There’s nothing more exciting than to go on a journey to a beautiful beach, a trek to the mountains or if the time permits discover new places. Go out on your well-planned vacation but the best travel is under the spell of spontaneity.

They say that traveling is for the restless soul, one that can be mend by a day of  wanderlust, whether to ride on a bus or an airplane. Motion and distance is their therapy. You can’t keep them in one place. They have a map pinned on their walls and big calendars to marked off with their next sweet escape. They have a day bag packed with essentials left hanging or lurking in one corner, because the moment she decides to go out of the door, she’s up for a great adventure.

Traveling is a light post for our spiritual journey and beacon for acceptance about other people’s differences. Here are the reasons why traveling makes me happy.

For Spiritual Journey

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Sunshine at Carles, Iloilo

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin

Even if it’s just a steep climb to the mountains,  you have a purpose to achieve. You beat your own demons and fears because you have faith in yourself.  That for me is a dharma.

How do you feel being in the beautiful place for the first time? Awed. Inspired.  Maybe Nothingness is Something.  I would like to believe that there is a great architect and designer  for these wonderful gifts of nature. We are just a speck of dust in the universe and all of these are here to remind us, that He’s everywhere. He’s the sunshine, the sunset, the rocks we sit on, the seas we swim, the clouds we pierced with all our flights and departures.

The manifestation of His presence are those special moments that moved you as you bathed in the waterfalls, seeing the semi-perfect shape of a volcano, feeling awed at the sight of the clouds that almost touch your face, that certain kind of void as you plunged into the waters. I wonder if this makes sense to everyone, that nature alone can spark spiritual enlightenment. If Music is Religion, Nature is my Holy Spirit.

For Mental Health

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Lignon Hill, Albay, Legazpi City

“To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark

The moment I looked outside the bus window or buckled my seat belt on an airplane, the happiness begins. Studies reveal that traveling lowers depression and risks of heart attack. It gives a time to recharge after a stressful day. Being in a new place, this leaves you feeling excited, thinking what the day would be like, what kind of people you will meet, what exciting dishes they’re famous about. The traveling pills keep releasing happy hormones that is beneficial to stay positive and creative.

When I am at the waters, floating in that sense since I don’t know how to swim,  allows my mind to relax. The sounds of waves splashing in the shores is therapeutic. The rustling of leaves in the wind is soothing to the ears and skin. A quick stroll to the rural areas or cityscapes, is a communion to the unknown. It enhances the cognitive thinking as you plan your next move in going to places without the aid of Google maps, but your choice to converse to people. Haggling is also an art which also challenges your persuasive skills.

For Physical Health

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Waterfall Rapel at Danasan | Danao, Cebu

“A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” – Moslih Eddin Saadi

I dare myself to move as a reminder that I am here for a greater purpose and to do that is to start taking good care of my physical health. Our body is the temple of our soul. There is no life that can thrive for a sick body.

Living on a sedentary lifestyle could posed a long term health risks. Hence, a brief course to the mountain is a good form of exercising and the breeze clears the lungs and mind. How about a 3-hour canyoneering activity or paddling in the the white water rafting? When I am in a new surroundings, it gives me opportunity to soaked up and enjoy the scenery, the streets and corners through aimless walks. The sweat in my head and the pain in my legs are an indicators that I moved, I climbed, I jumped and the struggles are all worth it. The pain is sweet and addicting.

For the Love of Life 

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“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac

We are surrounded with  expectations to deliver, to perform, and having a quick hiatus to a cozy hammock under the shade of palm trees; seeing the sunsets and sunrises that crept the edges of the mountains is a relief. To love our self means having a time and space to be on our own: free from conformity.

Life is a journey to discover and learn.

To set foot in a new place and know their practices and appreciate its strangeness is a learning process.  These experiences are life changing, it broadens our perspectives  about culture and life in general. We are living in a kaleidoscopic world where we should learn to interact and accept our differences: lifestyle, customs, religion,  gender, language and that makes the web of life more colorful and meaningful. Perhaps, in travel, we will discover good people in our journey, that society isn’t bad after all. Because they too, like you, are tired from reality.

Happiness comes in different forms and the sense of distance from the known makes me learn to appreciate where I come from, my true home. Traveling teaches me to love more about life. Despite all the sadness and troubles, it’s here to remind us to live for a moment and seize life while you can.

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