I was in Sydney for work related stuff. It was my third time already so I was almost familiar with the places and transportation, especially those I've been to before, so I really didn't mind travelling alone anymore. In fact, there were times I was more confident to travel there alone than here in the Philippines LOL! So one sunny Saturday I decided to pay a visit to a friend at the memorial park where her ashes were kept.

Took a shot before I left the apartment

As usual, I never leave without my research of how to go to the place and what transportation I should take. In Sydney (or for the most part of New South Wales), you can probably refer to the website 131500 to get guides and details on how to reach one point to another! It has become my very best friend whenever I plan for my weekend travels. I always wished Philippines or Manila at least would have something like that.

So I have my list and printed them off and I'm ready! Bus and train times are almost updated but I would usually leave a few minutes early just in case the bus pass by ahead of time.

I finally checked inside the bus and wait to get off the spot my directions instructed me. But I think I have asked the bus driver to let me know where I had to get off.

Finally I got off at the spot I expected. My map shows the memorial park could be some walking distance from the bus stop so I proceed with walking. Take note, this is  happening in a hot sunny day!

So walked on, just looking around. Interestingly, there weren't that much people in the side streets. So I felt like I was in ghost town haha! But I didn't mind except for the fact I'm getting so tired with the extreme heat.

A few minutes of walking and I felt like I've been walking for hours. I still didn't find the memorial park. Could the map be joking and the place I was looking for is not where it should be? I had another look at the map and it just directed me to go straight which is what I did.

Walking further, I realised I got into an almost dead end. A winding road where there are no side walks. The sides only lined with metal railings and forest of trees. OH-kay! So where am I now! I decided to walk back while thinking of my next step.

While walking, I realised there was a bus that passed by. I could probably ask question from the driver. So I waited for another bus at some unusual bus stop. Unusual because, it doesn't look like one. Haha I just felt it was the bus stop.

I waited and waited but no buses. I'm already tired and sweating and hopeless. I can't find anyone to ask directions from.

And so I decided to give in to my last resort. I checked my wallet, I think I have enough bills. I hailed a cab to take me to the memorial park.

It so happened the memorial park was just after that winding-looking road with no sidewalks. Aww! I could have braved walking there and saved myself from spending a few bucks for the taxi.

Anyway, I was there in 10 mins finally. I got around the park and said my hi to Jenny. After an hour or so, I decided to go to Chatswood to finally do my usual grocery shopping.

The Chapel at the Memorial Park

This time I didn't forget to ask the reception how to get the right bus. She was helpful and I'm glad. Hopefully no more boo-boos for the day.

So I walked out of the park. She instructed me to get this certain bus. When I got out, I realised there was one bus stop on this side of the street and another on the opposite. She didn't tell me which one!

Deciding quickly I chose the one on the opposite side. It appears to look more promising so I got the bus there. Little did I know that it was the wrong bus. It turned out I have to take another bus back after one stop. I felt like punching my face. Haha! I'm really getting so exhausted and impatient with all that happened to me that day. And worse I'm already feeling hunger.

Ok, now I'm already in the correct bus and hopefully getting of at the mall. So I had my late lunch, grabbed something from the grocery and head to my apartment really tired but with an unusually happy heart.

I looked at the directions I've printed and then examined my map one more time.

I smiled. It was actually fun to be lost sometimes!

This is my experience of travel. I've lost my way but I think it was an achievement that I got back on track in the end. I got exhausted, maybe walked for almost an hour and lost my spirits, but I don't mind that much. It has thought me that I can do it. I can travel alone but still smile because I have achieved something. I was still able to reach any place, so long as I have the will and the heart to push myself that I can do it no matter what :)


  1. hi CS Karen!

    by chance, saw and visited your blogs.

    great blogging.

    CS Eddie

  2. @tito ed 'Dumboqtpie': Thanks for dropping by my blog! Hope to join you and tita ethel on the next CS trip! :D


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