My lust for travel started way back in my earliest memory as a kid—looking out the world through postcards, often daydreaming how beautiful it would be to visit all these places.
At that time, traveling was not an option…not yet. My parents were college sweethearts and both came from humble beginnings. However, entrepreneurs by heart, they built our business from the ground up.
My dad, Ali, was born in Tehran, Iran. He was the eldest of 3 boys and was the breadwinner. He lived during the time of the Iranian Revolution, a very significant time in the history of Persian Empire. Back then, the war had broken life down into two paths: join the war or leave the country and study abroad. My dad opted the latter, dreaming to become a doctor someday. He chose the Philippines, the place where he met and ultimately fell in love with a strong-willed and lovely young woman, my mom. And the rest, as we all say, is history.
Wanderlust runs though my veins
I was conceived because of my dad’s wanderlust. And just like the story of my dad and mom, traveling is like a relationship. You get to know the place, you discover more as time goes by, then the truest nature starts to unfold and your passion grows until it turns into an insatiable desire—complete with its own fair share of ups and downs. Detours along the way happen. And once those blissful moments get you struck, you’ll end up madly in love, and you will never be the same person again.
Here are 7 little words of wisdom:
“Don’t plan your trip, trip your plan.”
In this day and age of social media revolution where almost everything calls for undying selfies, groupies, and foodie snaps, I have embarked in the good old-fashioned way of traveling. It’s the total immersion and submission to the unknown. It’s spontaneity at its finest, and letting the whole experience surprise me and enlighten me along the way. This is about embracing fascinating technology, but not letting it get in the way of mystic and romance that this beautiful life has to offer. I have always wanted to capture this perspective about traveling.
Like most creations, everything starts with a great idea. But skills and courage are important to follow through. For would-be documenters like me, finding the right equipment is key. I wrote a letter to Canon and shared the vision of this new idea, and luckily the odds were in my favor; they provided me with a simple G15 point and shoot canon. This motivated me even more. So with one backpack and a camera, I embarked on my first trip to Europe.
Far and alone for the first time, I had mixed emotions. I was nervous, paranoid, and excited all at the same time. I stayed in hostels with random strangers and shared a common bathroom just to save up and use the extra money for good food, coffee, and booze! Surprisingly indeed, it was one of the most epic tales of my young life. I met so many exceptional people from all corners of the world who shared with me their stories, music, and great words during our quick encounters.
This is a tribute to this travel perspective and the stories of all the fellow travelers I have met along way. Make every intersection count, as it will expand your world, build character, and remind you that we are all connected in our differences.
Eight Cities that Changed My Life
I met a kababayan who showed me the Filipino hospitality and brought me to the best super clubs in Europe—all VIP access, since he was a promoter. After the party, we both ended up in the park with the Filipino community having a BBQ, which didn’t make me miss home as much.
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