For a moment, it looked like it was going to rain.
As I waited at the lobby of Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort, I gazed ahead at the horizon where the sun was just about getting ready to go to work. The waters were still and there was a peaceful calm that enveloped the resort. No noisy kids running along the stretch of the beach or millennials walking around snapping selfies or taking jump shots. Aside from the indistinct chatters of the other guests who were waiting for the boat, there was really nothing you can hear.
Except the giddy thumping in my chest.
It was the second time I’ve ventured out on my own. I was still a little anxious, but I was mostly excited especially since I scored this awesome day trip for just P1,500.
Yes, I was about to spend an entire day on a private beach resort in Cebu for less than what I would pay for a night out in the city.
A few minutes later, the boat arrived so we headed out to the dock. We were a small group—I don’t know any of them except the four Europeans who were booked in the same hotel as I was. And while I wanted to chat them up, I stopped myself upon realizing that this trip was all about taking time to be by myself.
As much as I enjoy being with friends and all, there’s something about disconnecting that’s so appealing. Life can get really noisy and when everyone is talking, you soon find yourself drowning. You need to re-center. And you can only do that by spending time alone.
Traveling solo stokes your sense of adventure. It liberates you in lots of ways. It makes you less scared of the unknown and more welcoming and accommodating towards others. It can get a little bit stressful and, at times, lonely, but the takeaways from venturing out on your own are fulfilling.
So I sat there, quietly, on the boat. As the boat sliced through the waters, I tried to stop thinking about the things I’m going to do once there. I didn’t want to have a plan. I wanted to go in there and just do whatever presents itself. Spontaneity brings out the sense of adventure, after all.
So we finally got to the island.
I squinted, trying to get a clearer view of what’s in front of me despite the sun’s bright rays, and saw how beautiful and calm everything looked. There were frolickers on the sandbar on our left, a group of on-lookers above, and a line of excited tourists stepping out of the boat in front of me. There were quite a lot of people on the island but, for some reason, everything felt calm and quiet.
Or it could just be me. I’m so focused on immersing myself in this experience I may have zoned out other people from my world.
I couldn’t wait to get my adventure started.
Before we left for the island, the staff briefed us on the activities we could do. I liked how, despite them having a huge staff, you’ll be left to do whatever you please. You don’t need to seek permission to go here or do that. Yes, you can always walk up to anyone for assistance but they’ll basically let you do your thing.
The island is huge and there were so many things you can do. You can hike, ride a boat, snorkel, fish, relax at the pool, or simply lounge at the beach.
And because I was feeling adventurous, I decided to go hiking first. Alone.
It was like a page taken out of Choose Your Own Adventure. I found the starting point, read the guidelines posted on the board, chose a stick (you’ll need it for safety and convenience), and trotted along the narrow path.
There wasn’t anyone on the trail. I was completely alone in that jungle, which was kinda scary yet exciting at the same time. All I could hear was the chirping of the birds and the occasional rustling of the leaves caused by, perhaps, some insects or small animals trying to make their way through the jungle. I didn’t want to think about any other reason because I didn’t want to spook myself.
The trail was safe as long as you stick to the path and follow the marked flags.
I spent more than two hours on that hike. It would normally take 45 minutes to an hour but I was too mesmerized by the beauty of nature to not slow down. Up there on the peak, I found myself sprawled across the rocky floor, gazing across the magnificent horizon that lay ahead. It was an enthralling sight.
There was more to see in the heart of the jungle as there was atop the mountain. It was a lot creepier especially when I got to the part where this intimidating lighthouse stood. That is also why I decided to head back.