The Transcendental Tourist

The Transcendental Tourist

A.J., a.k.a. The Transcendental Tourist. is a creamy smooth travel blogger.

Seriously, The Transcendental Tourist (TTT) is a mom-and-pop travel blog. It is a collection of personal experiences, snapshots, and reflections on the road. It should read less like a magazine and more like a stack of personal letters or postcards. This blog does not contain travel tips, professional photos, budget breakdown, itineraries, and other practical information. What it has is my heart and soul.

My First Travel Experience (to a nearby park in my hometown: Bacolod, Philippines)

In the words of fellow blogger, Ron:

AJ Poliquit is a teacher who spends spare time traveling on a budget. He has beautifully journaled his travels with words and images to share the starkness, beauty and history of the destinations visited. You will be inspired and educated on many exotic locations that AJ has taken the time to visit and share.

The Transcendental Tourist is a blog I have followed for quite a while, and it is to me one of the best blogs I have visited. AJ is an educator in the Philippines who travels through the south Pacific when school is out capturing the sights he visits in photos and words.

The blog is much more than a travel blog indeed. AJ travels into the soul of the places he visits and shares their rich history in beautiful prose and stunning images. One cannot help but feel inside and part of the stories.

Many of the stories are not simply about a location, but more about its history. AJ has revisited places that his family lived during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II and contrasted it with modern day life.

AJ is a brilliant young man, a brilliant writer and someone I admire very much.

The Transcendental Tourist is well worth a visit and dig into the archives while you are ther. You’ll be glad you did.

Ron Reed

I hope I live up to his words. πŸ™‚

Why the title? Here’s the edited answer I wrote for Pinay Travel Junkie‘s post on travel and movies:

The inspiration for my travel blog is a film but not a travel-themed one. The movie is about a travel writer: The Accidental Tourist, adapted from Anne Tyler’s novel. As you can see, I took liberties with the title to come up with the name of my blog, The Transcendental Tourist.

The movie is more about emotional landscapes than literal ones. Macon Leary, the main character, writes for reluctant travelers. He is a passive observer, much like his audience, who merely delivers information about places without any emotional involvement. He is just as detached in his personal life. The story’s metaphorical use of travel as a man’s internal journey on the road of life inspired me to become a travel writer who transcends Macon’s idiot’s guide to traveling.

Life is not made more fulfilling by circumstances but by the individual, a trip not made more meaningful by the place but by the traveler. As I tread the literal and figurative road, I hope that’s the kind of traveler, and travel blogger, that I become – from accidental to transcendental.

A.J. Poliquit
The Transcendental Tourist (Photo Editing by Tam)

You may reach me at: thetranscendentaltourist@gmail.com

Or “like” my Facebook page.

Or follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/TTTourist

31 thoughts on “The Transcendental Tourist

  1. Hi AJ,
    I envy you having visited Cambodia… i’ve always wanted to go but never got the chance… Take care my friend! =)

    1. You need not envy, Jet(setter). Cambodia is so near and unbelievably affordable. You can go anytime. And I assure you, you will not be disappointed. πŸ™‚

  2. Hey ‘J! Let’s take one of these travels one time and embark on a “pilgrimage to ourselves,” as you say it. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks! Coming from someone who takes wonderful photos and writes very well, that’s a huge compliment. πŸ™‚

  3. Enjoyed reading the stuff about Japan – there are still so many places and things to discover – glad you liked/ or shall I say loved… your trip here.

    1. Thanks for reading! Japan is amazing. I’m looking forward to going back, preferably during sakura season or autumn for the momiji colors.

  4. hi AJ , nice blog πŸ™‚ . Wow ur from bacolod I am too.hehe..Sorry I’m new to blogging so can’t find here where to click so I could follow you. Pls. follow me too .thanks!

    1. Thanks Rox! Yep I’m from Bacolod where “ang cuarta gina-pala.” Haha! I’d definitely read more about your adventures in the British Isles.

  5. Wow i can really relate to your sentiments.

    I’ve also taken to quite the same philosophy to your travels although i attribute my fondness of adventure to my youth.

    And yes, there’s no need need for so much fun-fare. The point is sharing what you have experienced in a way that’s relatable to others so that they may be inspired to travel too. πŸ™‚

    1. Savoring your delicious comment, Pandelicious. πŸ™‚ Good you still have your youth to take you far and wide. In my case, I started traveling way past my 30s. Most times my knees hurt and my vision blurs, but so long as I can walk and see I carry on.

      Glad to know you can relate to the travel experiences of this old tourist. πŸ™‚

  6. If we expect Lonely Planet stuff, we wouldn’t be here, dear Age. You sound very much like my kind of traveller. Some day . . . we should do a trip together. Maybe, India. Fingers crossed.

    Joy always,

    1. I should take you up on your offer, Sus! But be prepared to tell me stories about India. History, legends, customs! I see the sights, but I remember the stories.

  7. AJ, I’m glad to stumble upon your blogsite. I need time to go over all of your blogs, but I’m sure I’d enjoy reading your musings and reflections on whatever subjects you fancy. You have the gift! Keep writing. πŸ™‚

    1. I think it was I who stumbled upon your blog. πŸ™‚ Anyway, I do hope you’d enjoy reading mine. It’s not for all tastes.

    1. It’s my pleasure, Lee! Do lemme know when the San Cristobal murals will be fully restored. I would love to see it regain its lost glory and write a companion piece to “The State of Art in Paete”.

    1. I’m tickled pink! But you’re in the minority. Nobody reads me…other than you. πŸ™‚ And people are put off by paragraphs now. Reading is only for listicles and memes.

      1. I guess I had that thought ages ago, about memes replacing beautifully crafted literature. So we just need to slightly evolve. Find a way to contain an ocean in a dainty cup without compromising what is profound and original. I took some time to figure how it is to be made possible. Well, my FB page was built on that philosophy. Still, your pretty photos deserved to be framed by your narratives. I need to go more Zen with my own bitchcraft…

    1. Thanks for reading, Rishit! Alas, the new normal has greatly limited traveling. For now, I’d be posting about my trip to Europe and Africa last year. I hope you hunker down and read more. πŸ™‚

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