Dear reader,

It was around seven years ago when I first started my blog. My motivation wasn’t even to see the world (not yet), it was just to improve my writing skills.

I randomly chose travel as my niche. What’s ironic is I didn’t even have the means to travel back then – not to another country, not even to anywhere near where I lived. My finances were only enough to cover my the necessities – bills, food, and more bills. ( #ADULTING.)

But I wasn’t exactly a noob to traveling. I went to a lot of trips with my family when I was younger. We even went to another country for a vacation. If not for my studies, my dad wouldn’t have stopped bringing me with him.You have no idea how much I miss those times. My siblings and I reminisce a lot, and we laugh about those precious moments we shared together.

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That was the end of my travel journey.

Or so I thought…

In 2014, an incredible opportunity knocked on my door that changed my life forever. I was asked to join an all-expense paid trip as a “travel blogger.” It was nerve-wracking at first because I knew I didn’t deserve the title. But like they say, “grab it while it’s hot.” So I took the chance. I said yes, and I readied myself for the responsibility.

It was because of that trip that I realized how much I love to travel; how much I miss it.

You see, my lifestyle isn’t exactly adventurous.

I work from home, and I’m what others call a workaholic. To put it simply, the only time I stop working is when I’m asleep. As soon as I wake up, I grab my phone to check emails, I go to meetings, and then I work on my tasks. Repeat that cycle until it’s either mealtime or time to sleep.

While not ideal, that’s my reality right now.

And I know that’s the reality of so many Filipinos, too. We work hard for our families and our dreams. We strive because we want a better life for ourselves. We hustle because we want to save for our future.

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So if you ask me now why I travel, it’s because I need a breather. Traveling is my way of recharging. When I see new places and create new memories, I feel more energetic and passionate about my work and dreams.

To end this, let me leave you a quote, “Don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out of it alive.”

Yes, we may have a lot of responsibilities.

Yes, bills may be piling up.

Yes, we have a lot of problems.

Yes, we may not have a lot of money.

But these shouldn’t stop us from enjoying life.

Go to a free tourist destination in the next town.

Grab a Piso-fare.

Visit a beach nearby.

Your next trip doesn’t have to expensive or grand.

Take a breather.

You deserve it.

Travel and enjoy life.

Author: Gay Aida Dumaguing // Gay is the owner of Exotic Philippines, an award-winning travel blog that aims to promote Philippine Tourism. She is an online freelancer specializing in SEO, social media management, and programming.