Finding Something?

Suitcase Heart

by Andi Bañez

Suitcase Heart

“I was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Wherever I was, I thought of someplace else, living through old photos or daydreaming of new adventures.”

For as far back as I can remember, I have jumped at every opportunity to go somewhere – anywhere besides here, really. Whether it be to the busiest city in America or the most secluded island in the Pacific, I would just pack whatever I thought important at a particular moment, and hop from here to there.

I thought, “Maybe, I am born with a suitcase heart.”

I instinctively knew I need to fill it with handwritten postcards from Europe, colorful trinkets from Africa, and one-of-a-kind handicrafts from South America, and throw in vivid photos and journaled encounters of every corner of the world.

And now, at 26 years old, I find myself living on a little island, east of the Philippines. I left the city to call the vast ocean my backyard. It might sound like the ideal set-up, but the problem with living in the middle of the sea is that one can never wander too far. Maybe that is why I miss the energy of Manila. You see, the need to constantly go back and forth between a lively city and a calm beach makes me wish I could be in two places at once.


I was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Wherever I was, I thought of someplace else, living through old photos or daydreaming of new adventures; always, always holding onto the past, and hoping for an even more exciting future.

From where I am sitting, I barely even notice the water so clear it reflects shades of aquamarine, pink and purple; powdery sand so fine they fill the gaps on my keyboard; and a sky so blue it perfectly backdrops the sun shining majestically throughout the afternoon.

So, this is where I pause and appreciate the here, the now, before my thoughts flee to someplace else. This is where I take a step back to not let my wandering heart travel too far.

Read more stories written by the author on her personal blog. Click here.

*This is not a sponsored story. All words are the author’s own, written solely for the intents and purposes of Passport Out Asia.
Andi Bañez - Contributor

A guest contributor at Passport Out, Andi is a tiny island girl who likes to take her time. She thrives on well-written books, good conversations, and random encounters.

  1. cara smith

    August 24, 2016 3:04 pm

    i can relate to this post so much – recently just moved to my dream city (sydney) for work, but ever since i arrived, all i can think of is: “when will i travel next?!”
    very nice post.

    • Andi Banez

      August 29, 2016 8:39 am

      Hi Cara! Thank you for reading the article! Isn’t it funny how once you’re in your “dream city” you suddenly want to be in your next dream destination? Sigh. I hope you get to explore Australia more though. I bet there are a ton of places waiting to be discovered.

      Sending you love from my tiny island.

  2. swong

    August 24, 2016 3:06 pm

    Hard not to love an island when it looks like THAT! vry nice visuals and heres to travelling more!

    • Andi Banez

      August 29, 2016 8:43 am

      Hi Swong! That is true. It’s easy to fall in love with it. I hope you’re having a great day wherever you are and already planning for your next adventure.

  3. Mireia

    August 24, 2016 3:09 pm

    live in the moment or one day you’ll look back and realize that it is the kind of life you will exchange everything for

    • Andi Banez

      August 29, 2016 8:45 am

      Hi Mireia! That is something I have to constantly remind myself of. It gets infinitely better. I hope you’re well wherever you are!

  4. jonleow

    August 24, 2016 4:57 pm

    Andi, its normal to day dream about seeing more of the world. But while you’re there now, try to live life to the fullest.
    With love from singapore x

    • Andi Banez

      August 29, 2016 8:48 am

      Hi Jon! Just this past week I’ve surfed and gone diving a number of times. Which has made me so happy! It’s helped remind me of how beautiful it is to live here and how staying present has its perks. 🙂 I do hope you’re enjoying Singapore! Sending you much love from the Philippines.

  5. Diane Sk Soo

    August 24, 2016 4:59 pm

    really nice story – looking to see where u will b in next few years or mons

    • Andi Banez

      August 29, 2016 8:52 am

      Hi Diane! Thank you for reading the article! I look forward to wherever life brings me next! I also have a personal blog listed above where I will be putting my stories if you would like to keep in touch. I’d love to hear about your travels too. 🙂 Much love.

  6. mcampton77

    August 24, 2016 5:20 pm

    Really great adding this to your website. a personal touch. i felt the writing. nice post

    • Andi Banez

      August 29, 2016 8:53 am

      Thank you for taking the time to read it! 🙂 Sending you love from my tiny island to wherever you are in the world.

  7. andrew

    August 24, 2016 5:22 pm

    Great article! Very wll thought of!

    • Andi Banez

      August 29, 2016 8:53 am

      Thank you, Andrew! 🙂

  8. maradawson

    August 24, 2016 8:07 pm

    Struggle for most travelers : stay or explore. I get this, really. Nice article passport out asia cheers

    • Andi Banez

      August 29, 2016 8:55 am

      Hi Mara! Isn’t it? I wonder if we’ll ever want to stay put. Thank you for reading our article!

  9. Carl van der Bellen

    August 24, 2016 8:09 pm

    choose to see the world ! Ha Ha
    Great site! Follower from your great instagram here ! !

    • Andi Banez

      August 29, 2016 8:56 am

      Hi Carl! Haha! One place at a time. 🙂 Hope you’re well!

  10. Sandra C

    August 24, 2016 9:48 pm

    accdg to a chinese proverb: “Don’t listen to what they say. Go see.” don’t let anyone dictate your life. vry nice article

    • Andi Banez

      August 29, 2016 8:58 am

      Hi Sandra, That’s just what we intend to do and to enjoy whatever is in front of us. 🙂 Thank you for reading the article! Much love to you, wherever you are. 🙂

  11. Steph

    September 17, 2016 1:00 am

    Love the idea of a “suitcase heart”! I am always dreaming about the next adventure and can sometimes find it difficult to stay in the moment. I am learning to pause and be grateful for where I am, because it is all part of the journey!

    • William @ Passport Out

      September 18, 2016 2:19 am

      I think (almost) everyone is on the same boat as you, Steph! We’re all learning to stop and appreciate what’s around us rather than dreaming of what’s coming in the future.
      But it’s not bad to dream from time to time, don’t you think? 😉

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