Sunrise is life’s representation that every day, we get to say hello – to things that stayed, and to new ones that come our way. And in contrary, sunset is goodbye – life’s way of telling us that at one point, we need to let go and move on. Both, symbolizes hope; the former, for a new beginning and the latter, a depiction that all things will eventually end.
2015 for me has been a series of hellos and goodbyes. In general, I’ve been very lucky and blessed. Checking the list I’ve made last year, I’m pretty contented with the number of things that I was able to accomplish. Looking back at my travels and the moments lost and created, I couldn’t be more grateful.
January: I started the year with a bang of colors as I swear to say hello to a healthier lifestyle (to which I know I’ve failed greatly). I joined Color Manila, and the experience was nothing short of fun.
I also climbed Mt. Daraitan with my newly-operated right hand. A testament of how hard-headed I am but moreover it was my way of not saying goodbye when it comes to the things that I am passionate about.
February: Trekked Pinatubo with my Malaysian brothers, Nazhrin and Jun along with my team and new-found friends, Anne, Ven and Kris. We said hello to walking on lahar under the scorching heat of the sun.
I also got to cross ‘Set foot in Mindanao’ in my bucketlist when I traveled solo to Surigao Del Sur. I braved the unknown, did the unthinkable, and proved to myself that Mindanao is surely a gem waiting to be discovered. After four days and three nights, after scary bus stops and police checkpoints, Surigao still left me wanting for more.
And, and, and, and my first international trip. My biggest hello this 2015: Thailand! The days and nights I spent there were filled with moments that I will always be thankful for. Thailand was a great start. The culture and the country fascinated me. Phom rak khun Thailand.
March: I had no idea that our sudden trip to Splash Island was going to be my last trip with my former officemates before I left my job at Maersk. Saying good bye to these people is but one of the hardest decisions I have made.
April paved the way for my longest trip in the Philippines by far. I said hello to Banaue, Sagada, and Baguio with my cousin and niece. The experience I had there opened my eyes to how beautiful and rich our culture is.
After having a break, I started working at my new job. It may be mentally and emotionally challenging but if that’s what it takes for me to grow professionally, then I’d gladly step on to the challenge.
May: For what I consider to be my pre-birthday climb, we did summit Mt. Makiling. The hardest day trek I’ve been into by far. I was expecting to have my first encounter with a limatik (leech) but since it was summer, the season did not permit me to.
I then ventured on another solo trip last June in Coron. Though the weather did not cooperate, I still had a good time. I was getting used to solo trip by then.
By July, another challenge was successfully conquered when we hiked Mt. Marami. Together with new-found friends, Camille and Mark, we tested our limits and patience. After 5 hours of trek, we were rewarded by one of the most breath taking scenery there is in our country.
August is bittersweet. I was able to summit Mt. Ulap, my last mountain for 2015 before I temporarily bade adieu to mountaineering to give way to the healing of my right knee. But I did not totally say goodbye to travel and adventure. That may be the last thing that I will do, give up on my dreams. This month, I also got to organized a Water Rafting activity at Magdalena; it was a first and good thing that it was successful (hopefully).
September marked another milestone as I traveled to Hong Kong and Macau with friends. Hong Kong exposed me to the reality of how hard it is leaving to make a living outside of your home country. Macau on the other hand, made me realize that if you live your life in luxury, it only causes happiness that is short-lived.
October: I surely loved solo travel as I made another one with my trip to Davao. With the sole purpose of being able to experience diving, I decided to push through with this trip without having enough funds. It was surely one of those, oh-the-things-we-do-for-travel moments. Having no itinerary to follow, the trip gave me the freedom to do what I want and as well as the restrictions as to where I could be.
November 2015 plan was to visit Whang-od and get my first tattoo. But due to some issue on commercialization, I decided to postpone my trip and travel to Ilocos instead, a province that is on top of my list of places to visit. Ilocos was a breath of fresh air. It gave me moments that were spine-tingling and tear-inducing. The last time I felt that was when I was in Batanes.
And December, when I get to go home and fulfill two of what is on my bucketlist, to spend the holidays at home and travel with my family whom I consider to be my own sunrise and my sunset. Those I know that will always be there for me, tomorrow, the next day and the day after. It may be a short one-week vacation, but it was filled with love and for me, it was more than enough.
Now that 2015 is coming to an end, enough of me telling you to make it happen, you should have been making it happen by now. This coming 2016, I want you to not be afraid to start over, to move on, to say goodbye, and to say hello to new things. Look and embrace your own sunrise and sunset.
Sunrise. It speaks much of what life is; a never ending series of fresh starts. If 2015 was not your year, claim 2016 and the coming years ahead. Say hello to new beginnings, fix relationships that you still want to last and try to stay outside of your comfort zone.
Sunset. Have you ever wonder why sunset is more colorful than that of a sunrise? It is because endings can be beautiful too. Consider goodbyes to be blessings in disguise. If not for them, for those things, you will not be where you are today. In my case, being here, being where I am right now makes all those goodbyes worth it.
Lastly, yes, there is good in leaving, letting go and saying goodbye. You just don’t find love, adventure or freedom. More than anything, you find you.
Let us toast to another year of making things happen, of saying hello and goodbye!
Happy New Year!