Just when I thought everything was going according to plan–I earned my degree from a prestigious university, got a proper job with decent pay, was promoted to a higher position–I woke up one day feeling lost, questioning everything about life. But if there's one thing I was sure of, it was that I needed to get away. I needed to regain my passion and rediscover myself whom I thought I knew so well. I needed some time alone. I was thirsty for freedom and independence.

Sorry. I was so afraid to tell you about it. I thought I was suffering from a quarter-life crisis. I tried to escape from it. But maybe, avoidance is not the answer.

And so, mom and dad, let me travel the world. Not to escape, but to face and experience life ahead of me.

Let me quit my corporate job. I was not born to sit eight hours a day within the four corners of my cluttered cubicle, attend a series of meetings, follow endless instructions from my superior and then go home every night tired, fed-up and jaded from the routine. Instead, let me teach kids in China or Vietnam, be a yoga instructor in Indonesia or a bar and hostel attendant in South America. No, don’t be discouraged if I opt to earn money this way. Living a life, for me, is not about how impressive my monthly paycheck is, but how I make difference in the life of other people.

Let me pack my bags and book a one-way plane ticket to any country. I must admit, from there, I do not know what lies ahead. I am clueless as to where this will lead me. I might get lost, sleep on cold streets, encounter strangers who will love, hate, or hurt me. Still, let me go. Let me couch surf and meet fellow travelers around the globe–to live, explore and enjoy life with them. I promise, I will take care of myself and be responsible enough to defend myself. Hopefully, by being lost, I will find myself.

Let me be broke financially. Allow me to waste my money, empty my bank account, travel excessively and indulge myself. Don’t worry, this doesn't mean that I will ask financial assistance from you. I believe that I can figure out how to live a travel junkie's life of sustainable traveling. I will prove to you mom and dad that life is not all about money. I will be the happiest girl, traveling the world, earning just enough to sustain my lifestyle and do what I love to do.

Let me climb mountains. I want to see the beauty of the world from mountain peaks and meet people from all walks of life along the trails. Let me discover myself during the oddest times and in the most uncomfortable situations because it is through these unexpected circumstances that I hope to find myself. These challenges will push me to my limits, reveal the best and worst in me. Whatever skills the mountains carve out of me, I will use them to be a better, stronger person.

Let me explore different cultures and be a global citizen. Let traveling open doors for me to discover life outside of the ordinary and interact with wonderful people, say, on a random bus, hitchhiking in Peru, or train ride in Italy. Let me embrace art in all forms–museums, ruins, archaeological structures. Embracing a new culture and tradition will widen my perspective about the life and the world. Let me travel slowly, allow me to immerse myself in the environment of the locals, travel one country at a time, and put my heart into every single experience.

Let me feel love and happiness. My life has been a roller-coaster of relationships–of platonic love, breakups and broken trust. I’ve had too much so please, this time, let me not only find love and happiness, but let me feel it–the real thing. But let me also learn not to hold on to people and things that are not meant to stay in my life permanently. Because I know the rules of love on the road–people come and go. One day you’re together, the next day you are taking separate paths.

Let me appreciate your presence mom and dad. For the past 25 years of my life, you've always been there. I was so naïve not to realize that you play an important part of my life, but now, let me strike out on my own. Mom and dad, give me the freedom I want. Let me explore the world and have the greatest time of my life. Give me one shot to prove that by choosing what I want to do, I can go a long way.

After a year or two, I promise, I will be back home, back in your arms–stronger than ever.

PHOTO: Febbie Alacapa; GIFS: Giphy

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