#TAB Travel Bug Tuesday: Junie Capiral

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“Be safe but don’t be too safe”

Junie is someone who loves life, follows the middle road, believe in fate and destiny, one who loves to explore the inner and outer world, a human being, a part of the cosmos…

Junie is one of the people who inspired me to just be who I am and  to follow my passion. He is seriously infected by wanderlust and by that I believe that is a serious case and there is no cure found yet. I had  to honor to meet this wonderful person and exchange so many stories under our wide galactic galaxy!  I was inspired by Junie, I hope you will be too after reading my interview with him. 🙂

1. What fuels you to travel? What inspires you?

Travel gives me the chance to get in touch with myself. By going out in the world, I become more aware of my thoughts, motivations, strengths, and vulnerabilities. By going to countries that are different from the culture where I grew up, I both learn to appreciate the beauty in diversity and experience the fundamental unity that I share with the rest of humanity by seeing the similarities. Travel is my primary mode of renewing myself, a kind of spiritual path. In my graduate thesis in psychology I completed a thesis that explored the ways how travel could be a tool for psychological transformation. In that scholarly work, I used the lenses of Jungian psychology, mythology, and anthropology to make my point that travel has all the elements of a transformative tool.

2. What countries have you visited already?

Austria, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai), United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City State, Vietnam. I wanted to visit more places but I already have a couple of favorites where I keep on coming back. My favorite is France specifically the southern region and has traveled there for about 8 or 9 times in the past 15 years. Second is the UK where I used to live and because of that I return there almost every couple of years. Greece is next and visited that awesome country twice. And not to forget my very own Philippines which I visit every year at least.

3. When was the first time you have traveled and what country did you visit?

The first time I traveled was in the year 2000 when I went to Paris, France for a conference. I was still living in Manila that time and since then I promised myself that I will live to travel!

4.Where are you now and where’s your next stop?

I am back here in California where I’ve been living for the past 11 years. Our family migrated here in the US around 25 years ago and I was the last one to join them. I have just been back from a short visit to the Philippines but I am already looking forward to go to India sometime next year. I am less flexible now because I am back to school for my second graduate course in psychology. I hope to become a traveling psychotherapist in the future. How’s that?!

5.Name 6 travel essentials that you can’t live without when travelling.

These things I cannot leave home without when I travel. I could practically hop on a plane with just these and buy the rest of the stuff that I will need in my destination. The more I travel, the smaller my bag becomes LOL!

  1. My water floss (I can’t brush my teeth without first flushing out the yucky stuff LOL)
  2. My cellphone (serves to connect me with my family, friends, and the world! It also serves as my camera)
  3. A pen
  4. A “fanny belt” that I secure around my waist and placed underneath my underwear, really close to the body. This is where I put my passport, credit cards, the contact numbers of the US embassies in the countries I will visit, and cash.
  5. A copy of my travel insurance. This covers for medical and emergency needs including the option to get airlifted to a hospital in extreme cases.
  6. The “Blue”, my US passport that gives me visa-free access to 161 countries.

6. What kind of traveler are you? ( flash packer/ back packer/ lux packer)

I’m really a light traveler and could survive with just a backpack. Inside is a jacket made of light material, a universal adaptor, a pair of slippers, sunglasses, a charger for my phone, a power bank, a pair of pressurized socks for long haul flights, and a supply of clothes that’s enough for one week. I also bring a small pack of tissue paper and a spray-on hygiene wash to keep myself comfortably clean after answering the call of nature LOL!

7. What is your dream destination and why?

I hope to visit Antarctica sometime and Namibia! I love desolate places because of their ability to bring one to a state of serenity and solitude.

8. Your most favorite travel photo that you took and the story behind it

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This photo is of the night sky in the Sahara desert during my trip to Morocco in 2012. I went with a small group of people to camp out in the desert, this after 2 hours of a punishing camel ride! We had a couple of Bedouin tribesmen that led our group who also served as our cooks and entertainers that night! After the camp fires were put out, most of those in our group retired inside their tents but I preferred to stay outside and lie down on the desert sand with a magnificent view of a sky that was littered with thousands of stars and the light coming from the Andromeda galaxy was even visible! It was a profound spiritual experience for me as it gave me a feeling of deep connection with our ancestors. At that time, I was seeing the sky the way that people thousands of years ago have seen it. It became clear to me how and why the ancients came up with different mythologies. It was an experience unlike any other. I was soon joined by the Korean students who happen to speak a little bit of French and English. We were lying down in thick blankets while watching the stars and having a conversation about our respective cultures. We were conversing in both English and French, with me getting by with my broken French LOL! At that moment, we were just children of mother Earth. The colors of our skin, nationalities, and language became mere incidents of our common humanity. It is so difficult to understand why nations have to go to war!

9.Have you ever traveled solo? How was it? If not yet, what’s your thought about traveling solo?

I travel solo 90% of the time. I think it is the best way to travel for several reasons. Mentally, it makes you reflect on your experience without your impressions being influenced by any companion. It also makes it easier for one to meet other people because traveling solo makes you need other people. Being solo also makes you flexible because you don’t have to be mindful of any companion.

10. What is the best advice you can give to young people today who also thirst for discovering what the world has to offer? 

Oh my! Travel as much as you can while still young! It is the best form of education one could get and the best way to build ones personality and character. Being well traveled also doubles your chance of getting a date because you become an interesting person LOL! What if a travel abroad is too expensive for you? Travel local because as long as you are open to experiences and are willing to see things in a new light, it could be as transformative as a trip to an exotic country. Be safe but don’t be too safe. And the most important thing that you should take with you and that could save you from a lot of trouble: common sense.

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