Last night, I was in a conversation with two other travelers and one popped the question: What is something that you can’t travel without?
One answered her iPad, the other was her cellphone.
Me? I can’t travel without my rainbow wig, a symbol of me being different. I sweat glitter, too!
I started wearing it as a costume in a Halloween Party, circa 2006. Then, days later, an equally fabulous friend and I did the 10-km hike from Jinshanling to Sematai sections of the Great Wall and I thought it would be fun to sashay down the ancient brick steps like it’s a fashion runway.
From then on, the rainbow wig has come a long, long, long way… and it has been to 11 countries and many cities. It always occupies the top space in my backpack. I don’t wanna place it in the middle or at the bottom because it will be flattened to its core. Of course, if you are a fabulous, priceless thing, you’re always on top of everything! LOL…
There are many, many fun ways to travel. It’s not just about the wondrous sights you visited, the amazing people you met, the diverse culture you learned and the unexpected events you stumbled upon. It’s also about YOU!
When people saw me putting the wig on in front of a landmark frequented by tourists, they’re amused, puzzled but smiled nonetheless. Who wouldn’t? They saw me in my multi-colored crown, doing poses and making love to the camera whose 10-minute timer seems like eternity to wait. LOL…. And imagine me doing that over and over again, until I got the perfect shot!
So far, here’s my rainbow-filled journey…
GREAT WALL OF CHINA
This is the wig pose that started it all. Back then, the wig was voluminous, like an afro, only it’s coloured. My friend and I stopped at this spot to admire the beauty and reckon how long we still had to thread on this sheer sinuous path of time-worn bricks. We were not halfway of the 10-km hike yet.
WAT ARUN, BANGKOK, THAILAND
The Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) is touted as the most beautiful temple in the world. You must see it at dawn or at night when it is illuminated, as if it’s a magical kingdom from afar. I’d recommend this as one of the tourist attractions you should see when visiting Bangkok.
ANGKOR WAT, SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
The Angkor Temple is believed to be a small representation of the universe. It’s an architectural endeavor that’s brilliant and stunning. At dawn / sunrise, the temple is a photographer’s delight. Unfortunately, the sun shunned away from us when I visited there.
PEOPLE’S COMMITTEE HALL, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
This French colonial building is the grandest in Saigon. At night, when the lights flood all over the facade, it’s stunningly gorgeous! The statue on my left is Uncle Ho Chi Minh to whom the city is named after.
SHIBUYA CROSSING, TOKYO, JAPAN
Perhaps, this crossing is the world’s most famous. It’s a shopping district and and the Time’s Square of Tokyo. When the walking white guy flashes, hundreds of people cross together, at once. The picture above is just one side of the crossing. Kaye, a fellow couchsurfer, took this photo to my insistence because I thought it would be fun to be in there, waiting with the crowd. She climbed on an elevated platform where Hachiko, that famous Japanese dog, was to get a better view of me hanging out and walking with the masses. As you can see, people actually didn’t give one damn care if I’d gone bonkers. LOL…
MT. FUJI. JAPAN
Early Autumn in 2009, I had a glimpse of Mt. Fuji from afar. It was a beautiful day and we saw her in a postcard perfect panorama. Forget about the snowcapped mountain you saw in pictures, global warming thawed it away.
BUILDING 63, SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
I heard somewhere that the best place to watch sunset in Seoul is in Number 63 Building—so I went with a friend. We arrived early, so we decided to explore its surrounding parks and river. The flowers enchanted me–and I resolved to take the wig photo here, instead of doing it with the guards at Gyeongbokgung Palace.
MANILA BAY, PHILIPPINES
The sunset in Manila Bay was achingly beautiful when a fellow wanderer took this shot. We have never seen each other for years so we decided to meet at the Mall of Asia (Asia’s Biggest Mall) and joined a throng of sunset lovers in a sea wall where we could catch up with everything about our sex and love life–while gaping at one of the best things in life, for free. I think, we talked about our being single, too! LOL….
CENTER ISLAND, TORONTO, CANADA
This was how I spent my first Spring in Toronto. I dragged a friend to come with me for a photo op in the island. It is but fitting to have my pic taken here with the city’s skyline as a backdrop. It’s a good spot. When I went back there that summer, the bench was gone.
STATUE OF LIBERTY, NEW YORK CITY, USA
The first city I’ve been to in the US of A is New York City. I was very sentimental. Never did I think of visiting the city that’s immortalized in many movies I’ve seen. When I took this photo with my tripod, I ignored the tourists who were surprised and laughed at the audacity of me putting my rainbow wig on. Who cares? Lady Liberty would have winked at and proud of me. 😀
CAPITOL HILL, WASHINGTON D.C., USA
The day was a struggle between the sun and the nimbus clouds. But, the latter won. So, I explored the museum nearby. When I went out late in late afternoon, I was surprised to see the golden sunset. I walked as fast as I could to the Capitol Hill and got this photo with enough time to pose the way I wanted. 😀
CATEDRAL PRIMADA DE AMERICA, SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
There was pre-wedding photo session going on when I arrived, so I waited for 30 minutes to take over this space. The bust statue is of the late Holiness Pope John Paul.
CHICHEN ITZA, MEXICO
I’m glad the Mayans had it wrong in predicting the end of the world—or else I would never had this chance of wigging in front of Chichen Itza. Beginning this trip to Mexico, I now have a must accessory to bring in my next travels: my Ellen sunglasses. Yes, THE Ellen. She can afford to travel anywhere but she doesn’t have much time, so, I’ll bring her in my travels. LOL…. It looks good with my wig, right? 🙂
PETRA, JORDAN (The Treasury)
I celebrated my 2013 Christmas Day here, face-to-face with one of the modern wonders of the world. It’s my 33 UNESCO World Heritage Site and girl, I was stunned to be here. Petra is one of those attractions that you have to see to believe.
My 16-day backpacking around Cuba (in 8 cities) won’t be complete without wigging in front of Che at Plaza de la Revolucion.
TRAVELLERS PUTTING ON THE WIG
Because I like to share my happiness and my craziness to others, I thought that I’d let others wear this wig for the fun of it. I’m glad that to have met these people who embrace my queerness. LOL….
There’s a little queerness in all of us!
Here’s the proof!
Argentina – 2 (Leo, Cami)
Australia– 7 (Emma, Jared, Jenny, Nancy, Philip, Sam, Zac)
Austria – 2 (Theresa, Rene)
Belgium – 1 (Stefan)
Brazil – 1 (Adriano)
Cambodia – 1 (Street Child)
Canada – 21 (Andrei, Ann, Carolyn, Catherine, Claudia, Davis, Ed, Eric, Jeff, Keven, Kevin, Kwan, Laura, Mark, Miriam, Rob, Ryan, Ruth, Simon, Stephanie, Tori)
Chile – 1 (Suan)
China – 22 (Ai, Annie, Beatrice, Carrie, Chris, Ermao, Feng, Jeanie, Jinling, Cui Xiao, Jenny, Mao, Nick, Waitress, Icy, Ryan, Simone, Seb, Su, Tibby, Vincent)
Colombia – 1 (Catalina)
Costa Rica – 1 (Vanessa, Oscar)
Croatia – 1 (Igor)
Cyprus – 1 (Pambos)
Denmark – 2 (Lene, Kat)
Dominican Republic – 1 (Angel)
Ecuador – 1 (Gabrielle)
El Salvador – 1 (Lisette)
England – 11 (Alice, Chris H., Chris, Fleur, Joe, Pete, Peter, Petras, Niall, Nick, Sara)
Estonia – 2 (Jaanus, Martin)
Finland – 1 (Paula)
France – 26 (Anatole, Anne, Arthur, Baptiste, Bettina, Caroline, Claire, Cp, Florent, Flora, Florian, Francois, Hamza, Ines, Julien L, Julien L., Laurent, Leon, Lise, Lucas, Manon, Manu, Manuel, Max, Nicholas, Stephane, Thibault)
Germany – 19 ( Alex, Aline, Berti, Christopher, Christian, Ingo, Jan, Jens, Lee, Linda, Magdalena, Maxima, Martin, Michael, Mirko, Oliver, Olli, Sarah, Stefan)
India – 5 (Deepesh, Guru, Mady, Shilpi, Tomi)
Greece – 1 (Vaios)
Hungary – 1 (Andras)
Indonesia – 1 (Ricky)
Iran – 3 (Amir, Sona, Zoubin)
Ireland – 1 (Donagh)
Israel – 2 (Gil, Noam)
Italy – 7 (Alessandro, Davide, Giacomo, Marco, Raffy, Simone, Stefano)
Ivory Coast – 1 (Charles)
Japan – 7 (Akiko, Junko, Kas, Maki, Mino, Mochan, Yuko)
Kazakstan – 1 (Aizhan)
Malaysia – 3 (Jon, Maggie, Tan Edmund)
Mexico – 2 (Salvador, Jorge)
Morocco – 1 (Kawtar)
Netherlands – 5 (Soiren, Vincent, Marielle, Rudolph, Wouter)
New Zealand – 2 (Jo, Helen)
Nicaragua – 1 (Mai)
Norway – 1 (Liv)
Pakistan – 1 (Adnan)
Peru – 2 (Rebecca, Veronica)
Philippines – 14 (Bryanboy, Dinah, Kaye, Rikki, Jonel, Ronald, JM, Jimwell, Eshel, Yhanna, Anna Mae, Jackie, Wheslee, Hurly)
Portugal – 2 (Alex, Rui)
Poland – 1 (Oskar)
Romania – 3 (Beatrice, Radu, Suzy)
Russia – 1 (Slava)
Serbia – 1 (Philip)
Singapore – 1 (Adele)
South Korea – 2 (Hyuk Ju, Sang Yoon)
South Africa – 1 (Andrew)
Spain – 14 (Alberto, Aurora, Beatriz, Dani, David G., David V., Eva, Irene, Javier, Jose, Livia, Salvador, Sergio, Visitacion)
Sweden – 8 (Anna, Ida, Daniel, Fredrick, Julius, Marcus, Tim, Emma)
Sri Lanka – 1 (Nadeeja)
Switzerland – 4 (Christian, Geni, Evelyne, Lea)
Thailand – 2 (Mimi, Som)
Tunisia – 1 (Abdelaziz)
U.S.A – 43 (Akua, Andy, Angelique, Barry, Boo, Brad, Brandon, Brie, Carissa, Chishan, Doug, Donnie, Elicia, Fred, Greg, Hyunjung, Iris, Jake, James, Jeff, Joanne, John, Jordan, Lizzy, Luis, Mark V., Mark, Maggie, Mark T., Matthew, Matthew S., Matt, Mike, Nina, Paul, Phillip, Rebekah, Rc Rox, Rodney, Ryan, Sriram, Samantha, William, Zach)
Venezuela – 2 (Misha, Juan)
Vietnam – 1 (My)
Wales – 1 (Gordon)