When people ask me what I want to write about, one of the first things I mentioned was “travel”.
I do love to travel.
Compared to others, I had a pretty late introduction to it. It wasn’t until I graduated from high school that I was first able to step out of Philippine soil. You see, like most Filipinos nowadays, practically half my extended family have settled in the States. Our relatives there would be the ones who would come visit us for special occasions, especially since our Lola lived with us. Then in 2005, my parents decided that it was about time that we be the ones to go visit them.
I’m sure it wasn’t the easiest goal for them, we being a family of six with ages ranging from mid-50s to mid-teens. And as I’m doing the computations now, I can’t BELIEVE how time has flown. Imagine, 2005 was SEVEN years ago!!!
But anyway, with my parents being the planners that they are, they decided that we needed to build our family travel history before we attempted to apply for the much-dreaded document called the US visa. Hence, our trip to Bangkok and Singapore.
To be honest, I don’t remember much about that trip. I remember we joined a Filipino tour group for the Bangkok leg of the trip, which basically translated to our family and a Filipino-Chinese family. They started off with empty suitcases, and we later found out that they were in it mostly for the shopping. Their son ended up joining us as we toured the Grand Palace — that, along with a couple jaunts around the city and its night markets via tuktuk, is pretty much the extent of my memories of that trip to Bangkok.
For Singapore, we met up with our Tita Yvonne, who brought us to Orchard Road, the Chinese Garden, Night Safari and Chijmes. We did the whole cable car to Sentosa thing, waited up for the fountain show…Yeah, that took up the two (?) days we had in the Lion City.
How funny is it that I just realized that I ended up returning to those two countries with just my sister? Thailand was last year, when we did Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai for five days. Singapore was just a week ago, though that was actually just me visiting Ate, who’s now based there for work. I stayed there for TWELVE days–that’s ten days more than my first trip!
Maybe, subconsciously, that first trip abroad was the spark to the flame, that step toward the cliff.
Less than a year after that, my parents started working on our requirements for the US visa application. We interviewed as a family, and half of us were granted visas. I know, what’s up with that, right? My parents were granted ten years, while my younger brother only got two. That meant that Kuya, Ate and I would have to get our visas within the two years given. So for the summer of 2006, my parents brought us to Australia instead. Funny thing was, when we all had our US visas (Kuya and Ate both had ten years, while I was given a lousy two), we still weren’t able to travel to the States as a whole. My parents, brothers and I went during the summer of 2007, but my sister had to stay behind because of work. Kuya returned to the States to accompany her for that year’s Christmas holidays.
After that, it came down to Kuya, Ate and me. We took on London and Europe together, ran off that cliff in the Austrian Tyrol and fell head over heels in love with the traveling. During that trip, I kept a journal which I intended to be the roots of my future travel blog.
Which brings me here.
I may not be the most adventurous traveler there is, but I do hope you’ll enjoy my tales nonetheless. I hope I’ll be able to bring the sights and experiences alive for you, and maybe inspire you to see the places I’ve seen and those I’ve yet to see. And if you’re a travel junkie like me, I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions as well.