My Top 20 Most Unforgettable Travel Moments of 2014 (Part 2)

Other than taking a break from the joyful impermanence of the nomadic lifestyle, the only good thing about my self-imposed travel ban is the opportunity to desperately long for the road again. The wait, the crave, the anticipation, the minute before a cartoon show begins and the wide-eyed child stares at the screen, hoping for that endless commercial to end.

How I miss that feeling on the train when I brush the curtain aside to watch the countryside disappear into one big green blur, that distinct smell of airports and how judging people silently makes time fly, and the comedic appeal of the voiceover enumerating the names of passengers who will later walk into a giant metal tube of embarrassment. And of course, nothing compares to the sheer thrill of wandering, whose unpredictability is its only predictable asset.

When I seem to go into another phase of suspended animation, I’m probably reliving one of these wonderful travel moments that made me wish my world would grind to a halt.

Latest articles

Zhangjiajie
Featured

Conversions

ZHANGJIAJIE, China — He looks at my passport, and I know something is not right. The bank teller stares at my currency exchange form and gives me a look I can’t decipher. My stay in Zhangjiajie is ending, and I need some yuan to catch the last train out. His fingers tap the desk anxiously,…

departures
Featured

Five-Hour Connections*

MALACCA, Malaysia — We stepped out to the garden almost at the same time. And almost at the same time we placed a bottle of softdrink on separate tables. “Would you mind if I smoked?” I asked politely. “Absolutely not, I’m here for the same reason,” he smiled and introduced himself. His name is Aurelian,…

Top Songs 2014

Top 20 Songs I Listened to During Travel in 2014

Dear faithful reader, It is with deep regret that I must inform you that I, the last among my comrades to stage ineffectual resistance, have fallen hostage to Taylor Swift. I successfully evaded capture a couple of years ago when she released Red and pelted my unsuspecting ears and vulnerable soul with anthems of toxic…

Top Destinations 2014

My Top 20 Most Unforgettable Travel Moments of 2014 (Part 1)

It was a decision that baffled many people around me. I myself struggled with it too. Halfway through the year, I traded back my passport with a company ID, my backpack with a messenger bag. But such a move was inevitable. For almost three years, I had wandered aimlessly. But given the circumstances, I could…

KLM Flight Attendant

Kindness

TAOYUAN, Taiwan — An old woman and two suitcases have become the great divide between impatience and emptiness. Confused and frazzled, the petite lady unintentionally blocks the aisle to the Economy Class of that KLM flight to Amsterdam. The pressure from the growing line isn’t helping. She doesn’t know where to put the bags. The man…

Tickles

The Man Who Lost an Ear

When he wakes up that balmy morning, he fears he lost a part of him the night before but he is not sure what exactly. All he knows is that there was big mob, there was a screaming tune, there were drinks – potent cocktails of various colors – and they were overflowing, there were…

Forest Trail

Godless Course

BATANGAS, Philippines — Every Friday she came to our school, a public school, and taught the Catholic ways to pupils whose families shared the same faith. The non-Catholic kids would then move out of the room and play outside. The catechist, as our teacher would call her, always began her lesson with a story. All…