[Bontoc] ► Of Old Age and Traveling: Meeting an 81-year-old Solo Backpacker

THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS FROM READERS
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"This moment made me arrive to the realization that the passion for traveling is age-independent and the possibility of traveling solo around the world in old age is not a theory."

If you grow old, do you think you can still do the long hiking you've always wanted to do? Or summit a mountain without the direful joint pain? Strength, that's the edge of the youthful age. For the old men, strength becomes something that's earned, or an investment from taking medicines that could strengthen the body funded by a pension accumulated from years of hard work during those times they are still strong.

Daniel, an 81-year-old Canadian Solo Backpacker


Until one day... I never thought I would ever meet a strong old man in person who loves backpacking with no complaints of nape pain and joint aches. Having been able to meet him is not just about dipping the sole to the pond of inspirations in keeping the vagabonding spirit alive. That encounter changed my perspective in life not just about traveling but also in shooting my targeted aspirations.

Daniel is his name. Beautiful name! I suddenly remember a Bible character named Daniel who kept his faith. He was a disciplined man, healthy in all aspects: physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

Daniel is a Canadian solo backpacker. He has chosen to live this way. I met him in #BONTOC during a cultural celebration in town. I saw him seated in a corner with his video camera perched on a tripod. I approached him, we watched the cultural show and a conversation arising from two different generations filled the age gap. I have been hooked into his stories and our common interest has just cloistered us away from the crowd.

I asked him what is his secret of living a youthful life in his age. He told me he has successfully avoided cigar and alcohol in his younger years. I learned that in 1986, he has been in the same place. But that time was totally different. He told me that getting to Bontoc was a painful 12 hours of riding in a bus along a lonely dusty, mischievous and dreadful road from #BAGUIO to Bontoc. He then claimed that he was surprised with the massive change in development in this part of #CORDILLERA.

This moment made me arrive to the realization that the passion of traveling is age-independent and the possibility of traveling solo around the world in old age is not a theory. Daniel has just set an axiomatically perfect example.

Igorot old men: not the solo backpacker breed though


As we watch the great ol' men of Bontoc dancing to the tune of their traditions, I realized that life is too short and Daniel is not wasting a single second of his time. He still invests in earning experiences and banking happy memories in that old age.

While [some member of] the younger generation spend their youthful years to partying (I am referring to the sinful way), engaging in vices and unhealthy lifestyle, Daniel has just clearly chosen his priority. He maintained a good health because he still want to do his passion even when he gets old.

Another old man, he is not a Canadian though

Igorot old men circle, not sure if I will wear that when I get old though


For Daniel, he knows where he is going even when he was young. He knows his direction. He has been guided by a distinct passion in life. And uhmm, he told me his 85-year-old sister also do backpacking.

To Daniel, I don't know when we'll meet again, or I don't know if the second chance of meeting you would be possible. But if ever you stumble on this page, I just want to let you know sir that this post is my tribute to you for inspiring an ordinary young man like me (in contrast to your age) to become extraordinary, one day, someday. /end

Bontoc #TownExploration Series

Map showing the Location of #Bontoc

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[BONTOC] ► Cultural Experience with the Ammutan/Muyadan Tribe of Manabo

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[TINGLAYAN] ► Kin-ay: the First Kalinga Tattooed Woman I Met

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[TINGLAYAN] ► Fang-Od (Whang-Od): The Last Tribal Tattoo Artist of Kalinga

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TEASER ▬ She's ending the tradition not by her choice but by the call of our ever changing society.

comment 10 #TownFolks Commented :

The Nomadic Pinoy on September 21, 2013 at 10:45 PM said...

I'd like top see myself never growing tired collecting experiences just like this 81-year-old man you met. We endeavor to do what makes us happy and traveling obviously is what keeps him going. And going.

lalalaPatricia on September 22, 2013 at 6:12 PM said...

Yay this another great compilation Edmar! Miss bumping you site! Long time no comment ah! Keep on exploring and sharing your experience to us! :)

Edmar Guquib said...

The Nomadic Pinoy | Ang galing po niya no? Seems like traveling is his source of strength :) #superlolo

Edmar Guquib said...

lalalaPatricia | Hi Pat! Yes, I miss your space here, and I am too missing checking yours. Yeah, I sure will keep exploring and sharing, as long as I have the time, resources and strength - promise! ;)

Franc Ramon on September 22, 2013 at 9:37 PM said...

To be backpacking at 81 years old is really admirable. It just shows how people can be passionate with what they do.

Edmar Guquib said...

Frand Ramon | So true, it becomes obvious and overt, the passion manifests before the naked eye :)

Rochkirstin Santos on September 23, 2013 at 7:56 AM said...

Daniel is such a strong and inspiring man. If I were on his age, I don't know if I can still hike and do all those activities.

Marie, shiny pearl on September 23, 2013 at 2:49 PM said...

Travelling is a passion...age doesn't matter with it. :) I hope I can experience hiking to and not the usual city-hopping. And I hope I can do it earlier on, though there's nothing bad about being 81 and hiking, just wanna experience it when my knees are still able. :)

Edmar Guquib said...

Rochkirstin Santos | Hehe... but actually, no one knows what might happen in the future. Who knows, you can be like him :)

Edmar Guquib said...

Marie, shiny pearl | I second the motion, Marie :)

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