What You Risk Reveals What You Value #1: Introduction

She says, “Honey, I am thinking of going backpacking through Europe on my own.”

He says, “No, you’re not.”

End of conversation. This was two years ago. I was 31 then, still feeling the effects of turning 30 and feeling like I’d not done anything with my life. So what if I left the Philippines at age 16 to start a new life in the US and have successfully made it to 31 with a Bachelor’s Degree, a husband, a job, a house and have managed to not get incarcerated. Somehow, I needed to go on an adventure… alone.

Hmm…That’s a bit tough to swing since first of all, married people usually go on vacations together. For two years, I had to convince everyone, including myself, that it was OK to go on a trip alone. My first project was convincing my husband, Pat. Pat’s a practical guy. If the plan made sense, he’d go for it. So I devised the plan according to what made sense to him.

Time-frame. This would be my first time doing this so I didn’t want to be gone too long, but long enough where I could miss people, get homesick and even lonely. Two weeks – sounds good.

Where to go? Definitely Europe. Which part? Eastern Europe. Why?

Well, when you meet someone from a foreign country and you realize you’ve NEVER heard of the country before, not even in the news, it’s embarrassing. This happened to me. This person I met is from Latvia. “What? Where?” The questions that followed, which I kept to myself sounded even dumber than the previous. I knew I had to educate myself. So, I did a lot of research and found Eastern Europe – a perfect place for an adventure.

Cost. Well my airfare is free – the beauty of airline miles and prices are inexpensive in Eastern Europe.

Why? Pat said. “Why not?” I thought to myself. I realized later on that the “why” was not really “Why are you going” as much as it was “why are you not taking me!”

Two years later, Pat and I were buying my backpack and he’s given me a couple of presents; a money belt and a book titled “Woman Travelling Alone.” I have a feeling he’s found the answer to his question “why.”