Notoriously Curious

Old Writing



Things I Know Now: Post-Europe Edition

If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person? – Fight Club (1999)

Have you ever come back from a trip, whether it's five days or five months, and feel unsettled? Do you get that floating feeling as if you're watching from outside yourself as you go about your day? To me this is the uncomfortable period where we get back to our old routine, allowing the old self to catch up with the present self.

I'm going to raise my hand up and admit that I'm in that uncomfortable period having come back from Europe more than a week ago. In fact, I haven't been writing here because I've been writing in my journal trying to make sense of everything. Because while I'm absolutely enamored by the cities I've been to it's been even more amazing to have discovered things about myself during those 14 days.

Being the notoriously curious person that I am, I want to explore these discoveries. I want to use these lightbulb moments to tackle the bigger themes of travel and self-discovery. But I have much more introspection to do.

So for now, I thought I'd share some of my mini notes. You know, just to leave some crumbs to help my former self find and catch up with my new self.

Here goes. The things I know now:

01 // I love the cold. More importantly, I can take the cold. As a self-proclaimed beach person, I'm quite surprised about this. I have always had this belief that I will hate cooler weather. Then again, I haven't gone through winter where the nights are long and the days are short.

02 // Fall is my style season. For this trip I challenged myself to pack less. In fact, I only brought with me a carry-on sized luggage and a backpack. To do so, I had to put together a mini capsule wardrobe. And since the season's transitioning into Fall, I had to research Fall outfits only to realize that most of my existing wardrobe is perfectly in sync with this season. I may be the summer/beach person who's secretly a fall person.

03 // The less I know, the more I walk. I have a Jawbone UP24, which is a fancy way of saying I have a bracelet that tracks my sleep and the steps I take. This is why I know that on a normal day in Singapore I average six to seven thousand steps. However, during my trip it went up to almost 30 thousand steps! I think it's because walking gives me more control of how I arrive and get to a place versus trying to navigate a city's complex transport system. The added plus of walking is, it helps give me a better sense of location.

04 // I am truly Asian. Let's set aside first the debate on whether Filipinos are Asian or not. For the purposes of this point, let's all agree that I am. More so now, because if you told me after the trip that I could only eat one type of cuisine forever and ever? I'd choose one from Asia. It doesn't matter if it's Vietnamese or Thai or Japanese or Korean. While I do love my Italian and Spanish, I like the depth of flavors found in the Asian region more.

05 // Barcelona is my soul city. Screw the quizzes. Barcelona is the jam to my peanut butter. The cherry on my sundae. The glaze on my doughnuts. The bacon to my eggs. The cheese in my macaroni. The chocolate to my churros. The rice to my paella. In short, I am totally smitten by this city.

Where have you traveled to lately? What things have you learned about yourself since then?

Photo by Alvin Rekhraj