Thursday, June 11, 2015

Seeing the World with Five Pairs of Eyes

Maybe If I would try to invite them for a trip and tell them that this much would be the budget, I would receive the expected answer. Maybe they would instead use the money to continue the final finishing of our family home in the province. They would probably choose to just stay at home. Yes, I am aware that the family would never have any budget at all for any trip. Practicality also, I guess.

But there was a compelling force in me. Being a traveler and a hiker for sometime, I've got a lot of beautiful experiences. I knew, I should also share the joy. I should open them with the idea that there’s a time to enjoy, and there’s more to life than being practical, stagnant or just staying at home. I figured I should let them experience going out, that there’s more out there to discover and witness. I wanted them to understand the world I have discovered and make them realize the beauty of exploring, of travelling, and of exposing oneself to possibilities of new discoveries.

Admittedly, It’s Kinda Heavy to the Pocket.. and Yet, It Feels Light to the Heart

I could have used the money for somewhere else. Maybe I could have spent the funds travelling abroad.  I guess it could survive and satisfy me well to any nearby countries in Southeast Asia. And yes, just for myself.

But I did not. I chose not to. Of course, I am naturally selfish. But honestly, I could feel that there was something forceful that drove me to have this special gift granted to my family.

Almost 15 years ago, I listed down my dreams. That list included the biggest dreams I had then -- to give anything that could make my family happy and proud including finishing my studies, getting the board passer title, landing a job and helping them improve our house. These things on being realized surely made them smile. Yet the dream of travelling around the Philippines and abroad was just for me alone.

So I went beyond my dream list. As pointed out earlier, I figured it doesn't feel good that I am the only one who experiences the perks of travelling. 

Sure, we are not from a well-off family and thinking of having a travel should be the least priority in the list. But I highly consider too, that where there’s a will, there’s a way. After a few years of saving, I got some budget. I've finally said, it's time!

Priceless Moments of Being Together, Not at Home, But On the Roads

Baguio, Benguet (2013)

At Camp John Hay

It was in December 2013 when I brought my family to Baguio City where my parents had their longest land travel so far. That was the first time our family had an out of town trip and truly a perfect time to be together for Christmas enjoying the cold temperature. It didn't have to be too luxurious and costly. Of course, it’s not that I am compromising the quality of the trip, but then I would go for anything fair that would minimize the costs. If I may say, I was spending for five people in this particular case, yes FIVE – my father, mother, two younger siblings and myself. Again, it doesn’t have to be so expensive. The important thing is that you are comfortable with the place you are staying at, that you will maximize the time to have a tour on a variety of places and that the whole of the trip is manageable. So, how did I do that?

We had a normal commute to get to Baguio, that is, the usual bus ride. An ordinary air-conditioned bus had been enough. I also booked for a simple yet clean, air-conditioned and comfortable guest house. You’ve read it right, I opted not to book in an expensive hotel. As to the transportation and city tour, riding a cab had been enough too since, unlike Manila, it’s not difficult to get a taxi ride in that city (with the bonus of having honest drivers giving an exact change). All of these DIY (Do-it-Yourself) approaches along with research on some best restaurants to pig out and paying a visit on the famous landmarks and tourist spots made everything fine and we were quite satisfied.

Mama and Papa at the Cathedral

The Igorotas :))

Boating at the famous Burnham Park
At Chaya, a Japanese restaurant; Buddy Dennis, by the way, also joined the trip
The total damage? It was more or less PHP15k for the five of us on a 3D2N trip.

Bohol Province (2015)

Five or six years ago, I made a promise to my second sibling that I would treat her on an out of town trip (particularly plane travel) if she graduated with flying colors and passed the board exams. Oh, she did it! But the promise? Well, although not totally broken, it was deferred for a few more years.

Enjoying the buffet lunch while having a river cruise in Loboc

To supplement some convincing factor to my decision, I had this item in my short-term plan every year that aims to increase quality time spent with my family. I am working in Manila and my parents are staying and working in our hometown which is around 7-hour trip from the metro. Phone calls and text messaging are also very rare except for important advice. See, we do not have that strong and close communication. Apparently, that’s something to be worked out. So one of the action points is to have a good time of bonding. And travelling would be a good idea. I give a high importance in keeping the relationships and creating memories with loved ones. Moreover, I thought it would be a good idea to see my parents, considering their energy at this point as they are not yet too old, to enjoy the outdoors and see them ride a plane for the first time

Stopping by at Bilar Man-made forest

While tarsiers are hiding.. and sleeping..
 here's our family photo at the sanctuary

Simple, cheap yet comfy and safe cabin for two nights and almost three days; a car rental to have us roamed around the ten towns and the capital city, Tagbilaran, of this small island yet big and rich in natural wonders: so there, our trip went well. Yeah, that was almost half of Bohol island that we visited: Chocolate Hills, Tarsier viewing, Church ruins, relaxing mode at a beautiful Panglao beach and many other spots that this wonderful island province boasts of. Need I say more? I can’t help but tell that it’s a perfect destination for a family trip. It's worth it, really.

Picture! Picture! with the honey bees at Bohol Bee Farm
At Hinagdanan Cave

Total damage? It cost me almost Php28k having this DIY Bohol trip. We’re five and this was a 3D2N trip.

A Five Times Effect of Happiness or More

I would agree that it was great to travel solo to encounter some solitude moments. Yes, hanging out with a set of friends would normally make a fun trip. And yes, even spending for oneself alone could be already hard to lift from the hard-earned money to allocate a budget.

Honestly, I have always traveled on a shoestring budget and taking a step to treat the family on an out of town trip is something similar to one eye closed while digging deeper on the pocket. But you can always save while expecting in return these precious and quality moments with loved ones.

Frankly, I was a former fully introvert and even now I have this tendency to be introvert, even if friends are there. So maybe, considering to travel with family is something out of your idea, particularly if it would be “on you” and you alone to shoulder everything.

Facing the freshness of the morning... by the way, thank you, selfie stick!

These two photo addicts maximized the splendor of Panglao beach

Here are my thoughts: You only live once and you can never tell how long you’ll get to bond with your loved ones. Cherish wonderful moments with them. Make time for them. Being together in travel could be an exciting idea. To me, it's better than being together at home where sometimes, everything is a routine; and where most of the times, even good deeds towards each other are even ignored.

I strongly believe in the treasure from creating memories. It’s a wealth that can never be replaced nor vanished. The memories you had together can be so valuable that your heart can always keep and remember all your life, That’s when you could also realize the joy in sharing and the happiness in making others happy.

Now, how much more to me who lives more than a hundred miles from them? So, create more special occasions. than the usual.

How about you? Does the idea of treating or inviting your family for a trip ever touch your mind? Would you believe that its repercussion could also cause much joy to you? Can you set aside a destination that you have been eyeing for sometime and instead switch to a new trip? This new trip is different... this time, it would be spending time with family.

If yes, get your pen and plan your trip NOW. You'll be surprised at how awesome it could get.

At Kan-anan, Dumaluan Beach resort.. celebrating the May Celebrants -- Mama (second from the left) and Maybe (second from the right), the youngest sibling.

Read More »
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...