PTB Blog Carnival,  Uncategorized

You Never Stop Learning: A Valedictory Speech

“Travel is like an endless university. You never stop learning.”
– HARVEY LLOYD, Cruise Travel, Apr. 1985

To all of our beloved readers, good day.

First, I’d like to apologize to all of you that I wasted a lot of paper and ink drafting a perfect speech to no avail. (Well, I still prefer the old school doodling on papers.) I spent countless hours of just staring at clean sheets of paper, floating in a sea of words. When I finally had something to write, they seemed wrong. And with that having said, forgive me for being so personal and emotional with what you are about to read.

Today, we are all gathered to celebrate a very special event in my life, in the lives of my fellow travel bloggers—that is to make a toast to the things we sacrificed and gave up for the love of traveling.

As a preschooler, a newbie traveler, I had the chance to join field trips to Batangas, Laguna, and Zambales in the form of office team building activities. There, I was taught the basics of communication, patience, sharing, and packing. It was the most immature phase of my travel education. Thank God that I survived all the hullabaloos of it.

As an intermediate student, a level-up traveler, I realized a lot more things about traveling. Found out that trips need not to be expensive, that fan rooms can be forgivable, that I can bring cup noodles in my trips, that I can wash my clothes instead of having it cleaned by laundry shops. These and that were just some of the lessons I learned along the way.

Now that I’ve fully grown up and has reached the final stage of my travel education, the time to finally bid farewell to some of the things that I may think be unnecessary to me and my career as a traveler has come.

Thank you bumpy bus rides that I no longer endure the pains of long travel. I can now sleep with my eyes open.

Thank you shared bathrooms that I learned how to take a bath in less than 10 minutes. I am still in the process though of mastering the skills of avoiding being disgusted by filthy toilets. We’ll get there eventually.

Thank you impatient travelers that I now bear deaf ears over nonsensical complaints.

Thank you airline promos that I realized how important planning trips ahead of time is. I am also grateful to have saved a lot of money from your Piso fares.

Thank you chintzy restaurants that I found many inexpensive eateries with food way better than yours.

I still have a lot in my list that I’d love to share with you over a cup of milk-tea in one of my future travels. This can wait for now. But before I end this speech, let me say my final thanks to one of the most important factors of my education.

Thank you traveling. I became a better version of me. You made me appreciate things in a lot better perspective. You made me feel so blessed that I am able to see and explore wonderful places and meet new friends. You taught me things that my parents missed to share, that my professors failed to discuss.

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You are now a big part of me that I’ll stop traveling only when my body tells me so. As what Lord Tennyson said, “I cannot rest from travel; I will drink life to the lees.”

And as head of this pack, let me now present to you the top graduates of

PTB University Class of 2013

 

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Missy of Sole of Missy

MISSY, Salutatorian
Bachelor of Science
Major in Travel Management

Shopaholics will definitely get sick if their shopping will be cut down from every week to once in every six months but not with Missy. She also have learned to say pass on her then-habit of Starbucks meet-ups with friends. Her soles now prefer to wander in the sand of Boracay or Malapascua than dance in the filthy floors of bars in the metro. She quit work and currently freelances to fund her adventures.

“When you take a new road, you’re leaving behind some footprints. When you embrace a new passion, you are also embracing changes. When you try new activities, you have to let go of others. Unless you can manage everything at once, you have to graduate from something. Do not deprive yourself of the beauty of the world. Keep on travelling!”

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Cris of Pinay Thrill Seeker

CRIS, First Honorable Mention
Bachelor of Industrial Engineering
Major in Heart Mending

The Pinay Thrill Seeker not only bid heartaches goodbye, she also met her now-husband who shares the same passion for traveling and mountain climbing. Set to see the world with a new and different perspective, Cris now considers the world as her comfort zone. She plans on taking her travel education to a next level and focus on geckos.

“I used to think, as long as I’m safe and sound at home, I’m okay. When I became a traveler, I realized that home is so small to be a comfort zone. Now, the world is my comfort zone.”

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Mai of Budget Biyahera

MAI, Second Honorable Mention
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Major in Unnecessary Spending

After becoming a traveler, the Budget Biyahera has since hit the road without inhibitions, fears, unnecessary things, and even parted her corporate world. She finally found her passion, not with fashion, but with traveling. Mai wishes to pursue a career in meeting new friends and another degree with economics aka trading iPad over traveling.

“I have to admit. I’ve never really bought anything expensive for myself. So if you were to ask me, most of my pricey stuff were given as gifts by my family and friends. So if it’s not food, all of my savings goes directly to my travel fund. Believe it or not, I’ve graduated from obtaining and/or keeping ‘material things’ as investing on trips and journeying off to different places has given me more fulfillment in life than the former.”

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Astrid of Starfish Travels

ASTRID, Third Honorable Mention
Bachelor of Arts
Major in Saying She Can’t

The Starfish Traveler who believes that life is not a sprint but a marathon has finally said goodbye to saying that she can’t travel on her own, that she can’t take time to travel, and to simply saying NO. She is bound to further conquer her fear of being alone by going on a solo trip to Coron in the next few months and has started funding her travel by cutting her expenses over expensive cups of Frappuccino.

“I guess traveling makes you feel more alive that you move away from having doubts about yourself. It makes you own your steps and your direction. Sometimes, you get lost. Sometimes, you make a mistake. But you always take a risk. The world is there to be explored.”

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Rain of Rakistang Nars

RAIN, With Honors
Bachelor of Science
Major in Traveling Light

The Muse of Traveling in the form of Rakistang Nars had to go through an unimaginable torture of being away from her beloved gadgets, vanity kits, hoarding acts, caffeine, and luxurious hotels. An ex-Burgess of the Conioverse, where every thing has a price tag (thanks to Jessie J), Rain has since settled to another universe of just carrying an iPhone, a lippy, a couple of eBooks, and few cups of coffee from an inexpensive machine.

“The arithmetic of travel is simple: in order to palm the joys of traveling, one needs to free one’s hands. Things may need to be let go in order to make the load lighter and the journey more convenient. Traveling is an education in itself. It rids of the unnecessary in the equation and narrows life to simple joys, straight-forward practicality and pure fun. It also teaches one of focus, priority and goal-orientation. It opens one’s eyes to society, culture, diversity and environmental responsibility, among others.”

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Riz of Lamyerda

RIZ, With Honors
Bachelor of Arts
Major in Partyphilia

The Queen of Lamyerda has been bitten by a travel bug and now lives a nomadic life with less Starbucks coffee and Halloween Balls. Quitting her graveyard job has opened a better window of opportunities for her to wander not just in the country but also overseas. Traveling has taught her that there is so much to do and explore. Riz still uses an old laptop that overheats from time to time.

“I’m one of those people who were bitten by a travel bug and it’s incurable. Ever since I embrace the nomadic life, I find it hard to settle for one place. Traveling is my life and for most people who think I’m too lucky to travel often. I think it’s just a matter of priorities and choices. I travel by choice and not by chance. Every penny counts. I sacrifice so much for the sake of traveling.”

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Jherson of Lonely Travelogue

JHERSONWith Honors
Bachelor of Science
Major in Excessive Vanity Photos

Budget traveling doesn’t mean abusing the word budget by buying souvenirs at almost-free price. Acknowledging the locals and their livelihood, Jherson has since moved away from his old habit of haggling too much. He is also in the process of mastering his skills of avoiding taking photos with his face on it. We can now expect more photos of landscapes from his trips in his not-so lonely travelogue.

“Our ‘real’ school is the world we are living in. We will never graduate in this school called life. What we do rather is to unload ourselves with the itty-bitty stuffs and sometimes immature thinking and attitude to move forward and be the best that we are. The ceremonial marching is just the representation of our passing of a certain stage of life. The real race is to go out of the street, pack your things and get lost in the wilds of your world. God has provided a niche for all of us. We have a certain place here on earth. As a banker, a student, a church leader, a backpacker and wanderer of this world I have become what I am because I allow myself to contemplate and to graduate from my immaturity.”

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Mhe-Anne of My Comings and Goings

MHE-ANNEWith Honors
Bachelor of Laws
Major in Negativism and Naivete

With her current status of A- Traveler who has been to 660 cities and 27 countries, who would have thought that Mhe-Anne was a former acrophobe or a person with fear of heights? She has successfully managed to bridge the gap between her fears and adventures by riding public vehicles without seat belts and crossing hanging bridges. The comings and goings of this law school professor surely attest to her life on the road.

“But the greatest reward on this day of graduation and commencement is having a greater desire to cultivate my mind, expand my world, embrace Traveling as a lifestyle and find meaning and reality that, indeed, “Life is a sea upon which the proud are humbled, the shirker is exposed, and the leader is revealed!”

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Ephraim of The Adventist Adventurer

EPHRAIMWith Honors
Bachelor of Science
Major in Self-Indulging Happiness

The Adventist Adventurer has traveled a long way and has found a deeper meaning of life. If back then he thought of journeys as mere recollection of happy memories, Ephraim has come to realize that things are not just about being merry  but also being of service to others. He now backpacks Asia inspiring a lot of people and sharing lessons of life.

“In traveling, you will give up many things. But opportunities and success will come in return. In schools, there will always be graduations. But there is no graduation in traveling and in life itself.”

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Darwin of Tracking Treasure

DARWINWith Honors
Bachelor of Industrial Technology
Major in Partying in an Over-sized Shirt

It was during the dark ages when the Treasure Tracker would spend all of his hard-earned money over booze, parties, and shopping.  After realizing that all these earthly riches are something that will perish, Darwin moved away from the material stuff and started traveling. And mind you, he had three scholarships.

“But then the time came and I realized that this should not be the kind of life I should pursue. I’m not getting younger so I need to try other things that are worthy of my time and money. And that’s where I dream of becoming a traveler. A passion which I think is the best and incomparable than just partying, drinking and over-spending.”

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Claire of Traveling Light

CLAIRE, With Honors
Bachelor of Engineering
Major in DIY Escapades

It was her old notion of traveling as dangerous for women that confined her within the corners of her then-world, an unsafe and hostile place. Now that she met some of the travel angels, Claire is happily exploring places not really planning where her feet will take her. Once in a while, she also tries on new things out of her comfort zone. She still travels light.

“I don’t think we ever fully get rid of our fears or limiting beliefs. But when we choose to be brave each time, eventually, transcending our fears becomes easier. At least, that was how it was for me.”

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Melody of Guiltless Getaways

MELODYWith Honors
Bachelor of Arts
Major in Mindless Traveling

Miss Girl Kuripot, who had a summer affair, now looks forward to every month’s trips. Once a mindless traveler, she now tries to account all of the note-worthy moments of her getaways not caring if she splurges or not as long as she enjoys every bit of it. And with the world as her oyster, Melody felt that she needed not to wait until her retirement before she can go and see the real world. By the way, have you seen her feet? We heard those are her best assets.

“It’s time to experience the world with all of your heart and soul! Follow your dreams to travel whenever you can. Don’t forget to give back, yah?”

 

May we inspire you to go out and see the beautiful world we are living in. In traveling, you never cease learning, you just continue to learn more. Graduation is not an end, it’s just the beginning. Congratulations Graduates of 2013!

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PTB Blog Carnival

For previous compilations of PTB Blog Carnival, please visit Langyaw.com and be inspired by all these wonderful travel bloggers.

Kaiz is a stay-at-home mom and currently works as an Operations Specialist for a software engineering company based in the US.

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