Traveling has always been a fun and memorable experience for me, especially when it’s done with my family. I was in junior high when I first traveled, and I did it with a beloved cousin. We toured Ilocos, both north and south, and she introduced me to my mother’s relatives–our relatives. That was one summer vacation that I would never forget.
For the first time, I got to meet nearly everyone in my mother’s clan. I saw the places she frequented when she was growing up, and I finally acknowledged that I had an Ilocano blood in my veins. We went from one museum to another when we were in Vigan, and sought out some of our distant relatives in certain barrios. I even got to name a newborn calf at one of those remote places we visited! Of course, I named it after myself so they would remember me. I also got to play not only at the beach, but also in the river banks.
It’s like a whole new world opened up to me when I visited my mother’s hometown, and I finally learned to really take pride in being a Filipino. Moreover, I fell in love with traveling.
When my eldest brother came back from the US for good, I would also travel with him and his family, along with our parents. Since he has already toured the whole Asian region and several states in America, he wanted us to experience traveling too, albeit locally. He would bring us to the beautiful resorts in Laguna and Batangas and we’d stay there for the weekend, once or twice a month during summers. For that, I would always be grateful to him.
I also had friends who either liked going out of town or lived in the provinces, and I would come with them from time to time. Not to mention, as a student leader in college, I tend to be part of leadership and team building seminars that would often be held outside the city, too.
Each time I came to a new place, I would always go home feeling recharged and ready to take on anything. On the other hand, my thirst for travel would also grow. It’s a good thing that my bosses at the PR firms I have joined during and after college either owned a resort (in Boracay) or was a stockholder at an exclusive resort, and I would, of course, join in the company outings held in those beautiful places.
When I left the corporate world to join NGOs though, my free travel opportunities became limited to out-of-town team building programs. However, when I got married (financially unprepared), traveling became an utter luxury. Most of the time, it would only consist of a day trip to Tagaytay.
My husband knew how much I like to travel though. Sometimes I wonder if that’s part of the reason he took a job abroad–so I could visit him and travel. It wasn’t until his third year working in Singapore, however, that I started to enjoy traveling again. I started visiting him annually, with or without my children to travel with me. It’s something that I wouldn’t want to give up and always look forward to at the start of the year, as we plan the places we’d visit.
This year, however, we have decided to cancel my trip to Singapore and not go out of the country again until next year. We spent the last Christmas vacation abroad, after all, and didn’t come home until the New Year. Moreover, we’re trying to save for something bigger, a trip where the girls could both join us once more. We might tour the rest of Singapore and visit Lego Land in Malaysia too, or Japan, mainly to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and hopefully, Tokyo Disney Land as well. We want our next vacation to be really special for the girls.
I am already getting excited planning this vacation, and although it would still take nearly a year before it happens–by God’s grace–I am now doing some research, looking up other places to see in Japan and Airbnb apartments to rent. If we choose to go there, it definitely would only be for less than a week, probably only three days, since Japan is known to be an expensive place to stay in. I guess I would have to let go of shopping, food deliveries, and dining at restaurants for a year too?
On the other hand, if we go back to Singapore and tour Malaysia as well, we could stay up to 10 days and not worry about accommodation, thanks to my cousin. He happens own a house with a guest room in Singapore in the district near Malaysia. He’s been offering us his home, but we tend to stay at a hotel each time we were there. We intend to take him up on his offer next time we visit though. ❤