Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Strangers I Meet - The Kindness Of Strangers

This happened not merely just because of me. While it's true, I went to the top and back with my own power and not riding a horse...

This journey I took knowing it will be an ordeal, chasing the shadow of what's now a distant memory - a fantasy that was once reality. I have now arrived where I wanted to be - the first destination among many. I did not find the shadow I chase, but I found something somewhat more rewarding. The plans and promises made, ones I intended to keep from my end regardless of how everything else went awry, this is the first of many journeys for the rest of my life will try. Now from where I stand looking at something I've never seen with my own eyes, I find myself in the company and kindness of amazing strangers I never met before. Under the clouds forming with the air getting damp and droplets falling, I reached the peak, and the purpose of this journey. The skies shower me with some respite from the cruel sun. I look beyond and I saw this - the view that goes beyond, further and out of sight from the comfort zone. This was worth risking for. Safety and fear never helped me through the worst; This adventure was worth risking for. This was the first of many - there will be more. . . . . Story Link in bio. . . #lostwanderingdrifter #colorphotography #photography #nature #trailadventours #taal #hike #naturehike #whenintaal #taalvolcano #naturetrail #outdoors #sharelifeoutdoors #olympus #olympusepl5 #rokinon #rokinonfisheye #fisheye #defished #lake #craterlake #taalcraterlake
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... I admit with no shame and with lots of gratitude that this wouldn't have been possible without the kindness of strangers around me. Don't get me wrong, everyone on the hike has been amazing. There are a few I've really appreciated though and they made it memorable. I'm mentioning some of them here - partly because I feel I owe them some measure of gratitude.

I knew this was going to be challenging. Little did I know that it was going to be brutal for me - this was my first time after 15 years.

The Island Beyond
The Island Beyond. The boat ride to the trek was the easy part.

Tin And Sophie. In the group, these two are the ones whom I talked to first. Turns out they're also the ones I talk to the most. These two angels here are travel buddies who have been hiking several times on steeper and undeniably more difficult terrain. This hike was literally a walk in the park for them. Despite how they could've easily conquered this, they hung back and kept me company the whole way. They were enjoying the scenery taking lots of pictures and went to become as my very own cheerleaders which was adorable and very kind of them.

The Guide Looking Out. Ram here is our guide. Along with Jasper, he's doing an awesome job of leading and keeping track of everyone.

Chito Miranda-- I mean Jasper. Am I the only one who sees that he has resemblance to Chito Miranda? Kidding aside, this is the most patient, optimistic and tolerant man I know. He stuck with me the whole time especially because I was dead last in the hike. On this day, he was definitely challenged in his task as sweeper. 

Pick A Card. Jasper carried a pack of cards and does a few tricks while we were resting.

Fatigue. This was taken on the boat on the way back after that long and tiring hike. Behind the shades if one looks closely there is a hint of fatigue in Jasper's eyes. His cheerful disposition did well in making it look easy.
So yes, I climbed Taal. But I never said it was done easily. Perhaps when I go back next time it will be a bit more manageable and can be done on my own. For now, however, I'll need to toughen up for it. 

These are just among the few, and there will be more to come. I hope to break the ice with other interesting, if not kind strangers eventually and share their portrait to the world with a bit of their story in the future. There are a lot of kind and interesting people around us, and I intend to meet them- one stranger at a time.

Also, follow me Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Flickr, and Instagram. Yes, I'm kind of all over the place. Don't hesitate to share your thoughts on the comments as well. Until then, don't be afraid to get lost and wander. 

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