6 or 7 years ago, I entertained the idea of wanting to set foot on all 81 provinces in the Philippines. At one point, I went to a certain region for 5 days, and visited one province per day. It was exhausting. Later on I realized I have missed a lot because it felt like I was racing just to see more. It has dawned in me that it should never be about numbers. No offense to my friends who are aiming at going to all 81 provinces, or those who have already achieved such feat. I am close to ticking all 81 with just 5 more to visit, but it made me think that there should be more to this goal…
My recent Europe trip gave me a chance to see several countries. Obviously more than 2 months isn’t enough to see the entire Europe. Not even an entire country. I only spent an average of 3 days per country, and I didn’t even get to see all the “basic” sights of each key city I have visited. When I came to Europe, I have set my mind to take everything slow and easy, and shy away from the idea that “I should be able to visit all places that I want to see”.
I have come to ascertain that people who do everything quicker also do it worse. I always say “Take it easy” and it is but proper to really go slowly. And so… I tried my best to take time in everything by — enjoying every bite of food I eat, walking at a slow pace (and notice almost everything that I pass by), allowing my senses to enjoy its surroundings; and letting every other person finish their side of the conversation while I was listening attentively.
I didn’t see Spain or Switzerland and other must see in Europe. And it is okay. My favorite thing to do in every place I went to was to stop in the middle of the day, (whether I was in a park, a busy street, a food house), closed my eyes for some fleeting moments, and be aware of my breathing. And it felt so good.
Of course, I still want to visit my country’s 81 provinces. BUT for now, I don’t want to see more, instead, I want to feel more, and BE more! And I will take my time.
Take it easy ebriwan.