It’s Already My 37th Birthday in the Philippines

It’s one hour to go before my birthday here in Cambodia, but in my home country, it’s already my birthday. Four days ago, I embarked on the most exciting adventure of my life- backpacking to five countries in Southeast Asia for six weeks. This crazy idea started last year when GetGo, the lifestyle rewards program by Cebu Pacific had a seat sale. I booked a flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and scheduled the flight four days before my birthday. I wanted to celebrate my birthday in a place I have never been to, a tradition I started three years ago. And I have always wanted to try this thing, ever since I have read about Tommy Walker’s travel adventures in Rappler.

When I booked the flight and planned on doing the trip, I was already jobless. I knew back then that when the time comes for me to start my adventure, I may no longer have enough funds for this six weeks travel. I know it was a very irresponsible, reckless move. But I have money in the stock market so I wasn’t that worried. Luckily, two months before my trip, a colleague offered me a part-time job.

I guess it’s true what Paulo Coelho wrote in his book, The Alchemist: “And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it”. The universe indeed conspired. The two-week job offered to me was scheduled two and a half weeks before my trip. And I was paid in advance, unlike the last time I worked for them where I got paid a month after. Also, because the job given to me was as a trainer and not as a training assistant, I got higher pay.

Related post: Backpacking Southeast Asia First Stop: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

This is the first time I am traveling on a very limited budget but so far so good. I have been used to splurging on food and transportation when I was still employed, but now I can’t. It’s a challenge I need to succeed so I can tell my friends that it’s doable. That travel is indeed never a matter of money but of courage.

Bye for now, and watch out for my posts in the coming days. I’ll be sharing with you my experiences so you’ll have a guide just in case you get the courage to do this too. And follow my Instagram account @tnadeperalta to see the highlights of my trip. My friend who saw it said it’s like going on a virtual tour. Goodnight and happy birthday to me. 🙂

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