Why I Travel With My Family

[Originally published on aynbernos.net on December 7, 2015]

Note: I wrote this before I had a taste of solo travel. So bear that in mind while reading! Lol. --from my 2018 self

My family in Batanes (2014)

My family in Batanes (2014)

I’m 21 years old, and everywhere I look lies another post about wanderlust or going on the road to wherever the hell serendipity takes you. The Internet has become obsessed with the trend and so have I.

Banaue Rice Terraces.png

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been pinning links on “How to save up for your first solo trip” and “Cities for solo female travellers” and “Leaving your life to travel,” just waiting to graduate and finally set sail. Graduation had become my launching pad, and I was convinced I was going storm the world as soon as I got ahold of my diploma. I wanted to go on my own, live on my own, be on the road on my own–which isn’t bad at all, if you were meant for that lifestyle.

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Contrary to popular opinion, though, I don’t think it’s for everyone. To be more specific, I realized it isn’t for me.

All my life, I’ve only travelled with four other people: Daddy, Mommy, Elyn my sister, and Owen my brother. We’ve gone on trips with other people but it has always been us five to the core. Twenty-one solid years of summers, Christmas breaks, semestral breaks, weekends… I could go on. Those were 21 years that I’ve dismissed as “normal,” but I recognize now as blessings. Cue hashtag #blessed cliché.

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Some people prefer the company of friends, significant others, strangers, or even none at all–and I totally get that. But with the rich archive we have of millennial travel blogs, very little has been said and written about lugging around an entire family to these flights and road trips and getaways. I find it odd, though, because frankly that’s all I’ve ever known.

However, despite its mushy tendencies and cheesy dorky side, I’m actually proud of the bond we have as a family. We’ve become a clique of our own, conquering the archipelago one province at a time.

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We’ve trekked, climbed, surfed, snorkelled (diving soon, when I get my sh together), ziplined, flown, jumped, swum, and eaten – lol, too many past participles for my own good – in so many destinations. We’ve taken photos countless times, pulled over in so many gas stations, and driven so many miles together. We’ve created and recreated memories that could last us a lifetime.

My siblings and I began travelling at an age where our parents had to carry us to tourist spots for photos, but now we’ve grown to become adrenaline junkies with the mutual thirst for adventure. We were both tourists and travellers, and every moment – from that Hong Kong Disneyland (the ultimate touristy experience) to surfing all day in Baler and La Union, and even to trekking 4 hours across the Banaue Rice Terraces – was special. It was made special because of the people I shared them with, people I would never trade for the world.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from years of traveling with my family, it’s that home is never a place – it’s people you’ll always choose to be with.

Luckily for me, my home is my home.