COFFEE CONVERSATIONS: I don't travel to escape work. I travel for myself.

In awe at the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Australia

While having a good bowl of ice cream, I overheard a group of millennials, who are probably the same age as me, talking – no, make that dreading over work while having dinner. They mused about how they hated their boss, being affected by a colleague who doesn’t mind being ‘used’, a colleague who ‘did not deserve’ a promotion, and how they can’t wait for their next great vacation to take a break from their sh*t called work.

In love with Sydney, Australia

Traveling is supposed to be a product of a happy life for it to be a happy experience- at least that’s what I’ve realized over a few travels I’ve had. I think it’s a sad thought that one will travel to escape work. It’s basically saying one wants to escape at least 70% of their life.

Feeling at peace in Bangkok, Thailand

But you know, I was once like them too. I traveled a lot locally in my high school and college years to escape – every time I’d get burned out, I’d travel even if it’s just a short trip outside the city. Whenever I felt the burden of the academic life, I’d crave to travel; and it always brings me the fun I desire, that break that keeps me sane…only to find out that I’d be back to a life and the people I dislike in the blink of an eye. Traveling, in turn, gave me anxiety because it’s always so fun yet so short, and it always leaves me in a place that I’d always want to escape from; it became a summer fling that keeps on coming back only to keep me wanting more and leave me hurting over and over again.

Excited in Tokyo, Japan

One of the greatest advice I have ever received is to always make peace with any situation. Sure, work sucks, but it’s needed; the money you get from it, it’s your gasoline that lets you travel. So why hate it, one of the major sources of your happiness? Making peace with something is different from settling with something; there are non- negotiable things in life and one of which is work so make peace with it. You will definitely spend more of your life working than traveling (unless your work is travel- related, but still!) and it would be a very sad thought to be hating a majority of your life.

Blessed in Siem Reap, Cambodia

In 2015, while taking shelter from the intense Bangkok heat at one of the Prangs at Wat Pho, I had a realization: to say that one wants to escape work is to let go of all forms of control over self, emotion, and situation and I don’t want that; I can’t let work dictate my feelings, my attitude, and most of all, tamper the fun that comes with traveling.

Damn, never knew that a street side Pomegranate juice can deliver enlightenment on top of refreshment.

Amazed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

So I changed my mindset. I travel not because I hate my work nor I want to escape from it; I travel because I want to; because I enjoy it; because I want to put things into perspective; because I want to taste other local cuisines; because I want to experience other cultures; because I want to converse with strangers; because I want to see what other countries have to offer my enjoyment.

I travel for myself.

Giddy in Hong Kong

And when I go back, there’s work, another part of my life, my gasoline, a place where I exercise my expertise.

Now that thought gave me a sense of control over my life.

Now that made traveling worthwhile and happy.

Happy in Singapore

Some say you only live once so travel while you can. I say you only live once so love your life as a whole- from the good things like traveling to the things that suck like work. 

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11 Lovely Thoughts

  1. this is so inspiring to work harder and travel more. Cheers to more travel insights Ms M!

  2. Well said, Very well said. And i am happy for you, Ms. Martha.

  3. Ako I wanted to travel because I wasn't able to do that due to lack of budget and my parents are very strict, so they won't allow me to travel with my friends (out of town) or bf. Since married na ko ngayon, I can travel with my husband which is also my bestfriend if the budget permits. I wanted to do certain things that I was not in liberty to do when I am single pa. I love travel, I love the beach even though I don't know how to swim. I want to travel to see and appreciate more God's creation.

  4. Nice point and nice pictures Ms. Martha

  5. This is such a good post! And thank you for sharing such an inspiring insight. I wish I can travel more, I use to love having alone time where I can "hear" my thoughts, even if it's not outside the country, because I always feel refreshed and much more appreciative of my surroundings and what I have. Hmmm maybe I need to schedule a trip soon! Hehe

  6. i really miss your COFFEE CONVERSATIONS posts ms m! and finally I read one today.. i feel this too.. ung makaescape ka sa stress sa work.. hindi naman ako nakakatravel ng malayong probinsya at even abroad (im a home buddy) masaya ako kasama ng family ko na kumpleto kami (bakasyon na sa akin yun)

    i really love reading your travel posts kasi parang nakarating na din kami sa mga pinuntahan nyo tru your blog.. hugs ms m!

  7. Work hard and travel harder! Travelling can really reduce stress and very relaxing!

  8. Even if I want to...I still have brothers to support lol! Traveling is still in my bucket list :D

  9. This is a nice insight Ms. Martha. For me too, travelling is not to escape but to be free. Hihihihi. To be able to be part of a new world that is not the usual even for a short period of time. It don't make a sense to me that others tag travelling to be an escape as I think they won't enjoy it. It should be because you wanted it because it's a dream for you to make it more meaningful.

  10. Wow. Thank you for that insight. I'm definitely gonna keep that in mind. I'm still in college, and my parents are strict (I'm a QC girl that can't go to Ortigas/Makati huhu). When I get a job and earn my own money, I'm going to travel for sure (Japan is first on my list ;) ).

  11. On point! I used to have the same mindset, that traveling is an escape from work. But recently, I think I got a job that I like. It doesn't stress me that much (but sometimes it does of course). It doesn't hinder me from my weekend activities. It doesn't haunt me after office hours. I can really say that for now, I'm enjoying it. Not that I have the right job, I just wanted to travel just because I wanted to see the other part of the Philippines. I want a different scenery. I want to enjoy what nature has to offer. :) I want to be happier.


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