Saturday, April 7


Life experiences.

That's what I value the most. 

I want to be the person who gets to a certain age without fear. To be able to say "I'm 45" without blinking. Because the years are measured by a variety of life lessons. Experiences. Achievements.

In my mind, I always associate traveling with new experiences. I love traveling and I live for the experience. I find it rewarding to be in places and seeing things beyond my daily existence. I want a good story for every place I go to.

To celebrate the world --where anything is possible-- are a list of things I want to know in this lifetime:
     A South American tour
          - Iguazu Falls from Argentina to Brazil
          - extended Amazon River cruise in Brazil
          - Atlantic forests of Brazil
          - Machu Picchu in the lush Peruvian mountains
          - Nazca Desert in Peru

Not to mention the islands! 
            Chile's Rapa Nui 
            Archipi√©lago de Col√≥n of Ecuador

And there's still Central America . . . haist!

     Enculturation with a indigenous community for a year -- bare of all comforts I depend on.

At first, I just wanted the experience, in exchange for the most fantastic location ever. Until I learned about our endangered indigenous group: the Batak (also known as Tinitianes, one of 70 indigenous peoples of the Philippines), who are literally disappearing in my time!

50-years ago, before the roads and the invasion of logging companies, the nomadic people of Batak still had their ancestral lands by the sea in northern Palawan, southwest of the Philippines. At the turn of the 20th century, their population was already less than 1000. Now there are even less than half of that remaining. There are so few of them today that most of the younger generation marry outside the tribe, so "pure" Batak are rare.

I want to have the chance to know these people. To know their spiritual values. Their pre-hispanic belief system (animism from 500 AD or so), of spirits residing in nature. Before their tribal identity is irretrievably lost and they cease to exist as a distinct ethnic entity.

     A month in a remote place of Mongolia, where I know no one and I am unable to speak the language. 

Or in a small intimate community like in the world's smallest republic: Nauru, in Micronesia. Or in one of those Canadian islands: Ellesmere Island or Cornwallis Island where the population is less than 250. Or Svalbard and Jan Mayen in Norway, which is about 0.00002% of the world's population. Or Suriname in northern South America. 

So many ORs!

I'd like to be in a place with a land area big enough to impose isolation. Coming from a fast-growing country highly ranking both in terms of total population and population density --what are we, 4th?!?-- in the world, it would be a frantic experience to be lost in the sands (figuratively speaking) of the Western Sahara.
p.s. I would've chosen the Vatican City, but having been raised Roman Catholic, I believe I've had all that I could to do with it.

     A season in winter darkness above the Arctic Circle. To spend an extended time in the dusk.

Although I am unhappy about winter -- and that's without snow! So much more, if you can imagine, when temperatures cease to rise above freezing. But  it is important to know the arctic night and the nostalgia that would flood me during that time. 

My choice destinations to be exposed to the polar climate would be in Barrows, Alaska where there are no roads to connect it to the rest of the world. Or somewhere in Greenland about 80° to the North where I imagine to have the perfect seat for watching the Aurora Borealis phenomenon. 

I know it's crazy, but wait till you see what's next . . .

A research station in Antarctica. McMurdo Station?!?

My point is -- life in  these extreme areas that lies far from the Equator would be an absolute opposite of the life I know in the tropics.

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I guess you could say I have it all wrong! 
          "Must new experiences always manifest itself in a dramatic fashion?"
Perhaps you're right. 
Sometimes I too fear having the wrong priorities.

It should be the other way around. 
I should have the mind to recognize the enduring beauty of life in every moment. 
But I am often indifferent and don't really pay attention. By default I categorize things around me as banal, and therefore generally irrelevant. 
I must have walked away from many opportunities, unaware that they were ever presented to me in the first place.

Every once in a while I do catch myself asking:
     Do I really have the capacity to perceive moments than can transcend my current limitations?

To be honest, I need incredible experiences.
Anything "other-wordly" that are emotionally and spiritually powerful to alter the way I lead my life.

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