Stranded in the Philippines

Because of the Corona pandemie I am now stranded in Tagudin. It is nothing to worry about, I am doing good as far as that is possible. But unfortunately I can’t continue with my travelblog, because WIFI is very bad. I hope this one post goes through.

However, I will try to recollect all my memories once I am home. I can say this is a very interesting experience I am having and I am not regretting I made the decision to stay in the country instead of fleeing home.

Please stay safe and in good spirit!

Psychology of a solo traveller

Before I give my travel report of Bacong, I want to write about something more personal, something I don’t find in travel reports. But I think it’s important to consider, especially for us solo female travellers.

If you travel like me, staying in small places away from tourist spots, you will be physically alone a lot of the time. And this has an impact on your mind and soul.

I have never travelled alone for ten weeks, so I don’t know what is coming. But I discovered I have a pattern. The first week I’m usually excited and my head is busy to process all the new impressions. The second week I fall in a little hole. I feel alienated, homesick and suddenly insecure. I get very sensitive, think nobody likes me and so on. Until the third week this is passing and I finally get in a good place, where I feel happy again and connected with my surroundings. The fourth week I usually went home and wondered how fast the time was flying. I am curious what is happening the fifth week.

When you are alone in a different environment, all your friends and family far away, you will experience that a lot of your issues are raising their heads. You always lacked some self confidence? You had abandonment issues? Whatever it is, it will hit you in some way, because you can’t run away from it. I think this is the reason why a lot of people can’t even imagine travelling alone for a week because you are forced to take a good look at yourself and it’s not always pretty.

The healing process

I learned through meditation and buddhist philosophy that nothing is permanent and emotions come and go as long as you don’t attach yourself to them. I acknowledge my feelings. This morning I was feeling a little blue. I sat on the beach by myself, watching the waves and feeling them splashing on my legs. In this moment I felt the power of nature, something much greater than me and I surrendered myself to it. Knowing that all these emotions are just transitional, they have nothing to do with everyone else, but everything with me and when I face my fears, they will go away because they have no power over me anymore.

And what happened? After my little session suddenly good things started to happen, I met good people and had a great day. You can call it karma or whatever you want, but you reap what you sow.

Being by yourself for such a long time in a very strange culture means you have to stay strong and aware. No one is going to wipe your tears, no one to run to. If you want to have a good time, you must be honest to yourself and deal with your shit. Then the good things will come to you.

Planning my trip in advance

Planning my trip in advance is something I do only roughly. Because in my experience, when you travel alone, there are too many variables. You meet people who know about good places or maybe find a travel companion for a few days. Or you suddenly feel you want to stay at a place for some time. This is the great thing about having ten weeks vacation, because there is enough time for everything.

I booked for my upcoming trip an airbnb apartment for five days in Dumaguete ahead, because this gives me enough time to adjust to the heat, overcome my jetlag and also get used to life there, which is so different from Germany.

And of course I did my research to find out what I would like to do and see, it’s just not written in stone. This includes a visit to Siquijor, it’s my dream for many years and this time it is going to happen.

An idea I have not fully thought through is to rent a car and explore Negros Oriental, the island where Dumaguete is located. This I would do with my friends because I don’t know anything about the road condition and if it would really be safe alone. And of course, I like having fun with people too. Travelling solo doesn’t mean we have to do everything alone…

Another milestone is to visit the family in Las Pinas, which belongs to Metro Manila.

That’s my whole planning, everything else is open. Planning my trip to the Philippines.