To travel and discover new lands are great ways to enjoy life. Having said that, it made me realise to venture myself on a backpacking adventure and state the experiences I will have during such trip as backpacking confessions.
I had my backpacking journey just recently. I went to the northern part of the Philippines specifically in Ilocos Region. I brought with me only my backpack with some clothes, camera, phone, and a little money. In hand was my passport with my flight details and I flew to the capital of the country. I never made a plan on where I will stay, I never made a reservation as well. All I have in mind was to survive and continue to travel til where my feet will take me to.
First few days were all smile. I can go wherever I want to go, I can buy what I need, and I only thought of spending less than what I have expected. I was able to discover new lands and see attractions that were different that I used to see back home. I got to enjoy life as a tourist or traveler. I was able to explore the beauty of Ilocos Region.
Blue Lagoon in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
Bangui Windmills, Ilocos Norte
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Burgos, Ilocos Norte
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos, Ilocos Norte
Malacanan Palace of the North in Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Paoay Lake, Ilocos Norte
Paoay Church, Ilocos Norte
Plaza Salcedo in Vigan, Ilocos Sur
St. Paul Cathedral in Vigan, Ilocos Sur
St. Augustine Church in Bantay, Ilocos Sur
Vigan Heritage City, Ilocos Sur
On the fifth day and onwards, I checked my wallet. Money was flowing like waterfalls. It depleted faster than I have imagined. I was not enjoying anymore on my trip. Most of the time, I was thinking how will I surpass this. Of course, getting a job is out of the question. I needed some solutions for me to survive the whole trip. It ended up to cutting my food expenses. Instead of having three full meals in a day, I split it into two. I only ate two times a day, a brunch with only biscuits and a heavy full meal before 6PM
. I was able to survive for 3 more days but my head sometimes ache a bit. When it happens, I just put myself to sleep or stare at windows.
These saved me from hunger.
Money running like waterfalls.
Staring at windows
On the seventh day til going home, it was disturbing and I needed a thick face to have done it. First instance, I was staying in a very affordable place for just PhP300/night yet still I asked from the receptionist if she can provide me longer hours of check-in and out time. Usually check-in time is at 1400H and check-out time is at 1200H, yet I have asked her a favor to have me stay in the room til a new visitor comes. I never thought I would have asked such thing. I checked out about 1900H. I am glad that someone still has a heart of gold to help other people in need. Second, my food allowance was slashed from two times a day to only once per day. For morning, I only drank water and at 1500H, a regular budget meal at any fastfood such as burgers. Burger stalls that offer buy 1, take 1 helped me a lot to fill my empty stomach. The last was when I just sat down in a bus terminal waiting for my ride which was scheduled to depart after 6 hours. I’ve just waited in the terminal and about to fall asleep since I don’t have a place to stay. I would never go to the plaza and sleep there. That would be my last resort in case the bus didn’t show up.
Quenching my thirst and hunger for days.
As a realisation, people tend to exaggerate and only show the good side of traveling on a tight budget. I’ve been doing that too. From my previous blog articles, you will see and read all good things and sometimes sugar-coated entries but in reality, I was starving, homeless, and penniless. So whatever you have in mind, think a million times first before you make actions. Be prepared always and have safety nets. Through these experiences I had, I felt humbled. I’ve been appreciative for what I have. I’ve sensed independence and able to look for myself. I’ve been more closer to God because whenever my stomach gurgles, I just went to the church and prayed and I got full. It was hard but I have tried to live a life penniless yet I persevered.
P.S.: Before the trip, my budget was about PhP5,000. Good thing, I was checking my ATM card and it appeared that I still have few pennies left in there. I was able to survive my first backpacking trip with a total cost of PhP6,000.
Photo credit to Crudu Marco for the featured image.