After much prodding, I was able to get the husband to say yes to a Candaba Swamp jaunt. We were set to leave at 2:30pm so we can catch the flight of the migrating birds late in the afternoon as they feed. He fell asleep though, and to prevent hell from breaking loose (Interrupted sleep is directly proportional to his tantrums, haha), I let him be. We left the house 20 minutes past three, which is quite late for sunset even if we practically live next to Pampanga.
|Sunset on a farm along the Highway in Bustos|
Fearing the usual traffic at the Guyong bypass and to experience a more scenic route, we took the General Alejo Highway route instead of the more reliable NLEX. We passed by the vast and picturesque Angat River as well as Bustos Dam, a recent MTB pursuit for him and some biker pals.
An hour and two towns later, we were still in Bulacan. If Google’s calculations are correct, we might land in Candaba at 6pm the earliest, the 30-minute trek to the swamp included – minutes too late to watch egrets and ternets do synchronized aero flips.
You see, our travel perspectives are on the opposite sides of the pole, even prior to marriage. So diverse that when I went on an unplanned solo daytrip to Tagaytay once, he thought I was losing it. Traveling for him is made for company, in the name of safety above all.
Travels with the hubs is a tip toeing act on a wire where everything must be calibrated. There is little place for spontaneity and error, as everything must be planned well. Minute details and sudden change in itinerary easily stress him out, whether we are on board a public vehicle or a car.
|View of Sierra Madre at the background. Sorry for the haze. These are all
running shots while in the passenger seat.
When it came to dates, Jigs fancied the usual movie-and-dinner dates. The routine wore me out at times, but since traveling even to nearby Intramuros isn’t on the priority list, we compromised to vacation two meager times a year: One on our anniversary, the other on his birthday or any other idle time of the year.
This calculating trait is environmentally-induced. His family rarely traveled. The folks considered outdoor activities – even just go-karts – too risky. He was raised in a home where everything must fall to a regular pattern, a routine, a norm, and all things are on a strict schedule. Any deviation from those sends them in a downward spiral of chaos and mental distress. My mother-in-law CAN’T even sleep overnight in a hotel, no matter how cozy. She is always antsy to check out waaay before the check-out time.
Meanwhile, I come from a chaotic family where unpredictability is normal, occasional tardiness is forgivable, and an infant is always welcome to join the party; where no trip is considered a failure unless one declares so. Because really, even if you get lost along the way or end up not arriving where you are supposed to be, there are those snippets of memories, warm conversations, unique characters, awe-inspiring terrains and horizons, and mood-altering, life-changing discoveries to bring home. After all, traveling is about creeping away from your comfort zone, albeit reluctantly, so you can find temporal homes elsewhere in the world. It is done to inspire insight and change. It must be welcomed with otherworldly adaptability, patience, and a curious and open mind.
It is never about the destination, but the journey going there.
Halfway home, he says, “Maybe we can try again next weekend. We will take the NLEX.”
I sent a half-smile. While I am still on a hunt for that one travel buddy who can tread mountains with me like it’s the catwalk, I am pretty sure my solemate is out there. Who knows? Maybe she’s already on my lap 🙂