“Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”
Ugh, a tough question I dreaded back in Senior Highschool. As if asking a person what s/he wants to eat isn’t hard enough to answer. But that’s just me. So I always answered, “Everywhere,” or just a vague, “I don’t know.”
But my heart always knew.
It’s funny and amazing reminiscing where I was one year ago and what I was doing.
A year ago, I was on my first out of the country with my best friends; partying, dancing and making bad decisions together, eating Shawarma at such an ungodly hour, running to the next pub in the pouring rain, appreciating every temple’s intricate design and architecture, being asked by a random naked man if I saw his key, laughing at our failed attempt to look cute, celebrating life and our independence. Soaking up all of Thailand’s glory — it was Eat, Pray, Love-slash-Sex and The City (on a budget).
It may or may not be my ideal way of travel at the time, but the urge to travel solo for the long haul when I came back home from that trip was way too strong.
I didn’t know where to start. I spent most of my time researching, learning, and then unlearning some stuff to not lose myself amidst information overload. It took me A LOT of courage, sleepless nights, and planning to get ready for this childhood dream of mine — from Plan A to Plan C:
PLAN A. Go to Myanmar. Because I’ve always wanted to explore the ancient realness of Burma. Get a job/online jobs so I could stay longer. Get a TEFL certificate. Go volunteering. Go couchsurfing. Be a digital nomad. Go, just go do it. Southeast Asia is always a good idea anyway, you know, Pancake Trail.
PLAN B. Go to Peru. Mainly because of Machu Picchu. Get a job/online jobs. Get a TEFL certificate. Start from there then backpack all the way through. The Amazon, Christ the Redeemer, Uyuni Salt Flats, Iguazu Falls, Rainbow Mountain, Cartagena De Indias, Desierto de La Tatacoa, Galápagos Island, Huacachina, Green Lagoon, Cocora Valley, Pailon del Diablo, Laguna Verde, Medellín? Latin America is so vibrant I believe I lived there in my past life. And, visa free policy for Philippine passport holders valid in some countries should be awesome enough, too.
PLAN C. Go to Europe. No idea how. Well, this is kinda next to impossible but let me put this here just because who wouldn’t love to go to Europe at some point in their lives if given a chance?! And honestly, what are the odds?
PLAN X. Sit still and wait.
The universe might’ve gotten really annoyed with my fickle mind so in a snap (not really), I found myself in the most perfect situation.
I mean, Plan C level of difficulty but totally not complaining kind of situation.
BONJOUR DE BRUXELLES!
It’s autumn. I have arrived in Brussels, and I can’t help but smile as I walk through Brussels International Airport’s arrival area. Smiling because never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d actually be given the chance to live in Europe, smiling because it is officially and finally happening, smiling because people look gorgeous AF, and smiling because there’s no reason not to.
Looking back, there were times I badly wanted to turn around and give up, but I’m so glad I didn’t. I knew if I didn’t fully commit to my dreams then nothing would ever change… So I took a leap of faith. Who knows where we’ll be in a year or in the next 10 years from now.
Keep chasing your dreams and go for it anyway.
You don’t always have to have it all figured out to move forward. And sometimes, you can find what fate has prepared for you where you least expect it.
Also, Dreams CAN come true.
So here’s to endings and new beginnings in life, in love, and everything in between.
Written on my first night in Brussels, Belgium | 2017