Thursday, January 12, 2012

Flying Back To Reality

Most people spend a lot of time dreaming and planning how to get there. As I stated at the beginning of this Europe Series, “A goal without a plan, is just a wish”. I spent and I still continue to spend a considerable amount of time reading books and blogs how to motivate myself and keep my vision, my dreams. How to get there.

The plan was just a plan, not so long ago.

But I was not prepared how to ease myself out of a dream. Most people dream about buying a house, a car or getting married and settling down and all that. Well, you live with that forever. This dream of mine took two years of saving and planning which took place for three weeks. So how do you ease yourself out of a dream? What do you do when you finally hit the ground? I can’t stay in my dream.

It was still a cold morning. But I revered in the cold moment. My next morning will be warm (if not hot and humid). I dragged my luggage and myself to the tram station. I was fortunate enough to witness a canal going up and down.

Canal bridge going up

Bikers had to stop

Then it is down

The trip to Schipol airport was quick. I had more than an hour to roam around the airport. I did some last minute shopping spree. I spent €170 in an hour for some last minute pasalubongs. I found another Longchamp store and bought another bag. What the heck, I did my accounting and I still have considerable amount in my Europe fund – believe it or not. I wanted to save it for something but...but...why not spend it where it was intended for. It was an easy decision to swipe and swipe.  

CX's check-in counter
Time to head to the boarding area. I almost forgot submit the paper for the tax-refund. You have to submit it at the “Tax Refund” counter located just next to the immigration – or else my credit card will be charged.

The nice and cute immigration guy greeted me: “Mabuhay! Kamusta ka? Uuwi ka na?” I let out a short laugh and replied “Oo”. He stamped my passport. Nothing like Tagalog phrases to remind you that you are going home.

Our flight was delayed for an hour. I roamed around. Anticipating and dreading my flight back home.

The plane.

I settled in my seat. Or I tried to settle.
CX's planes have cameras placed down the plane. You can watch the plane take-off.
Unlike my planeride to Amsterdam, I was very restless on the way back. I didn’t sleep for the whole 11 hours from Amsterdam to Hong Kong. Too many thoughts.

I flew overseas alone for the first time.
I crossed time zones.
I landed in a foreign country alone armed with my wits.
I got lost.
I got familiar the feeling of getting lost.
I accepted that getting lost is part of the adventure.
I learned how to appreciate art even though I wasn’t artsy fartsy.
I developed a fascination for ceilings.
I realized that strangers can be kind.
I discovered that solo travel is liberating.

I viewed all the pictures of my camera. I felt that the pics were taken months ago. A lot has happened over the past three weeks.

I tried sleeping but I ended up playing with plane's in-flight entertainment. OPM anyone?

I was pleasantly surprised that they have these on board

Home home home. I am finally flying back to my hot, humid and beloved country. Back to reality. Back at home. Back at work. I shoved the thought of catching up and reading 1,000 emails at the back of my head. 

I landed in NAIA 1 all tired and weary. Adding to my not-so-jolly mood: my luggage was lost. Probably because my flight from Schipol was delayed so my time in HKIA was under one hour to make the connecting flight.  My luggage didn't make the connecting flight. I was tired, hungry and very cranky when I reported my lost luggage to the CX's staff. Good thing the girl was very professional (and calm) despite my cranky mood. The luggage was delivered to me the next day (less than 24 hours).

My parents fetched me. Hugged them as much as I missed them. Told them that the pasalubongs were in my lost luggage. The next batch of pasalubongs were in a box that I shipped from home. They were more excited that I was home and I filled them with all my adventures.

My welcome home meal. YEAH!
 Oh yeah. I am glad to be back. All in one piece. Safe and sound.


  1. what a yummy spread! welcome home talaga :D

  2. welcome back. i hope i can make my own dream of traveling to europe a reality... wish! wish! wish!

  3. @Kate: Simple daily Pinoy food tasted so gooood that day! :D

    @Gladys: Wish then plan! Make it happen! :D

  4. that longganisa hahaha..thank you for sharing your Europe story from dream to reality..I can totally relate on having that bittersweet feeling when you are about to leave already.Your European story serves as an inspiration that despite the hassle of getting the visa to spending hard-earned pesos converted to Euros, a Phil. passport can travel Europe on a budget but still with so much experiences to bring back home :D

  5. Don't know why, but it just warms my heart when you write about your Pinoy encounters during your Euro trip. I just had to smile when I read about that "cute immigration guy" who spoke to you in Filipino. :) Pinoys are indeed everywhere!


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