• What Distance Tells Us, life lessons from the road

      Why do you travel? What makes you pack your bags and get on the road?

      In a time where traveling has become increasingly accessible and the most raved about experience on social media, Cebuana writer Johanna Michelle Lim beckons travel aficionados to look into the visceral meaning of travel sans the tourist attractions and glamorous photos with her book What Distance Tells Us: Travel Essays About The Philippines.

      A debut collection that depicts Lim’s eight-year solo travel experience in the different parts of the archipelago, What Distance Tells Us features 12 places which the author carefully curated over the course of a year.

      In each essay, Lim delves deeper into how solo traveling becomes a soul-enriching experience; how traveling becomes a tool for discovering oneself.

      “Being in the same place won’t allow you to mutate or transpose but you do when you travel. You become a different person, maybe not consciously but you do. It’s a good way to use restlessness and detachment to your advantage,” Lim says of traveling during an interview at the sidelines of her book’s launching on Feb. 23 at the Qube Gallery in Crossroads Mall, Banilad.

      Lim, a brand strategist by profession and a single parent to an eight-year-old daughter, shares that among her most unforgettable travels were Tawi-Tawi and Palawan.

      “Tawi-Tawi because I was able to join the marines in their daily grind minus the warfare. We hear about their stories, about the conflict but we don’t really know what their lives are, when they’re just playing basketball or when they are just preparing their meals and I was able to join them,” she says. Lim traveled to Tawi-Tawi in 2017.
      On the other hand, it was during her Palawan trip in 2012 where she first experienced traveling with her daughter.

      “It was also coming to terms with motherhood, how I could reach my dream of traveling while being a writer and a mother which was quite a challenge,” she adds.

      In addition to encouraging readers to travel for the purpose of a greater sense of self-discovery, Lim also hopes for her readers to find the ‘why’ of their travels and make it their north star.

      “It’s a modern sensibility for travel to become a benchmark of success. I hope the readers will find their own why. Why do you travel? Why do you feel like you need to be exposed to discomfort? Why do you need to have a change of environment? You have to go out and look for it. Hope they find their why's or at least start to question what their why is.”

      What Distance Tells Us book is now available at the Urban Lifestyle in Vibo Place Escario and Casa Gorodo Museum. You may also place your order through the What Distance Tells Us page on Facebook.

      (Dominic Yasay)
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