Since it’s summer, I’ve been online on Facebook nearly every day. And doing something so often, even something as enjoyable as Facebook, tends to get boring. I was just browsing through the notes I’ve made and stumbled upon this particular entry. It was a school assignment; I had to write an essay (in Tagalog, though this is written in English) about what I would do if I could get away for a year. This is my response:
My teacher assigned me an essay about what I would do if, for one entire year, I was allowed to go anywhere in the world for an all expense paid trip. The first thing that came to my mind was how, about a year or so ago from now, I had taken my large atlas book, flipped through the pages and marked the countries I wanted to visit. I had dreamed then of wanting to travel around the world, learning about the different cultures of each country, all the while relaxing without the care in the world.
It was one of my greatest dreams then, so much so that I had made a mental plan already. First, I would go to Australia, then around the other countries of South East Asia – Java, Sumatra, Cambodia, Philippines. After that, I would go to Korea, Japan and China, and from there I would travel to the Middle East and Russia, cross over to Europe and bag pack through Switzerland, Poland, Greece, Italy, France, Belgium, and Norway. Then I’d fly over to the UK, spend some time with my friends there before flying to the Americas. I’d start with Canada first, then visit all the states in North America (staying longer that usual around the Pacific Northwest – go Forks!), ride a motorcycle down south to Central America, and then to South America. By then, I’d been all over the world, and I then I can find a random school to learn Latin ballroom dancing.
But then I thought, no matter how much I would like to learn about the cultures of this world, the main thing is that I hate traveling. Ever since I was young, I’ve been shuttling back and forth from the Philippines to England and then back again. I like the feeling of home, the feeling of endless comfort, and traveling around wouldn’t give me that. I would be endlessly tired and stressed. I would be internally complaining why I had done this to myself. Believe me, I’m a great complainer.
Home, to me, is a fuzzy image. They say home is where the heart is, but I can’t seem to find it here in the place I’m currently living in. I’m living in my grandparent’s house, and though I love them and my brother to pieces, my heart isn’t here. My mother is staying in Riyadh somewhere in the Middle East; I love her, but how can my heart be there if I’ve never set foot in the place?
So, where is my heart? Well, it’s all the way in 87 Rosalind Street, Ashington, Northumberland. It’s all the way in England. That was where I grew up. What precious few memories I have growing up here in the Philippines are unclear, and I can’t bring myself to appreciate them as much as I do of my memories hanging out with my best friend, running around in parks or just sitting around in my living room watching TV.
Therefore, if I could go anywhere in the entire world for one year, I would choose Ashington. I would choose where my heart is aching to go. I would choose to go to the place where I found the first true best friends I remember having. Many things I wished didn’t happen happened when I was living in England, but many things I wanted to happen happened as well. I was at the stage wherein I was slowly realizing that I was living in this world, not just an empty shell of a child. I felt alive there, and though I feel alive here, too, my life at the moment just holds too much negativity that I try very hard to not think about.
I’d spend my year in Ashington studying for school, hanging out with my old friends and maybe watch Doctor Who every now and again. I’d take my GCSEs, think about which college I would attend, perhaps meet my personal Mr. Darcy along the way. I would eat fish and chips and ketchup flavored Walkers crisps. I would ride double-decker buses to where Lizzie lives. I would taste the snow during winter. I would enjoy life… and then come back to the Philippines once the year is up.