As I am writing this, I have just actually arrive two days ago here in Sydney from my 18th geological expedition in Wave Rock, Western Australia. Let me tell you, that place is spectacular. It’s actually a natural rock formation that is shaped like a tall cresting ocean wave, more like Elsa went there thousands of years ago and have frozen a forthcoming wave. Anyway, I will be off duty in the next two weeks. So it’s going to be a time to relax and go somewhere.
I am so blessed to have a job like what I have now. I get to travel to different places where my company sends me, all-expense-paid. It’s a privilege wherein only a few people in the world can have. It’s amazing because I get to enjoy life travelling at a young age almost to a point that I think less of what my future would be. Eighteen expeditions and my job never gets tiring for me. Oh, I suddenly remembered the time when I went to my very first expedition. Let me tell you about it.
My very first expedition was a happy-sad moment for me. I was a very happy at that time because I get to begin my journey as a geologist and travel to Australia. But at the same time, I was leaving my family and home for the longest time. I’m not used to being away as I am very close to my parents and two brothers. I was not that ready emotionally. But my parents comforted me by saying, “It’s time for you to explore the world.” At that moment, I emptied my tears out and went on to my destination, the land of the Tasmanian Devil.
My first expedition was in Bungle Bungle Range. It was only “discovered” in 1983. Purnululu National Park was established in 1987 and declared a World Heritage Site in 2003. The unique range is composed of grey and orange banded ‘beehive’ shaped sandstone domes and is arguably the most amazing and spectacular geological landmark in Australia. When I was there I felt like I was on another planet. It’s amazing to be studying this kind of rock formation as it is very unique and beautiful. Together with my team, we took a helicopter tour, camping, and bushwalking.
Then next expeditions came one after another, going different geological landmarks including the infamous Uluru Rock (formerly called Ayers Rock), Cradle Mountain, The Three Sisters and many more. But it’s not always about work. In between expeditions are weeks of free time wherein I spend it travelling to other countries mostly in the Asia-Pacific Region. One of my most unforgettable trips was in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines. It’s an 8-hour flight from Sydney to Manila and another 1-hour flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa. Then I took a 6-hour road trip going to El Nido. Going there might sound grueling but when I arrive, I was in awe with how majestic the place is. It is currently ranked number 1 in Conde Nast Traveler’s list of 20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World for its extraordinary natural splendor and ecosystem. When I was there, I spent my time sunbathing at the white-sand beaches, scuba diving in the colorful coral reefs, boating in the narrow lagoons and parasailing in the entire archipelago.
There were also times when my colleagues are with me when I travel abroad. One unforgettable trip that we had was in Hong Kong. The country is infamous for sumptuous street foods. As a food lover, I spent my first day tasting the different authentic delicacies that can’t be found in Australia. Some street food names that I remember are stinky tofu, curry fish balls, siomai, egg waffles and squid tentacles. We also went thrift shopping wherein I filled up one big luggage with clothes on my way home and spent less than $200 only. On the next day, we crossed the sea to go to Macau, China via superfast ferries. The city is a heaven for the ultra rich as the place is called The Las Vegas of the Far East. Most of our time there was spent on casino hopping (we didn’t gamble by the way), checking out souvenir shops, strolling to old architectural sites and food hunting of course.
Most of you probably agree with me that travelling is awesome. Yet, it can sometimes also be challenging and stressful as you are thrown between different time zones, have to stay on top of itineraries and means of transport and find your way through unfamiliar territory, often hampered by lack of local language skills. But travelling is always fun since you are gathering experiences.
Two years in my profession as a geologist, I was able to explore the world and traveled to different countries already. Spain, Dubai, Maldives, Malaysia, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Canada – been there, done that. Any person would dream to be like me, to have the opportunity like I have or be in my position. But in each of my travel, there’s always that empty part of me that can’t be filled by what travel can offer. It’s the longingness to be with my family again. It’s great to have people with the same passion as me to be around in my workplace, but I still miss my family a lot. As a young adult, I own my life. I take control on whatever I want to do. When all is done here in Australia, I’m gonna make up some lost time for my loving parents and kind siblings. Thanks to Skype and all these awesome apps, I still be able to communicate with them.