Last Days of Summer: When Travel Becomes an Art of Letting Go
Last Days of Summer: When Travel Becomes an Art of Letting Go

Last Days of Summer: When Travel Becomes an Art of Letting Go

As the plane started to take off
I can see the excitement of the passengers aboard.
Reminders, laughters here and there
Music playlists everywhere
I’m wondering
Why can’t I seem to hear anything at all?
Sitting by the window, I tried to evaluate what was going on
I let my eyes roam and saw dozens of people.
I even saw familiar faces taking selfies and laughing out loud
But again, I was wondering
Why they didn’t create any sound.

“Maybe, the plane was on mute”, I thought.

I knew it’s coming… so I held tight onto my seats and closed my eyes. I had been hearing this furious sound every 5 seconds for the longest time now. After a while, I burst out in tears.

I snapped back to reality and that was when I realized that the plane was not really on mute. It’s just that someone’s voice kept playing in my ears, it couldn’t be stopped. I felt so bad that the plane was not really on mute; that what I kept on hearing was the sound of my heart breaking which was too deafening it was louder than the plane engine.

D-A-B-D-A (Denial-Anger-Bargaining-Depression-Acceptance)
1, 2, 3 days. Days became weeks and weeks became months. I cannot remember how long but every second became tedious; I was bleeding, piercing, and grasping for every breath. Waking up every day had been a challenge…

That time, having to live another day was like another day of dying.

“Move on, move on din ‘pag may time…” (“Move on.”)
I had heard this in different languages, in different forms… from different people. Sadly, I felt like everyone left me. Exaggerated as it may seem, but, that time, I felt like the whole universe conspired to hurt me, to betray me, to leave me…

I died.
I thought I died.

It was tiring but I lived my life in that routine – wake up, breathe, cry, sleep. It was not working so I tried another routine – breathe, cry, sleep, HIDE. I liked the latter more that I think I enjoyed it too much that even I, can see myself no more… I cried.

As the plane landed, I saw the excitement of the passengers again
Maps and laughters everywhere
I started to wonder
“Nasaan na nga pala ako?”
(“Where am I?”)

I’d been lost for months now; for someone who hid herself in the four corners of her room, I stopped asking. An hour and a half flight, two-hour road trip, and a few more steps, the next thing I knew, I was in the middle of a forest in Danao.

I stared at the tarpaulin hanging near the reception and got intrigued with The Plunge; they say it’s the highest canyon swing in the world. I looked at the platform where it is being done; it is actually mounted over a 200-meter-high and 300-meter-wide gorge. It is where a person would have a 45-second-free-fall before being launched on a pendulum swing. Seems like a death-defying and heart-pumping stunt, right? An extreme adventure that you won’t ever like to try…

But I told myself, “I wouldn’t care if I would die here, I’d died for a long time now.” Examining how high it is, I whispered, “If I would fall here, I want to know if that fall would be more painful than my last fall. I want to feel it.”

While waiting for my turn, I was thinking what I will be shouting during The Plunge. I thought of saying a dozen or maybe a hundred I love You’s hoping that it would be enough to take away all the love I have in me. Another plan was to curse and say all the bad words that I could say; maybe by that it would take away all the pain. I decided not to do the latter…

Alas! The long wait was over.

There are 2 options to experience The Plunge: while sitting and the other one is what they call “The Head-First Style”

Since I wanted to feel the fall badly, I chose to do it “The Head-First Style.”

The moment the staff shouted “Bombs Away!”, they released the rope and let me fall. 

Everything went so fast. Actually, it was just a less-than-a-minute-drop but have you had any experience wherein things go in slow-motion? That’s what I felt. It was too fast but the feeling was too surreal; I couldn’t explain.

And you know what’s surprising?
I did not utter anything; I did not curse, I did not mention any names, I did not hate.
As I was being swung in a pendulum after the free fall, that was the exact time I realized that, “Hey Mich, you’re no longer hurting.” It was funny that for a long time I was just too entangled with the thought that I was left clueless.
That maybe, I was no longer hurting but it’s just that I was afraid to accept that everything came to an end unexpectedly. That maybe, I already moved on but I couldn’t accept that I was the one left behind so I chose to feel the moment and be miserable.
Or maybe, just maybe, I did the right thing. That in times likes this, all we need to do is to feel every bit of pain, to face what we are scared to feel and then, let it go… let it go…

Woohoo! I survived the Plunge!

Oh see, you won’t die in heartbreaks.

Until now, I keep on chasing places. This time, not because I am picking up the broken pieces of me but because somewhere along the way, I discovered that this is where I am happy at – traveling the Philippines, watching the people, accepting the diversity, and last but definitely not the least, LOVING THE NEW ME. 🙂


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