I don’t know when travel lost its luster in my eyes. I don’t know when I decided to stay put. I didn’t think it possible. After all, when I met the word “wanderlust” when I was a teenager, I vowed enthusiastically, as most teenagers do, to always give in to it. It speaks volumes of my youth when I admit that this was probably the most intoxicating teen “lust” I ever entertained. But entertained it, I did.
I was 18 when I was permitted to travel on my own from the city to our hometown in Samar. It was a revelation. I grabbed every opportunity to spend a weekend at a college friend’s house in Moalboal. I said yes to out-of-town weddings. I stared in awe at majestic volcanoes while sprawled on a sand bar in Camiguin. I purchased the first and last pair of gloves I will likely own in Sagada. I grumbled at Manila traffic.
But the thrill and allure of travel waned. Maybe it was when I fell in love. Maybe it was when funds for tickets went to a nest for making and creating art. Maybe it was when the last trip I took was to my parents’ house and shortly after that, Yolanda happened, erasing everything that I was setting in my heart to love about their small city. Maybe it was when I saw that everyone in my Facebook feed goes somewhere at predictable frequency that I feel like I no longer have to BE anywhere else myself.