The Day I Was Trapped in a Storm in the Philippines

"You have the best stories!" my co-worker exclaimed, laughing over my latest tale from traveling. 
A huge smile escaped me. "Really?"

"Seriously! First you lose your ID in Vegas and then you survive a hurricane in's just really cool."

"Well trust me, it didn't feel like it at the time!" I still wince over that unfortunate Vegas trip.
I need to go back and redo that weekend...

That's the thing about getting out of your comfort zone. You inevitably escape with a tale you probably never would've experienced if you'd stuck to your normal routine.

From giving out fake aliases in Canada (read about that trip HERE) to hopping impulsively into a stranger's golf cart in Belize (HERE), I never realized just how many stories have started to accumulate from my travels.

One of my favorite moments is one that I never shared online. It took place about four years ago, when I was still a fresh-faced 18 year old (why does that feel so long ago?). I was visiting the Philippines with my mom during the rainy season. One lazy afternoon, I grew restless with staying indoors. So the moment the rain let up, I headed out to the market alone, if only to stretch my feet a little. My mom and aunt were exhausted from walking around the other day and were still deep asleep in their nap, so I left a note and slipped a few pesos into my pocket.

My aunt's place is located by one of the popular strawberry fields located in Baguio. A shortcut through these berry-infested fields had been shown to me earlier, so I decided to take the local's path and cut straight through to the open air market.

After about an hour of wandering around,  I decided to head back. I headed back to the fields, taking the narrow path that would lead home.

Halfway back, an ominous thundering split the calm, grey sky. My heart stopped. I knew what was coming next. My pace quickened, but it couldn't outrun the pouring rain. In seconds I was drenched!

Where am I going to go? The house is to far to make it in this mess.

I reached the end of the trail, and huddled under a rough sheet metal shelter were workers who had sought shelter from the storm. I ducked inside, my shirt and bangs matted to my wet frame. A few tried to hide their stares, as a young, foreigner in this area was rare. However, after some time, they continued chattering in their native tongue, and one offered me some of the strawberries from her basket.

What felt like ages later, I sensed a lightening in the storm. Rain continued to pour, however not quite as relentlessly as before. I decided to risk it. I knew my aunt's house was close by, and I was already soaked anyway.

What's a little more moisture? I thought sarcastically.

So after a quick smile and farewell to my new companions, I dashed back out into the torrent.
It was perfect timing, because as I rounded the corner uphill, I almost ran smack dab into my aunt!

"Oh my Lord, there you are!" she exclaimed, ushering me under the shelter of her umbrella. "We were so worried about you!"

I received a light scolding for my solo adventuring, but to this day, I still treasure that experience.

Stories certainly aren't formed solely by travel (albeit I tend to think the most interesting ones are!), but it's while in an unfamiliar place you feel the most free to take chances and see where it takes you.

What are some of your stories? Share in the comments below!

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