The Departure

It was Feb. 18, the day of my flight early evening to Guangzhou, China. I woke up early at 5:30AM, not because I was excited to embark on my most anticipated backpacking adventure, but because I had to work. Yes, 12 hours before heading off to the vast wilds of China, I find myself in a studio, directing a kid and a secret agent for a video.

It was 12 noon and I was getting agitated. I wasn't able to complete my packing, so I decided to leave the studio at 3PM no matter what to catch a 7:20 PM flight on Cebu Pacific (which cost me an unbelievable P1,000 roundtrip, thanks CEBPAC for that wonderful Christmas sale, you made this happen). So, I left at 2PM, shocked to see rain pouring down heavily and cars clogging roads. I was just five minutes away from my condo, but it took me a little over 30 minutes. I finished packing two bags, one 60 liter backpack and my laptop/camera bag. That was it. It took me a while to decide whether I would bring a bigger bag, but I decided to stick with the smaller one. I planned to be out for just 9 days anyway. My pseudo winter jacket ate up most of the space, as I knew the average daytime temperature in my destinations would be 6 degrees Celcius.

It was 4PM, 3 hours left. I wasn't worried anymore. I even found time to pick up my laundry. I left the condo at 4:30PM, and arrived at the airport at 5:30. Then, it dawned. I was already in the airport, with just a basic plan of destinations, but with no transport bookings, guesthouse reservation, or any solid itinerary. But it didn't worry me. I'm supposed to be used to this. There's just this nagging feeling that I was off to nowhere, for the first time. And oh, everyone stopped me from going and taking this trip. They just found it weird and long. And I was to be alone in a country where I would be using sign language more often than not. I was excited and tired. The plane boarded on schedule and took off.


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