The truth is, I’ve been in love with one and the same person, even before July 27, 2011. We’ve been somewhat silent about our surreptitious relationship, thinking that it might detriment my blogging and in part, our personal lives. But our love story, strengthened by our travels, surely is one of my most cherished chapters, and as a tribute, indulge me as I share parts of it for the first time, whilst writing to the love of my life everything my heart wants to say. Read more…
|Photo credit: teddy-rised|
I believe in destiny. It can seem like a mushy concept, but what better way to describe our first meeting—that fateful day when our common friend canceled on what was supposed to be a milk tea date for three. I myself was having qualms about going anymore too to avoid awkwardness and to not give you the idea that it was a date.
But I’m glad I did. I still remember all the clothes you wore that day and the way you were beaming and smiling coyly at me. I didn’t read much into it, and honestly, I wasn’t really there to date you, for I had a list of other prospects. Later, you told me you did hope that I would text you, but I didn’t—at least immediately.
Fast forward a month later, after a date over a bad movie and dumplings at Cash & Carry, we became a couple. I was a wild child, a product of hurt, failed relationships, and low self-esteem, and you tamed me. In turn, I went off my old ways and loved you deeply.
Our relationship grew over the times we traveled, one interest that I’m proud to have cultivated in you. We were quite the couple—I did the writing, and you did our photos. Being good at maps, you were our navigator, and being street smart, I called the shots.
Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, and all over the Philippines. Over time, we racked up miles traveling together, experiencing what the world has to offer. We’ve biked in Bali, hitchhiked on a military truck in Palawan, slept in a number of airports, gotten scammed a couple of times, and had diarrhea eating peculiar food.
Our friends admired us for all the adventures we’ve experienced, like we’re that nomadic couple that everyone wants to be. But you know, maybe it isn’t the miles, and all the pesos and dollars we’ve spent traveling that we should celebrate. Maybe it is the small things—the everyday instances that aren’t for the books, those moments that sustained our love.
Yes, our vacation in Sumilon Island, what we think is one of the most beautiful places in the country, was so luxurious and romantic, but to me, it pales in comparison that one fateful afternoon we spent in Moalboal, under an unsightly beach hut we didn’t even pay for.
“My phone rang, and my mother was in hysterics. She had found out about me failing in school, and the rest of the story wasn’t pretty. I cried, of course, for disappointing her again.
But you, you put your arm around my shoulders, rested your head. In the middle of silent tears, under the midday sun, between sobs, you were there. And I couldn’t have been more happy.
It was then I realized that I truly wanted you in my life, that it was time for me to abandon the resolve of seeing the world alone. It was then that I felt intimately comfortable with someone, sharing one of the reasons why I journey off to far places and escape reality.
You entered not only the part of my life that travels but also the portion that I evade—one where I am lost in misery. You comforted me and accepted my totality, including the mess hiding under the mighty persona I’ve been showing everyone. You saw the good about me, when I saw the worst.
When you ask me when I felt sure of you, I simply say when we were under that hut in Moalboal. I never said why, but now you know.”
Despite the heart-wrenching storms in our relationship, we found a million reasons to love each other. When I ran away from our house, we spent nights sleeping at coffee shops. When I felt down because of a statistics exam, you went all the way to campus to comfort me. When it was our birthday, you surprised me with a slice of cheesecake. In that bench under the moonlight, we confessed our deepest secrets. Summing up those small things is the napkin that says, “Nothing is (was) sweeter than the togetherness we share.”
I returned your love and care with all that I have, and I made sure that you weren’t just my better half but my family and my best friend. I cared for you and helped you in whatever trial life threw at you. We learned how to be selfless for each other through our endless sacrifices, and perhaps, that’s best takeaway from our relationship.
But unfortunately, our story ran through the course of the usual ones. We had our fair share of mistakes, and we made them often. Ultimately, I was consumed by a permutation of my own issues and angsts that even you can’t solve for me.
I regret them, and I am sorry for them. And I’m sorry if I didn’t appreciate you enough and tell you how much I love you every single day, and I’m most sorry for all those reasons that drove you away. But what I learned about living with (but not being consumed by) regrets is that they are opportunities to do better, and that’s what I’m determined to do.
At this moment, I’ve far accepted our relationship’s fate and how it is for our own good. Recalling what had happened made me realize that I’d rather distance myself from you than continuously watch you suffer at my bidding. It’s without a doubt hard for me, but it is a reality I need to live with as I carry out a firm resolve to rebuild myself.
I’ll be fine, though I must admit that I miss and think about you a lot of times. There still are instances I wish you were with me because there are plenty things that only you would understand and know what comforting words to say. I know it’s strange, but I still find myself closing my eyes and praying to God that He’d tell you what I want to say.
There’s no doubt I will continue to love you, and while it sounds indubitably cliché, I promise to one day present myself to you a better totality of myself—one that’s ready to love and serve you without fear, without doubt, but with an abundance of renewed trust and respect. I know it will take time, and I won’t count the days, yet the greatest love stories I know are formed in years, separated by wars, but evidenced by undying and true love.
We still have growing up to do, and with fair amounts of hope and faith in my heart, I know we’ll still have that proverbial one more chance—sans any hint of fear of being hurt nor of painful memories. We’d have hours to spend on the road and 525,600 journeys to plan.
I recently realized forever has a dichotomous meaning. One is the forever that refers to eternal time, and the other means an infinitesimal feeling of invulnerability—even within a finite timeframe. You made me feel secure and well taken care of, and I cannot be more thankful. You brought me back to life, and I owe it to you to return your kindness one day.
I’ll be back for you, I promise, but in the meantime, allow me to love you from a distance.
Forever and always, baby.
The Pinoy Travel Bloggers group holds a monthly Blog Carnival, wherein participating bloggers write about a singular theme. Mechanics and archives are found in Estan Cabigas’ Langyaw page here. For the month of February 2014, we write about the joys and woes of love on the road as hosted by Claire Madarang of Traveling Light.