Le véritable amour conquiert tout.
by Evans Yonson
(Note: Pat Callasan is a very good friend of mine. We used to teach in the same department in Manila not so long time ago. We´ve lost touch after I left that school and thank goodness for online social networking sites, we´ve connected again.)
The Light Traveller (TLT): Tell us a background of yourself.
Patricia Callasan Corre (PCC): In my previous life, I was teaching subjects in English, Literature and Communication Arts to university students. I still see myself primarily as a teacher although I often refer to myself now as OFW – Overseas Filipino Wife. I live a happy, peaceful, semi-retired life in the suburbs of Paris, France with my French husband, Claude.
TLT: What circumstances brought you where you are now? How many years have you been here?
PCC: Love brought me to France. Pag-ibig lang ang dahilan (Love was the only reason) 😉 I’ve lived in France since 2005.
TLT: How often do you travel in a year?
PCC: If I include the short trips we make in France, I’d say at least eight in a year.
TLT: Would you travel alone? Or with your family? Or with friends? Why?
PCC: I don’t mind travelling alone, like when I went to Cyprus to attend my sister’s wedding. I usually travel with my husband. We love long drives. I also love travelling with my sister Jenni and my friend Lou.
TLT: How do you travel? By car? By bus? By plane? By boat? Please explain.
PCC: It usually depends on the destination. But it’s so special when we take our car for a really long drive like the time we went to Austria and Germany through Alsace. With the car, small though it is, we can bring lots of things we won’t even imagine bringing when we take the train or plane. But one thing I know, I miss taking the plane and the train if I stay away from them for long. Perhaps it’s also because I enjoy airport and train station scenes so much.
TLT: Do you buy souvenir items during your travels? Why?
PCC: I often do but not as a matter of obligation. I’m all for supporting les artisans in places I visit. I’m also usually on the lookout for pasalubong or gifts for family and friends.
TLT: Do you take photographs during your travels? Why?
PCC: Oh yes, bazillions! There’s nothing like immortalizing places, moments and people in photos. Someone close to me says he sees my moods in the photos I take. Taking photos used to be such a challenge but my husband taught me a lot. In words, as in photos, I love that we are able to tell stories.
TLT: Do you have any particular poses/shots that you want wherever you travel? If yes, how did this come about? Please explain thoroughly.
PCC: I think I’m an “emotional” photographer which simply means that the scenes I freeze in frames of people, places and moments have moved me one way or another.
As for photos of myself, I’ve a lot with flowers or fields of flowers. Claude loves taking such shots. I’ve to admit I didn’t really like being photographed before. Claude changed all that. I’m almost always surprised, happily surprised, at what he captures in the photos. Anyway, the flower photo has become one of our little traditions.
PCC: Travel light! But it’s not always possible.
TLT: Backpack? Luggage? Why?
PCC: Backpack is good for light travelers and I did travel a lot with my backpack when I was younger. I guess it’s almost impossible now.
TLT: What’s in your backpack/luggage when you travel? Complete details, please…
PCC: Apart from the essentials (travel documents, money, cards, camera) and the usual things (toiletries, clothes etc), my ultimate travel companions are my camera, my malong, books, notebook and pen.
TLT: How many days are the longest time when you travel? Why?
PCC: Again, it depends on the destination. Our yearly travels in France in June and September, for example, last two weeks at least.
TLT: When and where was the last travel? For how long?
PCC: I went home in December and stayed there six weeks. I went back to Boracay and visited old haunts in Manila.
TLT: What do you usually look for in the city of your destination? Why?
PCC: I usually don’t visit a place not really knowing anything about it. But I’m rather spontaneous and let the place speak to me.
TLT: Tour guide books? Local? Why?
PCC: The more organized preparation for our trips is taken care of by my husband so he’s the one usually buying guide books and maps and doing research online. It does help if we know people in places we visit. But if you’re open and sincere and out there to discover the place, its people and culture, you’ll do well even without much preparation.
TLT: When and where will be the next planned travel? Why?
PCC: We’ll probably be in the south of France in June. I’ll be in California in July and August. I’m attending a reunion with high school friends who are now based in the US. I’ve to admit that when they were planning it, I was just half-serious about joining it. But then I thought why not? I’ve cousins there and a number of friends. So off I go!
TLT: Any particular country/city that you want to travel to? Why?
PCC: Egypt, to fulfill a childhood dream and soooo many other places.
TLT: Do you always plan what to do during your travel? Or are you spontaneous? Why?
PCC: I’m spontaneous but I’m happy with a minimum of activities planned.
TLT: Describe the feeling (is it satisfaction or exhaustion) you have/get after such travel?
PCC: I’m usually in high spirits after a trip. But there’s truth to what my sister and I usually say, we need a vacation after a vacation!