Inspired Travel Thursdays by Rain Amantiad
What is THE inspiration that fuels your journeys, Sole Sisters? Is it a favorite song or music video, a colorful postcard or unforgettable scene from a movie?

Welcome to the newest series on Sole Sisters: Inspired Travel Thursdays where we feature trips that were sparked by a book, snatches from a poem, lyrics from a song or even a person!

Writer turned nurse  Rain Amantiad walks us through the pains and sacrifice of migrating to a new country and how it has lead her to embrace freedom that comes with travel.

In 2007, I gave up a dream so that my family can fulfill theirs. I migrated to Wellington in New Zealand as a nurse, letting go of a budding career in writing and advertising. The one thing I knew I did best slipped out of my grip because I had to take in my palms the greater responsibility of providing for my family.

Inspired Travel Thursdays by Rain Amantiad
Unlike most, traveling, for me, didn't start as a gift. It was a necessity at a time when it was already too late not to break but was still a few breaths away to not fall apart. It was my way of rebellion, of chasing for a breather amidst a dog eat dog world. In order to stay sane, I promised to pursue freedom in other avenues I could afford.

It was the working class struggle, the pain of the starving-artist-forced-to-conform-by-a-rumbling-stomach that inspired me to travel and run free.

Inspired Travel Thursdays by Rain Amantiad
I befriended autumn. In black hosiery, I used to walk around the neighborhood picking up twigs and pine cones. There was a military camp near where I lived and soldier boys asked for my name all the time. I told them my name was Sofia. Other days it was Mushna.

Inspired Travel Thursdays by Rain Amantiad
I hid under skateboard ramps. There was a place called the Oriental Parade in Wellington, very much like Baywalk in the Philippines. On a good day, you'd see men in their suits on one side and skater boys on the other. I'd guess which is which by the shoes they wore from under the ramps. After a day of stressful shift, it was rewarding to be shallow and hilarious.

Inspired Travel Thursdays by Rain Amantiad
I rode buses to nowhere. My favorite transport discovery in Welly was the Weekend Pass. It only cost ten bucks and it brought me everywhere. I usually just brood throughout the whole ride. Or press the stop button just because.

Inspired Travel Thursdays by Rain Amantiad
I raided secondhand bookstores. People read heaps in that city. For the first time, I felt it was honorable, intimidating even, to declare that I wrote. I particularly liked bookstores with second floors. I'd rush upstairs and smell book pages. Once, I grabbed a random book from the shelf and proceeded sniffing the pages. Only to realize that the book was entitled, "Kamasutra of the Feminine Pleasure."

Inspired Travel Thursdays by Rain Amantiad
I crossed railways. There was this old railway between the street where my flat stood and the court where my workplace was. Crossing railways was worth a $20,000 fine, but I crossed anyway. Every day, for 18 months.

Inspired Travel Thursdays by Rain Amantiad
I dated a boy in the middle of wheat fields. Alright, it wasn't really in the "middle". But in Wellington, or in the whole of New Zealand for that matter, there were always patches of plants in between man made structures. So this boy, he used to drive me home from work. On a number of times, We found the wheat-field-backdrop picturesque, so we bought takeaway pizza and pulled over by the wheat field for chow. Free ride, free chow, FTW.

Inspired Travel Thursdays by Rain Amantiad
I climbed walls. Back in the day, I did all sorts of awesome stuff: wall climbing, cliff jumping, free diving-- the works. Then Barbie Girls became the fad, so I played weak and dumb. Boys seemed to gravitate towards those kinds. But because my mission in Welly wasn't to get a boyfriend, I went back to being awesome-- starting with climbing the wall faster and stronger than any other person in the vicinity.

There were still lots of other things that I braved. At first, out of sadness, out of angst. But later on, puzzles started to piece together, stuff began unfolding and everything commenced falling into place. I began knowing places in the same familiarity and precision as naming one too many kinds of joys and aches. I wove stories-- of railways and pigeons and red sunsets.

I worked as a nurse earning real world money, while dreaming barefoot on coffee breaks.

I have reckoned in the end, that me, losing control of the consequences of life had apparently turned the energy inward, revealing more and more of the passions I have other than writing. The thing with my travels was that, it afforded me the time to brood-- to know myself, to understand the workings of the world, and to decide between coming to terms with the world and having the world come to terms with me.

Inspired Travel Thursdays by Rain Amantiad
I guess I chose the latter. Because today, even if I still have the yoke of the breadwinner perched on my shoulders, the road is less rough and the sun is brighter. I now know the world inside and out, while it still wonders what days I should be called Sofia.

Or Mushna.

Rain Amantiad, 27, took up nursing to fund her wanderlust. Now in New Zealand, she walks barefoot in the wonderworlds of Narnia, Terabithia, Pandora and Middle Earth. Because suddenly, what the rest of the world deems as paradise is her everyday. Check out more of her travel writing on Destination: Everywhere.

Would you like to contribute to the Inspired Travel Thursdays Series? Whatever or whoever inspires you to just go, do let us know! Send us an email at solesisters(dot)weare(at)gmail(dot)com.
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19 Responses so far.

  1. interesting read. and to give up your own dreams for your family is pure selflessness. 

    loved your write-up. inspired me to explore my hometown in a different eye.

    thanks Sofia, erm, Mushna ;)

    thanks for sharing SoleSisters!

  2. Heysummah says:

    she is indeed a writer.. :D touching story! more power to you sofia! :D

  3. cindy says:

    very inspiring, i can really relate to this.. thanks for sharing! :)

  4. Marcos says:

    Great interview!
    Rain has been an inspiration since I was still a pup :) I aspire to have even just half her creativity. 

  5. Thank you for sparing a space for my thoughts, Lois. May the stars will align for all dreamers the way it did for me. :)

    P.S. Thank you too for the traffic this would surely bring to my website. chos. :)

  6. I almost cried Rain - O.A. ako Hehe.

    Your magical and creative words really penetrate my soul and it leaves a mark.

    I hope you could teach me your techniques someday.

    Thanks sole sisters for coming up with this wonderful segment! Kudos.

  7. Wow. This is one beautiful piece of writing. Honest and insightful with tight, clean and controlled prose. It could've easily gone over the top and melodramatic. The writing is disciplined yet full of heart. Congrats, Rain! I wish I could be as good as you. :)

  8. Gay Emami says:

    I feel for you Rain! I also worked overseas to fulfill mi familia's dreams. It gave me the opportunity to see the Middle East. And well, found "the one" there too.

  9. chillybean says:

    Wow, absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  10. dong ho says:

    not an easy start yet when faced with courage... survives and makes even stronger.

  11. abril_trese says:

    inspiring read.. pulled some heartstrings too. teary eyed. :)

  12. Lois says:

    I loved Rain's piece too! So glad it resonated with many people.

  13. Lois says:

    So happy for the responses on this post. Looks like you have a future career pa in writing Rain. Thanks for sharing your story and hope to meet you someday.

  14. Lois says:

    Glad this post connected with you Ed. If you have stories for this segment, feel free to send it in :-)

  15. Lois says:

    I absolutely agree on all your points. She writes so beautifully!

  16. Lois says:

    Uy, gusto mo rin ba mag share sa segment na to Gaye? Feel free! I know you have many inspired travel stories.

  17. Solesisters Weare says:

    Thanks for dropping by chillybean!

  18. Solesisters Weare says:

    I absolutely agree Dom! And a lot of us are called upon to start new lives ever so often. So glad Rain shared this with us.

  19. Solesisters Weare says:

    Glad this piece resonated with you Abril. Thanks for dropping by!

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