One of the few backpackers and travel bloggers from the Philippines who has made a mark on the trail both in reality and virtually is the man who writes about his travels and does head-stands on many occasions on the road. He is Edcel Suyo of www.soloflightEd.com. I can recall having chatted with him sometime and gather thoughts as we shared insights about our travels and I am most impressed of his “resignation” in his bid to become one of those location independent travellers and bloggers.
I have made this interview with Ed in the hope that you will be able to see through him and his passion which is travelling and blogging. He will soon to settle down and guess that there will be more of him doing headstands on the roads of Southeast Asia.
Here are the replies of Ed to my Meet the Backpacker’s interview. Make sure to read him on his travel blog.
- What are the best and worse experiences you have had while travelling as a backpacker?
BEST – When I’m able to visit a place I never thought I could go to. It makes me realize that nothing is impossible.
WORST – My trip from Cebu to Manila to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A series of unlucky events happened: I had to buy another plane ticket because I arrived late at the airport, an earthquake happened prior to my departure, I spent a hefty fee on taxi fare just to have funds exchanged to Dollars, I almost never made it passed the immigration counter.
- Do you go solo or in a group? Why?
Group as it’s cheaper. I need to keep things at a minimum cost so I can travel more. Right now, I travel with a friend but we give each other space when we want to be alone.
- Can you share to us what is meant to you by travelling light as a backpacker, in the context of both literally and figuratively?
Literally, travelling light means bringing only the essentials. I’m good with bringing just my clothes and the basic things as toiletries, but I can’t let go of my DSLR camera (yet) and my laptop as I need them for work.
Figuratively, travelling light means opening my mind. Not having preconceived notions about a destination helps in understanding the place and culture better. It’s good to accept things as they are and not what we think they should be.
- How far have u been to your journeys as a backpacker, in terms of those insights you have gained?
I quit my corporate job and switched to freelance work to travel more; I think that’s far enough. Designing this type of lifestyle so that I won’t have to be tied to an office environment is something I planned for a long time. But it’s only now that I was finally able to do it. I’m currently backpacking in Southeast Asia while bringing my work with me.
Here’s my story here: Delusions of grandeur step to location independence
- Were there instances you find yourself in the middle of nowhere?
Yes, a lot of times. But I always say that it could be worse.
- How is travelling as a backpacker to you in relation to your obligation to yourself and those who follow you; perhaps in this aspect, how does your travel inspire you?
I become more open-minded to my surroundings. Travelling has taken me out of my comfort zone and has made me more independent.
- What tips can you give to those who wanted to fill the earth by travelling?
If you’re starting out, you should take small steps. Travel with groups; connect with people who make travelling their passion, so you can see how they do it. As I’ve learned from awesome travel bloggers, travelling itself is a journey and you learn something new every time.
- As a backpacker, what was your most reflective moment?
Doing mundane things – washing clothes inside the hostel, taking a shower, cooking food in the shared kitchen – these are the things I do at home; yet, I’m doing them in another country! I find joy in these simple moments and they make me appreciate life more.
There are also moments when I look back on a trip as I ride a bus or plane going home. I am usually tired from the adventure but I pause for a moment and smile that life has provided me such an experience.
- Looking back at where you had been for the last 5-10 years, how has travelling shaped you?
I’ve lessened the desire to acquire material possessions. I’ve opened my eyes to see obstacles as opportunities to grow.
- Where is the best place you had been to recently that you have left your footprints (inspiration)?
Siem Reap, Cambodia. It was my second time to be there but during that occasion, I had someone with me.