Growing up at 31


I suddenly woke up since my right arm was getting cold. I started wearing my cardigan and looked at the sea of clouds outside my window. The Caucasian guy wearing shorts and sleeveless shirt on seat 8C called my attention and picked the immigration card sitting on 8B and gave it to me. I said “Thanks!” and started filling out the form.

I still could not believe I’m a thousand miles up in the air fulfilling my delusions!

Looking Back

Four years ago, a friend and I discussed how we’d want to live in Siem Reap as we fell in love with this buzzling city in Cambodia. Though Bangkok was highly similar to Manila, I was also open to the idea of living there for I can always do whatever I want without anyone knowing me and without getting a weird foreigner-on-the-loose look as I can always pass off as a Thai.

Then a year and a half ago, I quit my job. I got tired of the rat race and told myself I’d be better off working freelance jobs. With lots of debts to pay, no savings and no real plan in life, I decided it’s time for me to start doing the things I wanted to do – travelling, blogging, owning my time. I shared with another friend my plans of going on a backpacking trip across Southeast Asia. As for work, I can always bring it with me.

As a freelancer, I can be wherever I want to be while continuing to earn a living. The plan never pushed through because I didn’t have the necessary funds. I also thought it best to test this delusional dream if I’m with a travel buddy as it would be cost-effective travelling in twos or threes. At that moment, no one crazy enough was available so I continued working on my online jobs while getting busy building my websites.

Since I have an out-of-this-world, mind-boggling, heart-pounding, curse-provoking habit to procrastinate from work, I decided to go back to working in the corporate world a year after I quit my job. I decided I have to settle with weekend trips ‘till I could save up for my delusional idea. So I travelled solo to Davao, Surigao, Cagayan, Boracay, Iloilo and Naga on weekends.

Quitting Work…Again!

On the 6th month of doing my ideal corporate job, I was haunted with wrong decisions I made in the past. That’s why I decided to quit again. Still without any savings and concrete plans, I also moved out of our house. The timing was just right since I recently landed a promising career online which made it easier for me to keep up with my expenses.

Luckily, a good friend of mine and her family adopted me. I realized how different my life was away from home. As an individual, I was more responsible and cautious with what I was doing. I did things that I would never have done while in the comforts of our home.

My parents kept pleading for me to go back to our house as they also missed me but I told them “Not yet”. I knew it crushed their hearts every time I said NO but I had to stick with my decision. I wanted to find myself. I wanted to be more responsible. I needed to grow up and I couldn’t do that knowing they’re just around, willing to catch me when I fell and always cleaned up the mess I created with my life.

Then Came That Skype Conversation…

I had everything figured out, or so I thought until one Skype conference call with two crazy travel junkies. One was about to quit his job to pursue his delusions of grandeur while the other one was on the beta phase on his self-discovery to possibly leading the life he never thought was possible not until he met people like “us” – travel junkies who’d do anything in order to enjoy working while travelling. One already had a round trip promo ticket and the other one just booked a flight. Since their travel dates were not far apart and their paths will eventually cross during their trip, they were like cheerleaders chanting for me to join. I had no funds for crying out loud! Tempting as it seemed but I couldn’t! But still tempting…Too tempting that light bulbs started lighting on my head.

I had no money and my life’s too screwed up at that point and agreeing to go on an international trip to meet up with two crazy travellers was the last thing I should be thinking of.

But wait a minute! I’ve led a crazy life for the last couple of days. Surely one over-the-edge crazy decision wouldn’t hurt, right? Oh yeah!

That Skype conversation ended with me shaking my head. I booked a flight even if my debts were piling up. I said YES to my dream without thinking where I was going to get funds. Way to go Doi!

At Present

Right now, I’m writing this entry on my travel notebook while looking out the window. It’s almost 3pm. A sea of fluffy clouds are scattered all over the horizon. The pilot’s voice echoed through the entire aircraft.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are now descending into Bangkok cruising at 30,000 feet. We are expected to be in the runway in 40 minutes, therefore, we will be landing on time. We expect clear skies and good weather at 23 degrees centigrade. Once again, thank you for choosing SEAIR partnered with TigerAirways. Have a good day and enjoy your stay in Bangkok! Cabin crew, prepare for landing.”

A few days before this flight, I still had second thoughts whether I would push through or not.

I only have $450 in my pocket and 120Baht from last year’s trip. I still have no concrete plans but I’m confident that everything will just fall into place.

I’ll take my chances…

I’m already 31 and I need to grow up. Leaving home is the only way I know how.

Pinoy Travel Blogger's Blog Carnival

This post has been updated to be submitted as my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival themed Take a Leap of Faith: When Travelling Changed My Life which is hosted by Reiza Dejito of Wander If You Must. Fore more life-changing stories because of one’s passion for travelling, click here!

Click on the Blog Carnival Logo on the left to access a list of interesting topics about the Philippines through the eyes of each Pinoy Travel Blogger.


  1. With some luck, I might do exactly like that – quit my job at 31 and travel all I want. I still have a few years to go to decide. ;p

    • hehehe. just be sure you have everything covered before you make that big decision ryan! 🙂 good luck to your travel dreams too! 😀

    • hahaha. mura man sag mahug nga b.i. mi. 😆 but be sure if you take that leap of faith, you have a back up plan verns ha kay ako wala. hahaha. bitaw, i know you can manage! ikaw pa? the Great Vernon Go! hope to bump into you on your future travels! 😉

    • hehehe. uu. nag SEAIR din ako 😉 it’s never too late to grow up din 😆 yeah, am happy nagkita tayo but sayang wala tayo pictures together 🙁 balik ka dito or wait for us there mica! wag ka muna umuwi! 😛

  2. omg… i feel you. if i got online projects, ill share with you ha so we can work together online and continue to live the life we wanted to have ^_^

    sending positive thoughts your way~

  3. Baliw talaga yung 2 kutong lupang travel junkies na nagyaya sayo! Wag kang masyadong magpapaniwala sa 2 yan na mahilig humedstand kung saan-saan! Mga papansin lang yan! Lalo kang hindi magmamature pag yan ang mga kasama mo! Haha!

  4. hmmm… with debts piling up, etc, deciding on impulse still means you still have to grow up some more. it’s not always reliable to think that ‘everything will just fall into place.’

    anyway doi, just enjoy and cross all fingers that ‘everything will just fall into place.’ just worry after, we are here to enjoy.

  5. ang sarap. hehe. (parang nakikita ko ang future ko sa inyo, quit lang ng quit sa job).. gusto ko rin talaga maging independent at mag travel na lang ng mag travel.

    *buti na lang at na-pilit ka nila ed at ninong drew, hehe. happy trip ninang and come back safe 🙂

  6. The life you’ve always dreamed of is outside your comfort zone. That was my mantra when I started what my family and call “crazy stuff.” I have a rootless existence now, as I’m literally living in a suitcase, going from one place to the next, but I couldn’t have done it the other way, if given the chance to go back in time. You should be proud of yourself, Doi. You are living your life like you want, and you deserve it. Hope magkita na gyud ta one day. Eyeball nya ta sa Mandaue flyover. Hahaha!

  7. 30 and im bored in my everyday routine too…ive dreamed of travelling countries too… maybe i should do it na din..muah!! goodluck sa mga travels u

  8. Always remember, Doi. The things you are afraid of doing – are probably the most worth it. 🙂 Don’t be scared to live your life, no matter how much shit there is going on around the world.

  9. Its so much easier to have the tides of life ran its course, but it still depends on you where to steer it, in your case you decide to let it fall in the places you really want which is admirable for someone to let go of the norms of society and just follow your heart. Goodluck on the road, and hope I catches up with you guys maybe next year. While I torment myself whether to stay or go.

  10. Ikaw din pala Doi? Congrats on this BIG step! May the universe always provide for you! Go go gow! And if there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know. I would love to support you in any way I can 🙂

  11. Hi Doi,

    I’m turning 30 now that’s why when my eyes hit this story “Growing up at 31, i find it interesting to read. Yeah, something in me says, “i feel like i want to have such a strong will as Doi” or “sana, puro travel, exploring, adventure, fun ang life”. heheh! but i can’t have that na because I’m married.

    it is a happy feeling that you can do what you desire to do. Keep on enjoying life. but better save too….prang ang hirap nman ng travelling with a limited budget, and being hunted with file of bills to pay. hehehe!

    take care!

  12. @mervz, thank you! 🙂

    @grasya, thank you so much and I do hope we could work together too as it seems your job is quite interesting too 😉

    @drew, baliw nga! hahaha.

    @ian, hahaha. movie talaga? but salamat. if you happen to go on a trip somewhere here, contact us lang para meetup din tayo 😀

    @edcel & sheena, congrats for pursuing your dreams too! had to ask your sangay what ‘s the purpose of you completing your education knowing na layo na kaayo kag naabtan but i guess that’s your dream too and bow down pud ko nimo for finishing your education despite the circumstances you are in. laag nya ta diri SEA! am travelling with Ed now 😉

    @estan, hehehe. yeah. i just needed to get away from home and leave everything behind for me to see the big picture and finally grow up coz i have no other way of knowing how. basically, i’ve got everything covered with my online job so that i won’t have to worry at all. thanks for the feedback. really appreciate it! 😀

    @dwin: salamat sa support te! 😆

    @ivan: wag ka mag quit knowing wla kang backup plan ha. wag ka tumulad sa ninang mong may topak ang ulo 😆 yeah, am happy i am here too. never imagined i’d be spending 2012 here. dapat 2013 pa sana if buhay pa tayo lahat. bwahahaha. thank you!

    @cille: salamat! i hope you and titus could travel and come here too kahit vacay lang! 🙂

    @reiza: hahaha. nalingaw ko sa EB sa Mandaue flyover. why not??? ahahaha. am happy i took the big leap too. that way i won’t forever wonder the what ifs if i didn’t jump off the ship 😉 anyway, thank you reiza. let’s live our dreams jud!

    @nina: thank you! i’ll surely work hard in order to keep up with this expensive lifestyle i chose. hehehe

    @mgey: thank you. just be sure you have a backup plan when you decide to fulfill your dreams of travelling. you can either find a job which allows you to do that or just save up and then travel. or you can simply file for vacation leaves and start travelling one country at a time 😉

    @brenna: hehehe. thank you for the words of encouragement. tama nga naman sinabi mo. will definitely work out something and test if i even have the courage to do it and see if it’s worth it. hahaha 😉

    @renz: i guess you can call me that too – a risk taker. pwede rin sira ulo. hahaha. maraming salamat renz! hope to see you soon!

    @leo: thank you. am counting on Him din talaga. 😀

    @chin: so ikaw na si Dingdong Dantes ba yung host nang Starstruck? ahahaha. thanks chino!

    @gabz: hope you also get to live your dream. thank you!

    @claire: thank you claire! sana magkita tayo down the road 😉

    @nathalie: see you nath! ali na diri! ehehe. thank you so much!

    @marky: hay nako marky. don’t torment yourself na! just go and let the tides steer you to wherever you want to go too! for sure, wherever that is, you’ll be fine =)

    @lois: yep! biglaan nga Lois. hehehe. didn’t really plan this well. thank you. hope mameet na rin kita soon!

    @dazzlingzion: hehehe. maraming nag iisip na we’re here to have fun but the truth is we’re not. we’re actually here to have fun but also work at the same time and you can do something similar dazzling zion 🙂 find a job that will allow you to bring your work wherever you go or find a job that will not restrict you from doing the things you love to do 🙂 saving up is part of the plan too para di maiwanan ang mga obligations at home 😉

    @christian: correct ka jan christian. am even surprised that you quit your job too! bilib din ako sayo for pursuing your dreams. good luck sa ating dalawa! hahaha.

    @gaye: thank you! would love to see you on the road too! sana malapit jan sa inyo, di lang sa SEA 😉

  13. Inspiring Doi. 🙂 bilib ako sayo, and to everyone who have actually made the same decision as you. tama, pursue your dreams! Will wait for your stories 🙂 while i decide whethe or not to do the same HAHA am too scared to grow old broke :))

  14. being determined enough and firm in your decision will help big time. making this choice will for sure have unusual outcome but youve done it and many will for sure look up to it.

    keep a great fight doi. one can live a nomad life at best.

  15. @elal: hehehe. thanks elal. am glad nagkaila ta before ko nilarga 😉

    @ezra: thanks ezra. whatever that is, am sure that’s also one big dream you’re saving up for. anyway, there’s no expiration man din sa travelling. you can pursue your dreams of travelling in the future too.

    @cai: hehehe. salamat cai. ang dami mo na kayang pera! tsaka who said anything about growing old broke? this is the best time to start working on our online businesses. if you can hit two birds with one stone, why not do it, right? hehehe

    @adventurousfeet: salamat! as for your fear of taking risks, try mo kahit small time risks lang kasi baka habang buhay ka magwonder the what ifs nung mga opportunities na palalampasin mo 😉 hope to see you again too 😀

    @marci: yeah, sometimes we just need to be crazy to act on things what we’ve long wanted to try. just be sure you know where to land your feet in case the craziness backfires. go na! try mo na! 🙂

    @carla: ahahaha. can’t wait for you to join us on our adventure here carla. nagsige na mig panlibak ni ed about you re how cute kaayo ka everytime mahadlok ka or magreklamo. hahaha. mayta april na! 😀 oist, unsa na imo new blog?

    olan: hehehe. olan, inggit din ako sa mga travels mo jan sa pinas. am a bit sad na naputol ko travel adventures ko jan coz it’s still more fun in the philippines but i wanna do this epic adventure here sa SEA too. hehehe. hope we get to meet and travel again soon 😉

    albin: thank you 😀 if there’s a will, there’s a way din talaga 😉

    @dom: maraming salamat! 😉 i surely won’t give up without a fight! kaya ko to! 😆

  16. WOW!

    I am just in awe at you being the ultimate risk-taker Doi!
    You took a big leap of faith! That’s just amazing.

    Definitely, you’ll be a better and wiser person after your indefinite trip.

    I salute you. It’s you already Doi! hahaha

  17. @flip: thank you. sana yumaman na tayo 😉

    @dylan: ahahaha. thank you dylan. i hope and pray that this adventure will be successful and that i really become a better and wiser person too. but since this is indeed an indefinite trip, mukhang matatagalan pa pagiging wais ko nito 😆 can’t wait to hear of your upcoming journey too 😉

  18. […] months ago, I embarked on this journey wherein I decided to lead a location independent lifestyle as I travelled to Southeast Asia with two travel buddies. I told myself I’d be ok financially […]

  19. Hi:) First off, I want to say thank you for this great post.

    I was reading one of your entries when I saw this post. Since I’m turning 30 in a few weeks, I thought of reading your post. ‘ve always wanted to travel but never had the chance to do so because of responsibilities, financial issues and other factors.

    Just like you, I’ve been in many jobs already. I was retrenched recently so I decided to do freelancing but another office job opportunity came up and my plans of traveling went up in smoke again.

    After reading your post, I am close to tears because I see myself in your post. I wish I can find the courage to do what you do and start living life the way I want to.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  20. Hi Doi! What you said, “…do whatever I want without anyone knowing me and without getting a weird foreigner-on-the-loose look as I can always pass off as a [local],” is exactly what I told my friends when they asked me why I want to travel alone. But more than the thrill of testing my limits, it’s the idea of having a break from my life, from what is expected of me, that excites me. Ang saya lang. 😀 I hope I can write about my alone trip next year as well as you have written about your adventures. More importantly, sana hindi ako tamarin. Haha! Anyway, I loved reading your blog. Will definitely check out Giant Guesthouse in Chiang Mai.

    P.S. Met you and Ed last March at Villa Tany in Siem Reap. Yeah, I’m one of the loud Pinoys checking in super late. Haha!

    • Hahaha. Hi Anj! Happy to hear from you. Why not start writing about your travels now na? 😉 Anyway, there are other cheap and nice guesthouses too in Chiang Mai too. Make sure lang you check the rooms and see if it suits your preference, esp their shared bathrooms 😉 hehehe

      • I saw the shared bathroom at Giant. Pwede na for the price! But yeah, I’ll look around first. March next year naman yung trip ko and not Songkran so maybe I’d have more options. What about you? What are your plans for next year?

        • ei Anj. Yeah, if you are OC with bathrooms, check the place out first. the great thing with Giant is that it’s close to the public market so food trip galore lang. hehe. as for next year, am still not sure of my plans. hehe 😉


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.