Lying in bed and trying to ride out the tropical storm currently threatening to put Manila underwater, I suddenly realized that I need to finally throw caution to the wind and book that long-awaited (and long-prayed for) tickets to Japan.
I’ve been in love with this country for as long as I can remember — yet I kept putting off seriously considering or planning a trip because I was afraid of getting a Japanese tourist visa and being rejected. I was afraid that I will never have enough money to fund my travel. I harbored too many “but’s” and “if’s” stricken by the fear of not getting a visa, first and foremost. The sad thing is — I never, even tried.
I was too scared of facing my fear of the Japanese visa, but I have managed to get a visa to South Korea and Taipei, a month or two before the Taiwan-Philippines row exploded. I kept saying I didn’t have the money but I kept on going back to Hong Kong and Singapore, even co-shouldering my parent’s first overseas trip.
I realized that the reason I am still dreaming about seeing my dream country is because I am just too scared by things I can’t predict.
Today, I realized that I just have to throw all preconceived notions, all premature fears and just eff it and go. To be blunt about it, I stand in the way of fulfilling my own dream.
So next year — on my 35th birthday — I vow to spend it underneath the trees of Kitanomaru Park. With His blessing, with the blessing of the universe and buoyed by your kind prayers and wishes, my fellow travelers — I am claiming it.
I have to do it next year because after that comes motherhood and plans for the future, like leaving the country for good to pursue a better life. So unless I am heavily-pregnant and about to pop, nothing will stop me from stepping on a Tokyo-bound plane by next year.
To do this will never be easy or cheap. But I spend too much money on comics and clothes anyway, I’d rather divert the fund to something important (understatement of the year, my friends). As someone who have an obsession with research, surely I can do the same thing for this trip.
I made a quick check: booking a return flight bound for Tokyo via JetStar Asia is around PHP16,000.00 — this is within a four-month booking schedule, while tickets via PAL costs roughly PHP30,000.00 (same schedule). Tokyo backpackers hostels meanwhile go for as low as Y3,000 or Y8,000 for a nice double room in another 3-star hotel. A budget of Y100,000 is I think, more than enough.
It will not be easy–after all, this trip will be solely funded by what I earn from my work. But whoever said the journey towards your dreams is ever easy?