Dear Friends,

I feel that after so long, I have to put up this site in order to update you of the latest travel destinations you could go to. Thanks to free blogs, like wordpress, I am now able to make I-NAV Travel & Tour’s presence be made in the World Wide Web.

But of course, before anything else, I want to share with you some articles regarding travelling and the love of it.

I-nav travel, I love.

Who is a Traveler?

by Bill, Casa Camilla – Boracay

A traveler is, well, someone who travels… as opposed to a vacationer, who vacations, or a tourists who gawks. A traveler who is traveling is not on holiday from regular life; traveling is a traveler’s life. We live to wander. You won’t find a traveler in a four-star hotel, lugging six heavy bags, or on some expensive, pre-paid sight-seeing tour. A traveler won’t be wearing bermuda shorts or a hawaiian shirt, snapping photos of the tacky tourista zones. You won’t find the traveler blowing wads of cash on expensive over-rated meals. Your traveler will be everywear camped out in the cheaper hostels, hotels, campgrounds, farmyards, backyards, and sometimes even your couch. She will have a smartly packed pack on her back, walking around the village road, country lane, or city streets with a look of contentment and wonder. Your experienced traveler will measure his road time not days or weeks, but in months or years. The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see. Gilbert K. Chesterton
Perhaps the point of being a traveler is to experience many different cultures, to get to know the local inhabitants. Perhaps the point is to make friends all over the world, and to expand global understanding and our consciousness by doing so. Maybe we want to see a wild, chaotic, thriving and beautiful Nature before She disappears. Maybe we just got itchy feet.

What do you mean by Budget Travel?

Budget Travel is a way of surviving on as little as possible for as long as possible. There may be a varity of reasons for opting for budget travel, rather than a more excessive route. Budget travelers are often students without a whole lot of finances, but also include those of us fully employed that don’t make a whole lot of money (more common than otherwise!). Some folks just find it hard to justify a lavish budget for a trip that may be primarily recreation or education. A budget traveler may be headed half-way across her home country – or half-way around the world. In any case, she is always interested in the cheapest eats, the cheapest transport, and the cheapest shelter.
Most folks I have met have found budget travel a highly satisfying adventure; in fact, there is often an inverse relation to the amount of money you spend and the amount of direct contact you have with the culture you are exploring. Buses, hostels, and food markets put you far more in contact with people than do airplanes, hotels, and room service.

What is a vagabond traveler?

Vagabond travelers go by many names: vagabond globetrotter, modern nomad, gypsie wanderer. All these names mean basically the same thing: you don’t have a whole lot of money, and you are out to see the world. Another phrase often heard is perpetual traveler. This malady is basically self-explanitory; you’ve been bit by the travel bug, and you do not want to stop! The main distiction between a budget traveler and a perpetual travel is that the later’s aim is to never stop; or, at least to spend as little time as possible not traveling. To this end, they look (and find!) ways to eliminate expenses at home (if they even bother to maintain a home), and to earn money or barter services while traveling.

Does the Emperor of Travel-Land Have No Clothes?

-Lonely Planet, April 2002 Comet’s “Spotlight”

Why do we travel…really? (If you think the answer to this question is too bleedin’ obvious, then you may wish to leave the room now.) There are more answers to this question than you might at first think – Lonely Planet author Sam Benson has a crack at some of them:

Exploring the psychology of travel can be like visiting an open-air hospital for the mildly deranged. Wandering the grounds, you might find neurotic travel virgins, addicts to extreme adventure, masochist budget slaves and those with obsessive-compulsive disorders who count countries they’ve been to the same way Rain Man counted cards. After a time, some families begin to wonder if, in fact, their most nomadic members should be committed – just ask my mother.

What drives some of us to this madness is as vexing a question as – not to put too fine a point on it – the meaning of life. Yet the majority of psychologists have neglected to speculate on why some of us are recklessly driven to travel beyond all reason and often beyond our means. Amusingly enough, one road warrior from the Thorn Tree writes, ‘My shrink tells me it’s the result of an unstable personality and sociopathic tendencies, [because then] I don’t have to be with the same people all the time.’
Another anonymous source from inside Lonely (or should we say Loony?) Planet confesses she’s travelled for love a few times, to escape herself at other times, and that ‘If you see a pattern of desperation here, please send therapists’ contact details.’ Does this sound familiar?

Some of the reasons we trot around the globe are obvious – escapism, family vacations, chasing after lovers – but others, those hidden deep within our psyches, are as quirky as our own DNA. Yet, oddly enough, the typical traveller’s inquisition usually starts off with ‘Where have you been?’ and ‘How long are you out for?’. It leaves the burning question of ‘Why are you traveling?’ to rank somewhere down around 56th place, along
with other unimportant details like your first name. Is it possible that many of us actually travel for no real reason at all, that the emperor of travel-land has no clothes?

The genius writer Bruce Chatwin was obsessed with travel, so much so that friends began to think him slightly unhinged when he began theorising about why humans don’t like staying in one place for too long. According to his unfinished notebooks, Chatwin believed that the nomadic existence was the natural human state. Violence, war, suicidal depression and other maladies were the debilitating effects of modern civilization on trapped psyches. For him life was rosy when we were all packing up our tents and riding camels off into the sunset.

A seductive theory, and one I personally agree with, but where does the modern couch potato fit in? Who can really explain why some of us exchange comfortable hearth and home for sleeping on the dirt floor of a Nepali trekking hut, fighting off battalions of mosquitoes in Congo or enduring tipsy ferries en route to remote Mediterranean islands?

Perhaps Freud, the granddaddy of psychotherapy, can enlighten us. Some of the psychological roots of our wanderlust do seem to come straight out of the id, which in Freud’s model of the mind is the hedonist inside us all. Lust, gluttony and all of the other sensational urges we keep on a short leash at home tend to go a little wild on the road. I’ve seen folks chase the best ganja from Baja to Kathmandu, or fly thousands of miles to meet a lover for a rendezvous in an anonymous hotel room. As travel fuels the
fires of our loins, it also wraps us in an opiate cloud of forgetfulness that lets us reinvent ourselves. Hell, rogue criminals have known this for centuries. As a Lonely Planet author, to keep my anonymity on the road I often find myself creating so many false identities that the Mission Impossible theme song might as well be mine.

But, we hate to say it, even the most headlong pursuit of pleasure – sheer escapism – can be a bore. Eventually floating from country to country, as any long-term traveller will testify, can lead to ennui. At last, ‘Why do I travel?’ becomes a relevant question.

For some, travel is the university of life. It may be a cliche, but as oneThorn Tree pundit points out, ‘While working in Holland a few years ago, I learnt how to roll a joint while riding a bike. Name me a PhD course that teaches that.’ More sober folks really do travel to learn, whether a new language or something more intangible. My grandmother gallivants around Europe to see the things she read about while growing up, anything from the Passion Play at Oberammergau to the British Museum or digging up
genealogical roots in Ireland.

Some of the earliest Western explorers were actually quite learned travellers too, like the French seaman La Perouse, who carried botanists, astronomers, geographers, zoologists and naturalists on his ships. One poet tells me that her passion for travel comes from her passion for literature. ‘I always work literary landmarks and local bookstores into my itineraries’, she says. ‘In Japan, I lived in Kawabata’s hometown and
visited Rakushisha, a rustic hut in Arashiyama, Kyoto, where Basho spent some time and where visitors are encouraged to write their own haiku.’

For others, daredevil risk will always be a necessary ingredient of adventure. As Albert Camus wrote, ‘What gives value to travel is fear.’ Some travellers get their dose from extreme sports while surfing giant waves in the South Pacific or hauling their snowboards up Mauna Kea volcano sans lifts during the few times it actually snows in Hawaii. A documentary filmmaker I know always goes straight to the ‘bad
neighbourhoods’ of anywhere she visits, successfully searching out the cultural underground. Then there was the Japanese guy who was seen pedalling his way across the Australian outback last year on a non-motorised scooter with only a water tank, backpack and didgeridoo!

Many travellers dream up their own no less eccentric, if a bit more tame quests. A fellow hosteller admitted to me that he always went in search of the local beef jerky wherever he went. His adventures in tracking that succulent delicacy to the source were always revealing of the local culture in ways simply visiting a museum couldn’t be. I am personally bewitched by border checkpoints, the more obscure and difficult, the
better. Having a bit of trouble getting somewhere adds value to my journey.

If you still need to whet your appetite for globe-trotting anew, perhaps a little armchair wandering over travel literature is in order. Or start digging into the culture before you even leave home, like the acquaintance of mine who immersed herself in sacred hula before her trip to the Hawaiian islands. Volunteering can be an excellent way to a different sort of adventure. How about helping to restore ancient ruins or battling alien
invasions (of plant and animal species, that is)? Instead of travel being an impediment to a real adult life, as my aunt so succinctly puts it, the experience you gain can actually further that elusive thing called a career once you return home.

Many people eventually find that travelling becomes more about the process, not the destination. For them, travel is a way to live purely in the moment, all five senses fully saturated but unfiltered by books, TV or the experiences of those who have gone there before them. Travel fills our heads with images that we can’t get anywhere else. ‘When life has its blank moments, you have nothing to work with but your memory’, says a
friend of mine in New York City. ‘One of the best ways to give yourself a good databank of things to dream about is to travel.’

As one airline advertisement recently intoned, ‘The next time your life flashes before your eyes, make sure you’ve got plenty to watch’. In today’s world, maybe the only unbeaten paths are intangible ones between people and cultures, not to places. At night when I close my eyes and try to soak in the experiences I’ve had, it’s faces that I remember: the chef who cooked our yak steaks in Nepal, the Tibetan nomad who gave me her baby to take care of while she made tea, or the truck driver who snuck me into Northern Ireland on an old bootlegging road.

Why do we travel? Perhaps this is a question without a rational answer. After all, it may be as simple as, ‘Why eat breakfast in your boring kitchen when you can eat it in the Amazon or in Paris or on a mountain?’ as my old roommate suggests. The passion to roam the earth may be in our bones, but hopefully we can pick up a little enlightenment along the way. It is all a matter of perspective – the more global the perspective, the
better. So let your crazy love of travel shine this year! Even your shrink couldn’t possibly object.

So, why do YOU travel? Should we be committed for even bothering to ask this question? Do any of the above reasons for travelling fit you? Or do you have an even deeper, more demented explanation of what makes you pack your bags time and again? What other passions/quests do you tie in with your travels? If your life flashed before your eyes, would your home travel movie pack out the house or leave your audience (ie, you) snoozing? Tell us what really motivates you to hit the road by emailing us at
comet@lonelyplanet.com.au – we’ll publish the best answers in a future issue of Comet and send those published a free Lonely Planet guide of their choice to say thanks.”

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Happy Travelling! 🙂

Melynn A. Limjap

I-NAV Travel & Tours
2725 Cabrera St.,
Pasay City, Metro Manila
Philippines 1303

Tel/Fax: +63 2 843 7714
Mobile: +63 917 823 6690
Email: inavtravel (at) yahoo (dot) com
Blog: https://inavtravel.wordpress.com

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