Separation anxiety from our travels is like the love from our past (the ex-boyfriend or the ex-girlfriend, or the ex-crush, or the ex-almost) that we can hardly forget. Here’s the list of how close the parallelism between the two is:
1. They are beautiful…
The places we had been, and the ex, whom we used to be with, are drop dead beautiful. How can you forget his or her mental image if the past love happens to have the most appealing and stand out face and appearance from the sea of people? He or she is the ultimate crush-ng-bayan with the dimples or that eyebrow cut line or those curves that eventually became our weaknesses.
This goes with the landscapes we witnessed before our eyes. I can still remember the greens and the blues of Batanes, the grand arrangement of limestones of El Nido islands, and the best sunset frame of Boracay skies and paraw boats. They are considered the most beautiful and the ultimate sought-after places. Having those thoughts parked in my mind still gives me kilig.
2. …But we can’t have them.
The hardest part is when we love the people and the places we can’t have. How can we let go of such things if we haven’t gotten to hold them in the first place?
It is punishable by law to bring the fine powder and white sands of Boracay and to snatch those cute Bohol tarsiers as keychains. We can’t take a sample of water from Kawasan Falls and simply recreate its magnificence in a bottle.
All we have are memories. And memories are painstakingly powerful.
3. Our friends can’t move on.
Recall those times when you’re that close in forgetting your ex but suddenly your friends seem can’t carry on. They still tease you with songs about the past or remind you of objects that you and your almost used to share.
Damn! Same with recently “concluded” trips. Separation anxiety ensues when the people you’re with during those adventures don’t stop in uploading their photos and tagging you (usually in your degrading moments). If you joined a new group of travelers, then later you’ll become part of another distribution of endless notifications of Facebook or Viber group that talks about the inside jokes relating to your group’s adventures or misadventures.
4. We label them.
We have codenames for our past – “the girl with the yellow umbrella”, “the guy in the rain”, “the one that got away”. We label them because they are so special compared with others that we anoint them with other names. Names make things immortal.
Similarly and with the advent of hashtags, we name our adventures with wit like #SagadSaSagada #PagodSaPagudpud #SeaPanx #AlongMalakasCalaguas #LaBorawan #WalangAayawSaApayao #HallerBaler #ThankYouAndCamiguin
“I Wanna Dance With Zambales” is your theme song while camping in one of the coves. “We’ve Only Just Vigan” is the opening theme for the Ilocandia trip.
How about the twin Visayan islands in the East? “Better Leyte Than Never!” and “It’s Not A Summer Vacation Unless It’s A Samar Vacation!”
Caption this like “Mayon at Kailanman”.
5. The pain still remains.
We can’t forget the past because we couldn’t get the pain out of our system. Pain is the proof of sincerity and authenticity of how we felt for someone.
The sunburn after the beach bumming, the drastic change in skin color after waterfall chase, the muscular strains after hike assaults, and yeah that struggle to remove the paint from the most epic festival called Sinulog. These are bodies of evidence that we totally enjoyed our travels. These are consequences which we didn’t mind because we cared for something else greater – the fun.
But what’s worse between the pain or the hangover is set for another debate.
6. Of Bucket and Bakit List
We treasure our journeys most when they are part of our bucket list. Those things we want to do before we die. Or as I put it, those things to do to prove we have lived. Most of the items in our bucket list are the stuff that pushes our limit which in turn changes us as a person. We can’t forget those lifetime achievements.
Meanwhile, the past left us a grievous record called the “Bakit List”. Bakit ako iniwan? Bakit naghihintay pa rin ako? Bakit mas mahal mo siya? Bakit kulang pa ginawa ko?
Why did you leave me? Why am I still waiting in vain? Why am I loved less? “Bakit List” is the “Y List We Get From Our X”.
7. We did something stupid.
My Hong Kong International Airport experience still haunts me. I didn’t realize that the boarding gates for Philippine flights is a kilometer far after the Immigration gate when I took the leisure of my time. When my name’s being announced and I couldn’t see the assigned boarding gate, I hurdled fast and past the struggles just to make it. The Chinese officer was mad at me. He didn’t like that I was still smiling (wearing that typical Pinoy smile) despite I was late. Or maybe he didn’t like that I was also wearing a panda headdress on my way to the plane.
Yes, this kind of embarrassment is also a reason why we couldn’t separate ourselves from our trips.
Just like our previous relationship (or the lack thereof), we still cringe on stupid things we’ve done. Things like simply loving a person.
8. We are still waiting for answers.
Juice colored. Ito talaga yun.
Instead of deciding to walk away, we struggle to try harder convincing ourselves that there’s hope. We still wait for a reply from someone even though we only get misleading and ambiguous signals.
We travel across the land searching for answers far and wide. So we go to places like Kitelpan in Sagada or Osmeña Peak in Cebu and shout our feels away as if we would get a reply from the mountains.
We tend to travel to look for signs, but we ended up more anxious as more uncertainties pop up when we get back.
It is a process.
Psychology puts separation anxiety as a natural part of the development. It is strongly related to object permanence which explains things continue to exist even when they cannot be observed or sensed.
That’s when the moments we collected in our journeys play the part. We are not feeling the heat of the last summer in our skin anymore, but we remember how cool the events went on. We can’t recall how the waterfalls we chased exactly different from each other but how we, the chasers, were changed along the treks.
Flashbacks do not have strong impact on ourselves until we associate new meanings on it. These personal definitions that only ourselves can understand causes our separation anxiety. Both from travel and from relationship.
This entry was posted on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at 4:32 pm
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Tags: Bakit List, Batanes, beach, Bohol, Boracay, bucket list, Carmona, Cavite, Cebu, El Nido, Facebook, Hong Kong International Airport, Ilocandia, La Union, Leyte, Maldives, Mayon Volcano, Osmeña Peak, Pagudpud, panda, paragliding, Sagada, Samar, sand, separation anxiety, Sinulog, Sipalay, sunburn, tarsier, travel, Viber, Visayas, Why, Zambales