“This is your bus madam, hurry please this is the last one for the night”. The calmness I felt suddenly turned to panic as I grappled with lifting my backpack, I had clearly overpacked. I promised myself I wouldn’t but it was too late now. With all my strength I hurled my bag on my back, stumbling in the process also aware that I had to lug my carry on bag. Clearly I needed help but help didn’t come. So with half the bag on my hip and my day bag dragging along behind me I stumbled the 5 meters to the bus and fell through the doorway. With a bit of luck the backpack also fell in, and what seem like a hurling competition my day pack flew over my head onto the floor next to the driver’s feet I looked up, “you can go now mate”. Somehow I was able to compose myself and drag the bags onto the seat above. I didn’t have much time to view the AirPort scenery as the only thought I had was how the hell was I going to get of the bloody bus. It’s amazing when everything or everyone around you is so calm, yet in my world it was chaos. At least the drive to terminal 4 gave me some time to manoeuvre my backpack into position. As the bus pulled into terminal 4 I could see some trolleys and at that one moment, panic disappeared as did the long awaited trip I had planned for 2 years. I was on my own again, in a foreign land, no one but myself, my bag and a zillion thoughts.
Three weeks have now passed since I have arrived in the Philippines and apart from bag issues, (which will be an ongoing nightmare) the uncertainty of what to expect has passed, or at least here on Palawan Island. To say I have faced some hurdles along the way is way to obvious, but nothing to be overtly concerned about. The people of Palawan are welcoming and happy to assist even with language difficulties and the western habit of everything having to be on time and organised. This will be something I will have to work on as I become accustomed to a more relaxed approach, where time is only measured by the sun coming up and setting.
I have been fortunate enough to meet many amazing people, both local, expats and travellers from all around the world. This is my main mission, however the most difficult part is to record and document the conversations. Travelling is a fluid experience and not every conversation or meeting will allow me to record peoples thoughts and experiences. That is probably why I could never complete an anthropological course. So in combination with the video, I will link each blog entry with images I upload through my daily instagram. Hopefully you will get to know, through their voices, a little about their stories. Oh and lets not forget the amazing locations that will also be highlighted.