Hi! I am Kenneth.
I’m a Filipino in my late twenties (pass me that tissue will you? *sniff*) and I am the head standing, traveling gay guy behind this miserable excuse for a blog that you are reading right now.
I’m not exactly what you’d call an ideal travel blogger.
I’m a horrible traveler and a more horrible writer. There is always something going wrong or funny when I’m out there on the road (usually wrong; they just sound funny in hindsight). I am grammatically-challenged but that doesn’t stop me from laughing offensively at other people’s stupidity, and my writing style has been the same since I was a freshman in high school (that is what you call a plateau, people). Also, inspirational is a word you cannot associate with me. That’s like putting a tilapia and a piranha in the same aquarium―there’s going to be blood bath.
My love affair with travel began in 2011. After happily tendering my resignation at a local hospital filled with brain cells-depleted and EQ-challenged senior nurses where I was working at the time, I tagged along a few weeks later with my sister on an 11-day backpacking trip to Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore. In spite of stuffing a rice cooker and an oven toaster inside my backpack (hey! I was a newbie. Thankfully my packing skills have already reached Jedi Master level at present) and committing every rookie traveler mistake imaginable, I had so much fun. It was liberating to pack as much of your belongings as you can and haul your ass to a different country and experience what that part of the world has to offer.
A year after returning home from that first out-of-the-country trip, I finally gave in to my best friend’s prodding to start a blog. And that’s how Echoserang Lakwatsera was born.
Blogging and Transitions
Echoserang Lakwatsera started out as a typical online travel diary. Barring any sudden and unexpected human extinction phenomenon (which really shouldn’t surprise us if something like that happens considering how stupid we’ve become as a species), the internet would most likely live on forever unlike your blasted love life. Blogging seems like the perfect platform to dump my precious memories and preserve them. And it is. It’s always fun to go through my past trips and previous blog posts and laugh at my younger self.
Then the blog became an avenue for me to share my expense reports, travel guides and tips to my friends. It’s more convenient and it saves time to publish a blog post and pass on the link than reply to my friends’ inquiries one by one. Accidentally, it also became a platform for me to meet other people who share my love and need for travel. I’m still good friends with many of them up to this day, in fairness.
My Travel Philosophies
During my first few years as a traveler my philosophy has been this: travel while you, your finances, and most importantly, your body still can. Can you imagine yourself as a 60-year old, wheel chair-confined, arthritis stricken man climbing the temples of the Angkor Archaeological Park, jumping off the Macau Tower, or rafting down the Cagayan De Oro River? Nope? I didn’t think so. Me, too.
Travel has been a dream I wanted to fulfill while I am still able and young. Make no mistake about it; it’s difficult juggling work, career, social life, finances and responsibilities, and then adding travel and your other dreams to the mix. However, I’ve always believed that if you just wait for your dreams to come true, you’ll be waiting your whole life. So if you want something badly, well, you got to take that leap of faith and chase after it.
While this still rings true for me today, I’ve also developed a huge liking to the philosophies of traveling at your own pace and traveling how you want to travel. I guess it comes with old age. Haha! Been there, done that; I’ve done Amazing Race-ish and checklist types of trips when I was younger and while those have their apparent advantages, I (and my bones and cartilages) now prefer traveling slowly and taking my time and actually go to places I’m interested in. After all, traveling is not a noon-time game show wherein you need to beat your opponents by the buzzer and for what? A home entertainment showcase? Don’t let other people dictate how you should travel. Travel and life becomes more enjoyable when you follow your own set of rules and timeline. Both travel and life, after all, aren’t a one size fits all.