The veil of a REALITY in TRAVEL: Paddle your OWN canoe. 

It’s probably not merely by chance that you’re alone sometimes and considering yourself selfish and being boastful as your source of pride if you think that you’re not a run-of-the-mill individual that almost married to your comfort zone. You may have had your catnapping moment while forming your dreams in your mind, but you’re trying to wake up because you’re excited to make your own reality to whatever your thoughts life is shaping.

Have you ever questioned why some people are being blessed to do what they love and love what they do and some are just there trying to love what they do and run out dry at the end of the day? Perhaps because they run out of choice or maybe because they don’t open their eyes that the world where we live is big enough to wander and get lost to whatever God has intended for us to enjoy and savor while we are still in good shape and in a good physical condition.

Yes, there is way better beyond the walls of your comfort zone and you’ll be astonished by God’s wonderful creation if you’re willing to take the risk and fight your love of bed and stop the plea of your considered jaded body that always kiss your bed and seemed to be like a sticking glue until it run dry and stay at its comfort. If you dream while sleeping, then don’t get your dreams in life sleeping as well. Hey, wake up, go, move, take an action and establish them into reality.

It’s okay that once in our life we loved our comfort zone cause I’ve been there and I thought it was the only life I have until the end, but I was completely wrong until I was forced by my sheer determination without bothering to think about my empty room of experience in traveling. Forging against all odds on my journey that absolutely maddens, strengthen and ultimately heals me from all the pains of the past, until I realize that I’ve got an ace up my sleeve and that brought me to where I am now.

Photo Credit: @foureyedlaagan

I’ve been backpacking and traveling solo in the Philippines for almost 3 years now and it taught me a lot in life. One of the lessons I have learned is to “PADDLE MY OWN CANOE” It is deciding independently and decide my own fate, the things I want, the things I enjoy, the learning that I want to treasure, the memories that I want to keep, the people I meet along the way and lock them in my vivid memories and bring them always wherever I go. Yes, I failed sometimes, I fell off the ground like a toddler who have just learned the process of walking, he got wounded and kept bawling, but he begins to hoist himself and begin to take another step until he masters the equilibrium in walking.

Lessons I learned I had never gotten a chance to learn from school and the four corners of my office. I’m still learning a whole lot and I will never get tired of embracing whatever life challenges thrown to me. It is when I open my eyes to the place where nobody knows and recognize me, when I able to smile to people whom I didn’t know without expecting in return. When I walk to a street with crowded people, I learned to observe. When I get lost in a place with no one to rely, but the stillness and peace is sturdy enough to trust myself.

This is what I always love when I travel, the unending random people I talked with and have inspired me as well, the different culture I get to delve into, the natural experiences that will surely mold me, the infinite excitement whenever I start to see new things, the awkwardness I get whenever I experience new things and the learning I acquired along my journey. It is the happiness that money can’t buy, after all, it is the life I want to live and the road I want to take with the determination to get to a destination with the assurance of lessons, peace, happiness, love and memories to treasure forever.


THE VEIL OF A REALITY IN TRAVEL is my series blog posts that tackles about my journey in life, especially my personal reflection in my travels expresses in an idiomatic expression. You’ll get to know me more by sharing my random thoughts in life and deem to inspire others through my story with the strong motivation to encourage others and the dictation of my inspiring prompted words base on a personal experience.


  1. Paddle your own canoe— when I read the title, I thought this article is related to water adventures. Yet I love how you related it to life and travel experiences. Well-written and inspiring—kelangan ko pa yta ng maraming hugot to write one like this 🙂 Drop me a message if you’re around Sarangani,


  2. Really cool post. I agree that travelling solo is one of the most empowering things to do and it means you can completely do it your own way! Although i travel with my boyfriend, I would love to travel solo somewhere one day to see for myself!


  3. Act independently and decide your own faith. What a very beautiful meaning for paddling your own canoe. I agree on all your points about traveling solo. I’m an advocate of solo traveling and encouraging my friends to go out of their comfort zone and explore the world on their own. I want them to experience the joy of traveling independently, engaging with locals and traveling on your own phase.


  4. I’m so impressed with your determination and passion to travel and see the world. Right now I don’t think I can do solo travels that’s why I’m always in awe of people who can do such. I don’t have issues traveling and exploring alone as long as I’m already familiar with the place. I’ve done it many times. But being in a foreign land alone is something I have yet to conquer.


  5. I feel you. Paddling your own canoe is your way to learn about life without being too much dependent on others. It will be hard but you will get there. And I am sure a lot of people can relate to your insights.


  6. Well said, be true to your authentic self! Life is a learning process in and of itself! Mostly I believe when are left to our own devices we can be amazed at who we find ourselves to be! I feel pretty selfish in that this is the first time in my life that I have considered another person in it and lost a bit of myself along the way, I miss the days of solitude and depending solely on myself!


  7. I agree with your point of view. I always say that traveling is the best “university” you can ever find in life. Not for the new places & culture but also for the people (locals or travelers) you meet on the way. Happy travels


  8. Sometimes the best travel companion you can have is yourself. I spend a lot of time on the road and I’ve learned that solo travel is easier than you might think – Liberating and rewarding. After a few life changing experiences, I’m now hooked on solo travel. I have a little bit different way of traveling. I always volunteer. Not just to get freebies but also to learn how to cook and speak like a local. I always take my time because I believe this is the only way that you will be able to know about a culture and a country.


  9. I think your series of life travels is a great inspiration to many Lai. We all are responsible of our own, yet, many are dependent in so many things because of fear.

    This is a good read and a life changing path for those who want to get out of their comfort zone.


  10. Real life experiences are always the best teachers. I remember one quote saying “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. I believe that when you take some risks and you fail fast, you learn quick. Determination and preserverance are main key to paddling your own canoe because if you lack that, you might be taken by the huge waves of the sea and end up messing yourself. Great Master Lai!


  11. You are one brave soul, Lai. I don’t get too travel alone that much now, and I have to admit that I am not confident to do so because of a traumatic experience. I still do travel alone, and it helps me become more vigilant of a lot of things.


  12. Travelling alone really just has a sense of fresh air to it. Going out there by yourself and experiencing true independence I feel is essential towards true growth as a person and should be experienced by people if they have the means.


  13. Learning new things, re-learning old things, and learning per se is what we all are bound to do in our life here on Earth. With all the things we learn, some would mean nothing and a lot will essentially be part of who are.

    Insightful article.


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