AFTER MY SIX-DAY vacation in Chicago last month, I’m taking another 18-day vacation in Vancouver.
In fact, I’m in Vancouver right now as you are reading this.
Because Vancouver requested me.
Because I can!
When I turned 40, and that was 10 years ago, I decided that money cannot really make me happy.
But I can buy whatever I want.
Eat whatever I want.
Go wherever I want.
And when I became a widower, I understood that I have to spend my money and decide on the things that make me happy.
Travel makes me happy.
Being with people makes me happy.
Being online and working with people makes me happy.
I give workshops.
I give master classes.
I become social media famous.
I like being a celebrity.
Being a celebrity makes me inspiring.
People say I inspire them.
People say they learn things from me.
They want to see me in person.
They want to have their photos taken with me.
They want my autograph.
So I travel.
I’m a traveling celebrity.
I let my fans and friends buy my books and sign those for them.
I let them feed me so they can take photos of me with them eating.
I let them take me to tourist attractions.
I enjoy having them spend their days off from work to be with me.
That’s what being a celebrity is all about.
That’s me being a celebrity.
So, anyway, Vancouver.
I was just there in November.
A friend insisted that I visit her because she is becoming crazy.
She is working there and lonely.
She is having problems.
And she thinks that I can really inspire her.
That I can make her laugh.
This is a crazy friend who spends hours after hours chatting me up on Facebook Messenger.
I mean, thank God, I am retired.
I don’t really work 9 to 5 like office workers.
Or 7 to 7 like nurses and call center agents.
She says I always make her day.
I make her laugh.
People like me because I don’t judge people.
I mean, I know the feeling of being judged.
So, I don’t really find it in my heart to judge people’s craziness.
I also am a cowboy in the Filipino sense of the word.
I sleep on floors and couches.
I even sleep standing, if it comes to that.
I’m not picky with food.
I eat anything.
I am not wasteful with food.
I eat leftovers.
Even those three-day old dishes.
It’s a joy to feed me.
People like to feed me.
Like they really show off what they can afford to feed me.
They often give parties when I visit a city.
It’s always fiesta table spread if I am their houseguest.
And I am just thinking, There is nothing in the world that I haven’t eaten yet.
I’m thinking, it’s really hard to impress me.
But it is so easy to satisfy me.
So yeah, Vancouver again.
When I visited my friend in November, she alerted all our townmates, all our high school batchmates, all Filipino communities she knew.
And they all liked me, loved me, adored me.
They wanted me to stay longer.
They wanted me to come again.
It’s almost eight months since my last visit.
If I can afford to fly my way in and out of Vancouver, they can take care of me once I get out of the airport.
They pick me up.
They feed me.
Tour me around.
Host parties for me.
Introduce more friends.
Maybe buy my books.
The whole nine yards. The sweet deal.
Those sorts of things.
Those sorts of things make me a celebrity.
Those sorts of things make me happy.
Those sorts of things make me go on vacations on a budget.
I bet you would also like all those sorts of things. ([email protected]/PN)