Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Backpacking Illusions

Backpacker? Moi? I can name at least 7 people who will laugh at the thought. That includes me.I just love my creature comforts too much, need to know with certainty where I'm sleeping that night, and would be the laugh of backpackers when they see my industrial sized Lysol spray.

But now, I have the gear. Okay, I exaggerate. I only have this nifty backpacking start-up kit. It contains Robert Alejandro's book on backpacking, a practical yet pretty guidebook that somebody more adventurous and less scared of germs than I am can learn from. The information is culled from a true-to-life 2 1/2 month adventure Robert and four other friends took around south east Asia. It lists down backpacker friendly places for lodging, cost information, and transportation suggestions. Robert's sketches add so much punch and value to this informative book.

The kit also includes a pocket notebook, pen, and calculator for monitoring your expenses. And then, there's Jethro Rafael's collection of postcards of pictures taken during the trips. The photos are gorgeous; I don't see myself giving them away as postcards.

I bought mine from ROX at High Street. This kit will make a great gift. And it's reasonably priced at 700++ pesoses only.

We also attended Backpacking 101 at ROX at High Street. Robert and Jethro shared a video of their trip. If only I weren't so scared of sharing showers with the international community of travelers, the video would probably inspire me to buy a backpack, quit my job (oh wait, I don't have a job), get a tattoo (just a nice touch), invest in cargo capris, and do as they did.

For me, the real draw of the event were the workshops on travel photography by Jethro and travel sketching by Robert Alejandro. I was so excited about learning to sketch the way Robert does in Probe Team. And I felt so suckered when he did not teach us techniques. He did not even teach us how to draw straight lines or curly lines. BUT, I did learn from him that travel sketching is really about having fun. It's not about aiming for perfection. It's about capturing your view, your impressions and emotions of the moment. I've always wanted to sketch during my travels, but I don't know how. I struggle translating a 3-dimensional view in front of me into a 2-dimensional drawing. So, my fear has been keeping me from doing what I want to do. But, Robert taught me to just do it. We had a practice 10-minute round in the store. I produced a very crude sketch of shoes displayed on top of palochina crates. I squirm at how imperfect the sketch is. But hey, like I tell my students, to be a writer, just write. So to be a sketcher, just...


Boom said...

How do you post so many pics in one article? I gotta try this on my blog...