Destination No-Go: The Year of Working on Ourselves

by Hazel Villaviza | December 18, 2020

The Silver Lining

As 2020 comes to a close, we tend to look back at the year filled with twists and turns, keeping us on our toes and on relatively high alert. Many plans have been put on hold, or canceled altogether even; with the holidays coming up, it’s quite difficult not to think of the vacations that could have been.

For frequent travelers, this is an especially challenging situation to be in, having to put carefully laid out plans on the back burner as we do our best to make the most of this new normal. One of our staff, Counselor Hazel Villaviza from the Tutor Relations Team, shares all about her experience; from pushing back multiple travel goals to discovering hobbies that can be done at home, this tutor-cum-staff definitely knows how to keep herself active!

Nothing says vacation more than having ice cream while swimming in the ocean

Maybe Another Time

I actually had a lot of travel plans this 2020. I had a destination in mind for each month.

I love going to the beach, so I made it a goal to visit different beaches this year. The feeling of the breeze from the ocean, how the sun shines down on me, and how my skin turns brown from enjoying my day on the sand is truly enjoyable. Despite the early onset of the pandemic, I thankfully I was able to enjoy the first three months of the year. My family and I traveled to Palawan for my mother’s birthday, and last March, my friend and I flew to Dumaguete because we wanted to see the sea turtles.

My family and I were supposed to go to Sorsogon last April because we wanted to swim with the whale sharks, and then I had plans to go to Batangas in May with my coworkers to learn how to free dive. I also had the intent to go to La Union in August for my birthday because I wanted to surf. I even had the last quarter of 2020 planned out, with a Bacolod trip with my college friends planned for October, and an Iloilo excursion with a friend, which we got the plane tickets from a seat sale.

I was so disappointed, of course. All the planning, commitment, budget, and effort were wasted due to the situation; I had to refund some of the flights or put them in a travel fund. At first, I thought that the pandemic would pass soon and that by August, we’ll be able to go out again.

But it didn’t.

Instead of thinking about the canceled plans, I tried to occupy my mind and time by doing something else. To busy my mind, I projected my travel plans for the future. I thought of where I wanted to go, how much I’ll spend on the trip, who I’ll go with, and all the things that I need. That was at the beginning of the quarantine.

Just Like Seasons

As time passed by, it became more and more obvious that COVID-19 would be around for a while longer. I decided to pick up other activities I dropped due to the stay-at-home order.

I used to go to the gym all the time before the pandemic, and I really missed working out. So, I tried home workouts instead, watching videos on different kinds of exercises. From different types of dances, yoga, and even high-intensity training, I’m trying them all out. It’s a great way to stay healthy and active even though I’m mostly indoors.

I started conducting more RareJob lessons. Back then, I used to open only a few lesson slots because I didn’t have enough time to teach. But since my commute time has been cut off from my schedule, I saw it as an opportunity to have more classes.

I got really into online shopping as well. I really did buy a lot of things to fill up my time and loneliness. From clothes, shoes, and work from home essentials, I enjoyed adding them to cart and checking out. This didn’t last long, though; after a while, I couldn’t buy anything I wanted or needed anymore. At this point, I started saving up instead, both for myself, and the family that I wish to have someday.

Relaxing white sands

Other than those, I also poured all my creativity into the online events that RareJob holds. This helped me maintain some normalcy and sanity because I’m used to having our yearly events. One of the things I enjoy is participating in all the RareJob events, be it as a staff, or as a tutor.

When Halloween rolled around, I was excited to prepare for it. The event was online, of course, so my department and I weren’t able to decorate our cubicles or create our booths. There were no Trick-or-Treat activities with children we used to invite either, so I wasn’t able to scare any kids.

Just a few weeks ago, we had our virtual Year-End Party, and it gave me the excuse to buy an outfit, something that I always do when we have our parties.

There were a lot of things I realized ever since I obtained so much time, and acquired more funds. For example, when the pandemic situation final passes, I’ll still continue my workouts at home since it’s cheaper than going to a gym; I just need discipline to really follow through with the sessions. Despite everything being online, I realized that I still look forward to the events RareJob holds, and I’ll definitely continue my active participation. I’ll also continue to open my lessons when I do have the time so that I can continue saving up for the places that I plan to visit, and for the future I imagine having.

Another Year

I’d still like to continue the plans I made this 2020 come true next year. Although we’re still in a pandemic, life goes on, and I personally still want to enjoy what it has to offer. As long as we follow the protocols set by our government for our safety, we can still find a way to enjoy life without harming ourselves or others, and maybe even help our economy get back on its feet.

I’m very thankful for a lot of things. My family, my love, my friends, my coworkers, and RareJob for keeping me occupied and sane during this crazy year. If not for them, I wouldn’t have anything to look forward to. So now, even though we don’t know what the future holds, I’m excited for what lies ahead. This year has been a time for savings and realizations, a period of preparation for when the time comes when we can finally come out and live our lives to the fullest.

Let’s be grateful for what we still have, and remind ourselves of what’s important in our lives, and why. It can be our home, health, safety, friends, family, or work; as long as we have something we cherish, everything will be alright in time. Finally, let us all stay optimistic, and look forward to a future we hope to have.