Take me back to Z

There will have to be a first time in everything.

Travel solo? Intimidating  Terrifying  Worth a penny 

I’ve consulted some people and thought of this trip countless times since I was into strict saving money program for Thailand. I am so into this which I cannot also explain so I signed up, I paid and poof! A surreal weekend ever happened.

Pops had to send me to our meet up and waited for me for our departure (so sweet!). I sat on the fourth row, little less wobbly, with no seat-mate but this couldn’t discourage me from hoping I would meet someone there perhaps. I fell asleep — obviously because I didn’t sleep just to get early. Bus ride was quite long and we’re quite late (but all okay) and finally after four long hours I met Liwliwa, Zambales.

Like everyone who’s solo and first timer would do, I go with the flow, from registrations then to our hostel. I was not expecting something extravagant, I just want a breather, the smell of the sea salt, the sound of waves, the feel of sand in my feet, a place where I can go without anyone watching me, people who wouldn’t overcrowd me, a place where being light and happy is normal, a place where people won’t care if you’re sane or not and lucky enough I was at all places at a time.

I want to thank you for spending the weekend with me, for keeping me company, for having meals with me, for looking far at my silver lining, for fearlessly sharing your thoughts and stories, for asking mind boggling questions (HAHAHA), for the comfortable silence, for your funny moments while getting drunk on “tito” beer, for being at the little part left to “generally”, thank you Ram! You have made this trip so much special.

Sad as it ended so soon and the separation anxiety stings, this will not be the last. This will be a prologue, a one great milestone on fulfilling my dreams. The start of much more wonderful adventures I wanted to happen to me.

🙂

Z

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Firsts of all First

Many would have said that firsts are and will always be remarkable. The firsts would set the standards. The firsts will be the first.

The Imus Institute Cultural Exchange Student Program in Thailand (part of the institution’s preparation programs for ASEAN integration) last May-June 2014 was the best time of my college years. It has brought me so much emotion especially joy and excitement. I’m sure that a lot of people would want to switch places to mine but I won’t. I won’t trade anything in the world to what had transpired me in those times. And now one year had past, looking on its third batch is bittersweet. It feels so fresh, like it happened just yesterday.

The feeling of a first-timer who happened to be a chance passenger for the first time, the first-timer who freaked out when she found no luggage at her hand and realized it was checked-in, the first-timer who sat alone on the plane feeling all nervous.

The first step out of a plane finally in Thailand and seeing the most marvelous Bangkok Airport, the double decked air-con bus,the 5-hour drive to Phitsanulok and the worry we carried because some of us are left behind.

The feeling of finally stepping on the 507.56 acres Naresuan University, the dorm, the towel/blanket/dress, the split-type air-con, the unbelievably large lizards, the scorching weather, strong rains at night, several skype calls, the impalpable martial law, the buddies, the motorcycle of our buddies, famous omelette stores, the 7-11 stores and coffee shop every corner, Coffee Space, Betagen, Lays, Mama, the convenience of laundry works, the most inexplicable feeling riding a motorcycle by four, different dinner menu every night, smirnoff vodka, videoke nights, riding the wrong e-bus to classes and getting late, the green bikes, the olympic-sized university pool, street foods, street fruits, night markets, losing slippers, forgetting about wearing bra, oc boy roommates, sober late night talks, sleepless nights, the fastest internet connection I’ve ever experienced, pesky insects of all kinds flying all over, bidets, the large frog at the shower, tuktuk, visiting majestic temples, lighting incense, cheap good food, the truly comforting comfort rooms, some food that really challenged my stomach, feeding fishes, eating the food for feeding fishes, crying after feeding fishes, my crying habit, my sleeping habit, my yawning habit, the songs Daylight, Huling Sayaw, Laging Naroon Ka, Piliin mo ang Pilipinas, Yoo dtor loey dai mai, Your heart for my Number and Dok Salou, Circle dance, Happy dance, Sukhothai Historical Park, my first swimsuit, spices, the how-the-hell-happened-three-minute bath and getting dressed, planting a tree, Hearing the Sunshine, first-time-in-forever yoga class and sleeping after it, the unexpected calls from mother nature, witnessing most vulnerable moments as well as my own, the blusterous overnight of fun with our buddies, the cooking show, the aftermath dinner of the cooking show, dogs that seldom barks, close encounter to elephants, the largest Krabak tree in Thailand: its way down and seemingly unending and tiresome couple of hours way up, slugs, superb fog, losing all my money and passport, Philippine Embassy at Bangkok and Bangkok taxi.

The feeling of the first-timer leaving the place of her many firsts, giving tightest hug she could ever give, sobbing worse than a kid, the piercing melancholy seeing them leave, the hefty steps I grieve and tears my eyes could never halt.