Before embarking on a trip, I usually spend a few months being obsessed about the place, spending hours and hours of research on blogs, Youtube and forums. I comment on Instagram photos and ask people about their personal experiences. I have this obsession of trying to gather as much information as I can about certain places before I go. This is because it might be too expensive, too crowded, too far out of reach. There can be so many reasons not to go.
In the case of Kelingking Beach, to say that there were a few obstacles would be an understatement. The ferry tickets to the island from the mainland were expensive. There wasn’t a “proper” port, so my tiny build had to carry a 40L backpack throughout a 16-day trip instead of the usual suitcase. This was way out of my comfort zone because I’m so out of shape. The climb down to the beach was said to be dangerous and difficult, with no strong railings to hold on to. They said you needed proper shoes. You had to be fit and confident. Otherwise, don’t even attempt it. Some even said that you need “rock climbing gear”, which I now think is exaggerated.
Long story short, it just made sense to stay on the top and enjoy the view from there, but no. I sucked it up. This could be possibly be the best beach of my life, so I wasn’t letting the fear (although very rational) stop me from getting to this dream destination.
And so, after an hour ride on a motorcycle, I arrived in my Adidas Stan Smith (great choice, Trisha), wearing a comfortable T-shirt and shorts, with a bikini underneath. I took a few minutes to soak in this view. I didn’t take photos just yet. I said to myself that I would do it later, when I got back from the beach. I began my descent, very slowly but surely. I took each step with careful thought on where to place my foot. There were times that I was so unsure, so I just took my time.
After the most challenging journey, there I was…
In the best place I’ve ever been to on Earth… making my most favorite travel memory…
It was beautiful and grand and so unbelievable. It was the kind of place that made me think… Oh, this is why I travel. But more than that, this is why I live. This is why I push through my mental and emotional struggles, the mundane routine of work and home and work and home.
The waves were huge and they swept me a million times but I swam anyway. I had these photos taken minutes before I got smashed by a wave, rolling several times in the water, coming up deaf, with so much sand in my suit. I got back on my feet with the biggest smile on my face, breathing heavily and hurrying to the shore where the waves couldn’t catch me.
I will never forget the day I pushed so hard beyond my limits, when I saw the water so blue, the waves so big and powerful, the view so majestic.. When I did something I was so sure I was incapable of doing.
I set aside all thoughts of insecurity, and I just did it.