Though I don't regret it, I'm beginning to understand that refusing to settle isn't a decision to be made lightly.

July 11th, 2015, 2am

I can’t stop looking at this photo, which I took a month ago. There’s just something in it, this combination of beauty, wonder, movement, and loneliness, that strikes me deeply. Come to think of it —- those have been the four constants of the past year of my life.

It’s the 68th and third-to-the-last day of this particular jaunt abroad. As much as I dread and despise the city I’m coming back to, I’m ready to go home. I’m tired. I need to stop moving and figure out, armed with everything the school of travel has once again taught me, just where the hell I’m going.

All throughout my twenties I had treated my general refusal to settle as a badge of honor, like it made me more clever or more evolved than the people around me. Well, maybe it does. But now I know why most people do: the very best things in the world, the very dreams in whose name one refuses to settle, it turns out, are pretty damn hard to get.

And I find myself struggling to get my bearings while glancing at my peers as they begin to coast into their 30s: careers, relationships, marriages, children, houses, cars, and all. (Well, let’s be honest: I only envy them for one of those things.)

I think most people stop evolving past a certain point and I can’t blame them because, frankly, it’s a pain in the ass. There are far fewer people to share that road with, ready to help and show the way when you need it.

Well, I never liked traveling in big groups anyway.

Arushi, David Wade, Hedaya, Ricardo and 12 others said thanks.

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Aaron Palabyab

Filmmaker. MNL and the world.

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