5 Lessons I learned when I decided to travel alone

“Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.”

Andrew Zimmern

1. Travel just because and even if. 
Travel just because you want to. Travel just because you are curious. There’s no excuse. Travel just because you can. Travel just because you are young and capable. It’s not at all hard. A lot of people can do it. Travel just because you can and STILL can. 

My friends and family have been worried with my decision to travel alone, especially in Malaysia. It’s not the safest country as a girl but hey you still got to read this so that means I’m still alive.

Travel even if you are afraid. Travel even if you are alone. Travel even if you don’t know where to go. It’s a big world out there and it’s meant to be explored. Travel if you must – to get away, to think, to live. Travel just cause. 

Before I hopped on that plane from Manila, I didn’t what was in it for me. But I gladly went to Malaysia, just because.

2. Trust thyself. 
Trust yourself enough that you can. It may be dangerous out there, especially when you’re a girl traveling alone but you can do it. Trust your instincts and take a lot of courage with you. 

I had a very scary encounter in Penang when an Indian followed me while I was walking. He was asking for my name and number. What I did? I just said sorry and walked fast. It was really scary and I was already shaking but hey I managed to get away.

3. Eat. 
You are in a different country because you’d like to have a taste of their culture. Eat like a local. Go where the locals go. Try different things, even if it’s spicy, salty or even if it tastes weird. The places you go are such diverse places. Eat if you must.

Kuya Armand told me that Malays are among the fattest in the world because they love to eat. I tried wan tan mee and lok lok in Penang and char kwey teow, cendol and a lot more in Kuala Lumpur. Challenge your taste buds!

4. Walking is sometimes better than taking the public transportation. 
But not all the time. Walk if you can, but always be alert. You are vulnerable because you are a tourist so choose where you walk, not in dark places obviously.

Malaysia is not a walking country, unlike in Hong Kong or Singapore. You’ll get a lot of stares from Indians I tell ya. But just walk, be brave enough.

5. Appreciation.
In the four days that I was away, I learned to appreciate the Philippines even more. It’s not the richest country but it’s my home, it’s where I feel safe. There are a lot of times when I didn’t feel safe in Penang and Kuala Lumpur and it really is scary.

I also got to appreciate the food and most especially the Filipino people more and more. We’ve got the best tasting food in the world and I say that without bias! We’ve also got the happiest people there is in this planet. In Malaysia, you don’t get to see that. It’s a different world out there.

I’m back and it feels so good! There’s no place like home I tell ya. But these lessons, I will take them with me until the next time I go for an adventure. After all, we’ve only got one life to live so we gots to make sure it’s worthwhile. 🙂

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