With today’s technology, documenting our travels is as easy as the experience itself. We don’t have to bring rolls of films or even cassettes to record our visuals. Memory cards can do all that and more. These innovations came in handy for those of us who love to travel light. But this too, came with a price. We can lose all our data as easily as capturing them.
Nothing ruins the moment more than having to go home all excited to relive the memories of a journey, only to find out that this little piece of plastic card let you down. You brought it with you in your adventure and you entrusted it to keep a record of most, if not all your experiences. And having been corrupted, every memory you’ve had about the trip goes down the drain with it.
I admit I go hysterical whenever this happens and believe me, this has happened numerous times. Sometimes I can’t help but scream “@!#&*%!$&!#$&%$*!@” (yes, those characters replace every single profanity you can think of). I don’t mind getting lost during a trip but I do get pissed when my tangible memories get lost after the trip. Or are they?
Yesterday, I started a little retrospection. I dug deep within my Hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for long-term memory formation) for images during my previous travels and I was surprised that I still had all the good pictures hidden within. If only I had a wifi-ready brain, I’d upload every single one of these pictures on Instagram, tag my friends on Facebook and Airprint thousands of hard copies just to make sure I won’t lose them again. But I don’t. And I really do have the urge to share them with the world so I’m gonna have to rely on words. I just hope I’d do these places justice when I describe them to you.
This will be my first “imageless” post so I hope you won’t get bored reading this and just let your imagination run as wild as I did during these trips.
Here are some of them:
LOMBARD “The World’s Crookedest Street” (San Francisco, California)
Located near famous Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco and just a 5-minute drive from the Golden Gate Bridge. This wasn’t a very pleasant experience for my mom who was hanging on by the edge of her seat while we were navigating the turns of this winding road. I wouldn’t recommend driving through this street because for one, it’s like a maze of interconnected Z’s (8 sharp turns to be exact) and to make matters worse, it is a steep 27-degree downhill drive. But from afar, the red-brick road is such a thing of beauty when complemented by the colorful flowers lining the entire lane.
THE RECLINING BUDDHA (Penang, Malaysia)
The first stop for the Superstar Virgo Cruise across 3 countries (Singapore-Malaysia-Thailand). The enormous 33-meter statue of the Buddha in reclining position (lying sideways, elbow on the bed, head elevated with palms of the hand supporting the head) is what I consider the epitome of “chill” and “hang loose”. The gold-plated Buddha looked to relaxed and carefree. Even managing to wear a “half-smile” on his deathbed. Tranquil? Serene? Peaceful? Any of those words can describe the Buddha’s demeanor but I believe the right term would be “NIRVANA”
17 MILE DRIVE (Monterey, California)
From log cabins to concrete mansions, it doesn’t matter. They all cost a fortune in this side of town. The scenic road is located in the Monterey Peninsula. This is also home to an exquisite golf course where international tours are held each year. You’ll see deers running wild while cruising around this “Foresty” road and they don’t even care if vehicles might run them over. Oh, and did I mention that the person who ran this town once was no other than Clint Eastwood – the former mayor.
THE LONE CYPRESS (Monterey, California)
I’ve always believed this was the best picture I took for the whole trip. In the outskirts of the 17 Mile Drive, a Cypress tree grew from the edge of a rocky mountain. It’s sort of impossible for a tree to grow in such a rocky terrain but nevertheless it did. The rocky mountain limits the growth of it’s roots making it resemble a natural life-sized Bonsai plant. It had the best view of the place. Alone, on the peaceful top of the mountain, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I can imagine myself sitting under that 250-year old tree for hours marvelling at the view except that this area is not in any way accessible. How did that Cypress Tree get there? We’ll never know.
GREAT AMERICA (Sta. Clara, California)
The name itself would suggest an experience involving American history. It couldn’t be any further. Wanna take another guess? This is actually a theme park. Being an adrenaline junkie, I went crazy as soon as I got in. This is like the Disneyland for adults. I’ve had the chance to visit it twice. The first was during the summer of 2000 where the place was packed and you had to wait in line for minutes to get to a single ride. So I promised myself to come back and ride every roller coaster from the very front seat. And I did! This time, I was here during the Halloween of 2008 with my friends from California, Treena, Ela and Sai (thanks for the experience guys). You’ll find the scariest rides here and to cap it all off, they converted the whole park into a huge “Palace of Horror” after 6pm just when it started getting dark. Creepy but fun! Hands down, the highlight of this trip would be the Xtreme Skyflyer ride. You’ll see the video in my other post entitled Let Your Adrenaline Preach.
ROMA DI NOTTE “Rome By Night” (Rome, Italy)
I made the most out of my last night in Rome. We all know this is such a romantic city, appearing in countless movies and even mentioned in songs. They say this is the city to fall in love in, I say this is the city to fall in love with. The Colosseum, The Palatine Hills, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, and who could forget The Fontana di Trevi. Remember the song “3 coins in the Fountain”? They look more marvelous at night even with very little lighting. Imagine yourself “Rome”ing around the city while feeling the huge scoop of Gelato melt in your tongue. Or even just sitting in the cafe right across the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument watching the Green, White and Red lights of the piazza while taking little bites from a slice of the best Tiramisu. Now tell me that that image doesn’t make your taste buds tingle.
It pains us to see that our memory card has been corrupted. But the next time this happens, don’t fuss because we have the best one built within us with unlimited storage space. We just have to make sure our brains don’t get corrupted just like those little plastic ones.
I’d love to hear your “Accidentally Undocumented” experiences too. Please do share them in the comments portion of this post.