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How the Will Defines My Journey

Backpacking with a Book

It’s easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top.
—Arnold Bennet

Mt. Lanaya, Alegria, Cebu

Why is there an urge to reach the peak? Perhaps because the higher we ascend, the more rewarding the view is: whether it is a sleepy cityscape, a sea of clouds, a cascading river, a boisterous falls, or an achingly beautiful sunset. It becomes a recurring realization that there is no shortcut to happiness. Its pursuit necessitates will: the will to continue, the will to move on, the will to reach the destination, the will to learn. And how this musing does not only apply to travels but also to life itself.

Osmeña Peak, Dalaguete, Cebu

We are defined by our will. Sometimes, the steepness of the slope made me want to retrace my steps and seek comfort on my everyday routine. The foreign, the unfamiliar sometimes struck me and made me cower and long for the familiar. The pain sometimes became unbearable and the body wanted to rest. Yet my will prodded me forward, reminding me that foregoing is an act of cowardice, of ill-willingness. It is like letting go of the opportunity to learn, to experience, to view life in a different perspective. A principle one can equally apply to daily life.

Mt. Pulag, Kabayan, Benguet

Reaching the destination, the peak is a validation of one’s will. That one can proudly declare “I made it!” Because happiness is richer and more gratifying when one deserves it. Happiness becomes treasured when one earns it in the hardest way possible.

Sunrise at Mt. Pulag

My will—my adventure partner—defines the whole narrative of my travel.

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona! I’m in my early 30s and is currently based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.I primarily write poetry and short stories in Cebuano and lengthy travel essays in English. Blogging has become an outlet to think out loud. I live the life I set for myself. I try to live an unapologetic life. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at Find me somewhere else!

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  1. […] Backpacking with a Book where words, images, places, silence collide Skip to content HomeReadologyTravel ← My Adventure Partner: How the Will Defines My Journey […]

  2. NiceArtLife says:

    Wonderful afternoon photos, very nice!

  3. jonabering says:

    Thank you! We can never distinguish sunsets from sunrises. Haha!

    Do drop by for more travel photos and essays.

  4. pawie28 says:

    Your writing makes one really consider personal perspective. Enjoyed it- well edited too.

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