Entrevista: When love travels
by Evans Yonson
(Note: Ehms Benavidez works for the fashion industry in the Middle East. She has a degree in Communication Arts from the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Intramuros, Manila. She currently lives with her hubby, Alvin, in Dubai.)
The Light Traveller (TLT): Tell us a background of yourself:
Ehms Benavidez (EB): I had spent a total of seven years in college, and I’m proud of it. Initially, after secondary school, I tried pursuing my father’s dream of me becoming a doctor, but hell no! I realized after the first year and failing Trigonometry, that medicine was not my thang and would rather wake my dad from his dream sooner before it becomes my nightmare…hahaha! Been a bum for 2 years after that and *boom* comes maturity. At 20, I decided to go back to school – on a clean slate. Four years after my renewal, I had earned my degree. What’s best was not only did I gain my diploma, but my (then) future husband as well.
Currently, no kids yet, my husband and I are based in Dubai, doing what other Filipinos do best – to be of service to our nation by being slaves to other nation. Fortunately, I am experiencing the best and worst worlds of the fashion industry — from entry-level front-desk to becoming a PA to the Division Manager, I’ve seen it all.
TLT: What circumstances brought you where you are now? How many years have you been here?
EB: We have been here for more than 4 years now. The desire to explore greater horizon and discover more opportunities had prompted us to try our luck overseas. As then newly-weds, and with our tenacity to set a solid and comfortable foundation to our young married life, we decided to set sail and try our luck in a greener (but hotter) pasture. Thus, making us a part of the majority.
TLT: How often do you travel in a year?
EB: Unfortunately, for people like us who are working under contract, we are entitled to a 30-day annual leave, that you could either spend in or out of the country, or by installment basis. I usually take mine one-time – 1 month of pleasure against 11 months of agony.
TLT:Would you travel alone? Or with your family? Or with friends? Why?
EB: I am a people person. Although there are moments that I enjoy my soliloquy, traveling is not one of its setting. I tag friends or family along wherever I go – be it over a simple movie night out or a shopping spree marathon in London. I relax better with somebody in tow.
TLT: How do you travel? By car? By bus? By plane? By boat? Please explain.
EB: Depending on the destination, whichever it requires, but should a powerful genie exist or a fairy godmother, I wish for all places to be connected by land as it would be nicer to travel by car, to enjoy the journey and to adore the sights along the way.
TLT: What is the farthest place that you have travelled to away from your present residence? Why the distance?
EB: Travelling back to my country of origin — the Philippines, is still farthest from my current location. A direct flight takes 7 to 8 hours, more so if you are travelling with stopovers.
TLT: Do you buy souvenir items during your travels? Why?
EB: I always loved buying souvenir items for family and friends, but I would keep a thing or two for me. Presently, as I had just travelled, I’m starting to collect snowglobes from all the places that I have been to and will go to, like that in the movie “Unfaithful” (who knows it might come in handy someday !)
TLT: Do you take photographs during your travels? Why?
EB: I love photographs, they are timeless. Even if you’re gone, the photos that you had taken will still be enjoyed by generations after you. All the memories you’ve had from your trip should be properly documented, so you can always look back to the joys of that very moment.
TLT: Travel light? Travel heavy? Why?
EB: Heavy, heavy, heavy! I always maximize the maximum weight allowed, hahaha! Why? 40% giveaways / 60% personal stuff.
TLT: Backpack? Luggage? Why?
EB: For long distance, such as those once-a-year holiday, I always prepare my luggage…full!
TLT: What’s in your backpack/luggage when you travel? Complete details, please…
EB: For those to be checked-in, I fill my luggage with gifts (for my loved ones,) shoes, accessories, clothes which are all mine, and those liquid stuff in big bottles. FYI, I don’t carry grocery items…hahaha!
For my hand carry – just a small luggage of more clothes, and my big tote for my personal needs like wallet, eyeglasses, contact lens, biscuit, a bottle of water, a pack of cigarette and lighter combo, mobile phone, pen, passport, etc.
TLT: How many days are the longest time when you travel? Why?
EB: 30 days. All fun, no work baby! I had spent 11 months in captivity, so a month of freedom is heaven.
TLT: When and where was the last travel? For how long?
EB: Just last month, my husband and I had spent the full December month in England and were able to celebrate festive holidays with our family.
TLT: When and where will be the next planned travel? Why?
EB: There’s no definite schedule yet for this year, but we are planning to travel in Europe with some friends…get crazy in Amsterdam maybe!
TLT: Do you always plan what to do during your travel? Or are you spontaneous? Why?
EB: Before my travel, I would prepare a list of the must-things to do and people to meet, especially applicable when going to my home country. Then, I would leave some dates empty to be able to accommodate surprises and last minute plans.
TLT: Describe the feeling (is it satisfaction or exhaustion) you have/get after such travel?
EB: From the first day that you had set foot in your place of destination, that familiar smile will be pasted in your face all throughout your stay. With all the places/people to see and the activities to be done, exhaustion can never be felt until you had gotten back to where you came from and reality started to bit you again.