Documentations of a first real family vacation

When I was seven years old, my brother and I made a big show of setting up a piggy bank to save for a Hong Kong trip.

It was a large pink pig made of that soft rubber-like material most children’s’ toys are made of, with a little slit on its back. On the advice of our parents, we each dropped in a couple of coins and folded P20 bills, convinced that we’d soon collect enough funds to take us to Disneyland.  

Months went by, and that piggy bank stayed empty save for what we originally put in. The hopeful spirit to go on a grand family vacation abroad kind of fizzled out, but it became something of a goal that we worked towards as we grew older, even without the piggy bank.

Early this month, we finally made it.

 It was the first time my family had ever been out of the country together, the first real vacation we had in a foreign place.

With work and school keeping us busy back home, spending four full days together was peak family togetherness. 

We were the stereotypical Filipino tourists, unabashedly taking selfies every chance we got, at every Hong Kong landmark and street corner.

And you know what? I didn’t mind.

When you travel to new places alone, you learn to be independent. You have the freedom to explore at your own pace and visit all the places you want to see. But those kinds of trips can get lonely, too.

As cheesy as it sounds, after a while you end up yearning for familiar company to share these new experiences with. Group selfies included.

We had fun getting all bundled up, ducking under roofs and into establishments to shield ourselves from the cold winter chill while cutting through the crowded streets.

I was fascinated by how we could be in a place that was bustling with conversation, and not understand a single word. How special it felt to converse in a language that the people around us couldn’t understand.

You tend to notice the change that happens over a decade. My tita, ever the sentimental one, kept pointing out the buildings and streets, excited that our generation was able to witness the same views our grandparents had traveled to see decades ago. Same, but different.

Going on this trip helped me realize how much we’d grown from the days of piggy banks and Disney dreams. Now that I’m working and my brother’s in college, our outlook on travelling involves more adventure than pure fun. The bonus was that our parents didn’t have to worry about us too much anymore.

Our fascination with fairy tales and Mickey Mouse may have gradually faded away, but traveling together ignited that original spiritthat spark that drove us to aspire for this trip in the first place.

#family #photography #self #travel

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