Confessions of a 57-Year-Old Filipino Solo Traveler

This is Living Life to The Fullest!

Edna Ona is a 57-year old single mom from San Mateo, Rizal. I met Mommy Edna (that’s how we call her) from DIY Travel Philippines‘ summer event in Isla Verde, Batangas last May 20, 2017. Prior to the meet up, she’s been very active in the forum and group chat and I was wondering if she could keep with the rest of us – young and high in spirit. I was thinking that she could slow us down, that perhaps at her age she needs extra care and we need to be mindful of her all the time. But I spoke too soon, she happened to be one of the coolest solo traveler from the Philippines at the event. No complaints, joining all the activities and even at the social hour she’s there, mingling with us while enjoying her mocktail and at times smoking a cigarette.

Mommy Edna and Her New Friends in Isla Verde, Batangas

I admire how she fearlessly admitted that she’s lonely and finds happiness in traveling. That takes courage. We told her that she’s our mom in the group, and us her children, I hope that it made her feel better.

Mommy Edna lives alone with her dogs and is running a small business. She has an on-call maid that helps here doing her household chores and her two sons visit her from time to time to check on her. Both of them have their own families now and living separately. I asked her why she travels solo, “I live my life with no pressure or maybe because I’m used to being alone in my house“, she said. According to her, the travel plans always push through when you don’t think of others and just yourself.

Surfing in Baler

Her response to the most asked question to travelers, why do you travel? “At my age, it’s just right that I enjoy while I can still walk and travel but no trekking. At least before I die I have many beautiful memories.” She also said that she’d rather enjoy herself than be lonely in their house.  So how does she fund her travels? Mommy Edna have savings and part time jobs, she also runs a small business. She’s past the hiring age so she couldn’t get a full time job anymore. Though she travels solo most of the time recently, her most memorable travel moment still was in Bohol with her two sons and she dreams of visiting Batanes one day.

Mommy Edna on a Trip With Her Two Sons

She started to travel solo last November when she joined DIY Travel Philippines Group in Facebook and had been to many places such as Cebu, Davao, Baguio, Ilocos, Sagada, Banaue, Pangasinan, Vigan, Marinduque and Isla Verde. But Baguio City will still be her favorite because of the cold weather, she visits the city every year. I have a high regard for her courage, some young people are still afraid to travel solo but she’s doing it like a pro.  She revealed that she has been traveling solo in her 30s as it was required in her job so she’s not really new to it.

Hanging Coffins in Sagada

Finally, her advise to the younger generation, “Save money then travel while you’re still young. All the memories are worth it. You will never know what will happen to you. Don’t be afraid to travel solo.

Death Pool, Pangasinan

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This article was originally posted on The Rustic Nomad.

About therusticnomad

JP Licudan is a Filipino travel and outdoor enthusiast based in Singapore. He's the founder and blogger behind The Rustic Nomad (www.therusticnomad.com).