July 17, 2012 by Sarah's Toothbrush
I leave for the Philippines this week.
It will be my third time there in less than two years.
Now if it sounds like I’m bragging, that’s definitely not the case.
When I think about my time in the Philippines, I can’t help but just sort of shrug a little and talk about that one time I met a tout with 11 fingers. An occurrence which despite the weather, and the beaches, and the papaya-mango fruit shakes, remains my ultimate highlight of the country.
So, just to be clear, I’m visiting a country for the third time. A country which probably doesn’t even get a notable mention in my Cusack-inspired Top Ten Beaches of All Time. A country in which, when visited for a second time, I spent most days trying to decide how I was going to leave.
So, why, with my mediocre opinion of the country, did I make the decision to go to the Philippines again?
Well, I guess the fact of the matter is, I didn’t.
If someone were to ask me to describe myself as a traveler (but let’s be real, everyone is too self-involved to do that sort of thing), I would probably say I am incredibly enthusiastic about overnight buses. But if they prefer something vaguer, I would muster up a descriptor like “easy-going” and then go back to talking about nighttime bus rides.
I generally go along with things. It’s the easiest thing to do. And as someone who struggles to apply myself in situations which do not require it (see: work, dating, separating my darks from my whites), I’m very eager to do what is easiest. To me, all possibilities seem absolutely fantastic and I never want to miss out on one by committing to another.
When it comes down to it, I don’t have any real hardcore preferences about most topics. (Besides your standard stuff like say, the depleting ozone layer, The Replacements’ Let it Be album, and the Seoul Metro Subway System.)
Well, as it stands, this is absolutely without a doubt NOT the definition of “easy-going.”
Not even close.
All those carefree thoughts about wanting to try every single possibility before committing to just the god-awful lonely number of one?
Turns out, I’m indecisive.
Discovering and coming to terms with your own personality flaws is one of the most miserable things to do to oneself.
And do you want to know the shittiest part of being indecisive?
No one likes it.
That’s right. Even your Mom will roll her eyes at you when she asks what you are thinking of doing in the future and you reply, “Not sure, Ma. Just see how this travel stuff goes.Well, either that or something else really really cool.”
And do you want to know what’s even shittier than having vague future goals like “something else really really cool” because of your inability to make a decision?
The indecisiveness is intensified when travelling.
From setting out on one route over another to deciding if you want the Dairy Queen employee in Chiang Mai to dip your cone in either chocolate or caramel sauce.
All of it- it’s so hard.
To avoid the complexity of decisions, I just limit all my choices. But when traveling, this just sort of translates into doing less research.
I’m pretty confident (only because others have blatantly told me) that when you travel with an indecisive floater like me, your patience is consistently tested. There have been countless times when I’ve told a travel buddy I will “look into” something and they find me, one hour later, with about 800 tabs open on my desktop- researching anything from to how to get cheap international flights with JetAbroad to the origin of chocolate milk (FYI: it’s Switzerland).
Travel pals in the past have complained about my unrealistic expectations to do absolutely everything instead of deciding what I would rather do. Consequently, they are left with a lot of the pressure that comes along with choice. The success of a plan becomes your responsibility. (Now I don’t mean you as in YOU specifically. I just mean you know, people other than me.)
I am travelling to the Philippines with two dudes from work. For the most part, they have taken care of destinations, accommodation, and looking up sweet stuff to do in a handful of cities.
But anything I have to decide independently? Well, I still haven’t actually got there yet.
It took me something like two months just to book my return flight to Korea. (Perhaps this isn’t really related to my indecisiveness and instead, speaks volumes about my lack of excitement to return to this country.)
So if you need a reliable way to piss off your travel mates, refuse to make any decisions. “Hmm” and “haaa” over even the smallest of choices. Refuse to mask the hesitance in both your face and your voice when they ask you to commit to absolutely anything. Believe that flight times/ dates/ anything involving numbers, are all just rough estimates.
But since I’m all about things like personal growth, and you know, not pissing off my travel buddies, I’m going to try making some decisions.
I’m going to order the chocolate-dipped ice cream with confidence. I’m going to stop being utterly terrified in the finality of making a decision. Maybe I will realize that some decisions aren’t THAT big of deal. Maybe I will rid myself of this intense phobia of decisions (yeah. right).
So I’ve decided to go to the Philippines for a third time.
Hopefully I don’t piss off my travel mates. But it’s okay. Because even if I do? Well, at least it was my decision.
Toothbrush Disclosure: This post was brought to you by JetAbroad . But don’t blame them if your travel buddies stop speaking to you. They had nothing to do with that.