Best Before of Dreams

I booked a ticket to Singapore last month using my KrisFlyer miles to take advantage of SQ’s 30% discount for online redemptions. It was an impulsive buy without real plans, intending to spend just 3D/2N two weekends from now. There is a very big problem though. My passport has entered the “less-than-6-months-validity” phase four days ago before it finally expires in March. That means I can’t leave the country without a new passport! Right before I left for Indochina last month, I made sure that I have scheduled my appointment for passport renewal via the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) new online tool passport.com.ph. That was this afternoon so I had to leave work right after lunch to go to the Office of Consular Affairs along Macapagal Blvd.

I knew it was a long shot to aim for my new e-passport before September 25, the day I leave for SG. Even with rush processing, the best they could do was to deliver it on the 28th. I tried my best, begging for help from Officer 1 who did the initial checking of my documents. I reasoned out that I have an “interview” on the 27th with my e-ticket as proof. After minutes of discussion, he eventually gave me a special slip allowing me to go to the Director’s Office for the faster-than-rush processing. As fate would have it, the guard stationed at the D.O. told me that they had already reached the cutoff for special requests. Probably, it was past 3PM and the Director is not there? I didn’t ask anymore. As a consolation, he added that I can go back the following morning which I am not willing to do. The thought of spending another half-day VL in a government office sounds like a waste of time. So, I had to go back to Officer 1 and I was advised to just go ahead with the regular process to get things moving. On the morning of September 25, I will go back to the DFA office to look for him and he can help me get my passport before I go straight to the airport. I don’t know if he’s doing this out of his good nature (I’d like to think he is) or if there is a potential red-tape encounter ahead.

Good thing that I have a trusty companion during my 1.5hr wait at the Encoding/Enrolment section. I brought with me a book which I have wanted to read for so long, 360º Longitude by John Higham. I haven’t finished it yet and I plan to post a review sometime soon. It’s about a family of four and their quest to travel the world for an entire year. A must-read for travel enthusiasts! Well, at least I was productive.

This experience got me into thinking mode again. Do dreams have expiry dates? I was trying to remember where I first read it and I am not sure if I agree to that statement then. I do now. Thirty years from today, I am almost 60 years old with a loving wife, a son and a daughter, bright and beautiful grandkids. Will I still have the guts to jump off a plane and skydive? If yes, I would be lucky enough to live if a heart-attack in mid-air doesn’t strike. Do I still have the lungs to learn scuba diving and brave the famous Great Barrier Reef? Will I still have enough strength to conquer the entire world like the Highams did?

I love fresh milk but I can’t imagine myself drinking from a carton with spoiled contents. I would definitely be frustrated if my camera’s battery died on me the second I capture that supposedly perfect shot. Dreams, like many other things in life, do expire. Yes, it is possible that we achieve the things we’ve always wanted at a later stage in life. The question now is, will we be able to enjoy them at that instant?

Lost time translates to lost opportunities. I gonna make time as my companion. I only have to worry about the present since this is what controls the future. I should strive to reach for my dreams as long as my strength and passion will allow me. I must also understand that along the way, I need to learn how to let go and give up.

A few minutes ago, instead of rebooking that unplanned SG flight to another date which I am unsure of, I decided to cancel my booking altogether. I will get full-refund for the USD 75 that I spent but with 3000 miles penalty. Small amount of money that I can use to fund a big dream ahead!

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