Prior to this blog post, I already wrote something else, with details about my siblings trip to Bohol with me. At first, I was keen to share everything that transpired while they were here – from the night they arrived up to the day they left. I thought of doing the same thing like other traveler bloggers do – show details of their itinerary, the costs, the pros and cons, and much more. If you Google a destination, you’ll see tons of posts about it and you’ll have time to read and probably get the same information.
But I’m not going to do that on this post. Instead, I’m going to focus on my siblings and why I was happy to be with them in a short amount of time.
Don’t get me wrong – we traveled as a family together before. But the destinations are the same – trips to my grandparents’ homes – both on opposite ends. We fill up the car with our belongings, then we drive 6-10 hours to Lianga, Surigao del Sur (my dad’s) or 8-10 hours to Oroquieta City (my mom’s). Looking back, I don’t think we took separate trips that do not involve visiting relatives.
I suspect that one thing we struggle about traveling as a family is because of my youngest brother. Lenon, the youngest in the family, is diagnosed with autism. We didn’t have a car back then so taking him anywhere before was difficult and completely draining to my parents. Not only my parents have to deal with 3 kids who constantly yap and complain, they also have to think about the youngest one. It gets harder when he starts to melt down and people around us would stare and look at us. They would give us questioning looks and I guess, they would think “Why bring him to a public place? Stay at home!”
Years later, my parents bought a family car. Going on trips became better as we only need to spend on gas. My dad and I would take turns driving or sometimes a relative (who would join us) will do the driving. But like I mentioned, it’s mostly a family vacation (or a reunion) with relatives to my dad’s hometown (or sometimes my mom’s).
Honestly, I was never comfortable with traveling by myself, especially if it’s an unknown place. I worry a lot and I make sure to travel with a buddy (thank God for bestfriends, LOL). But after meeting so many travelers (I host some of them when I lived by myself through Couchsurfing), and seeing their thirst for travel, I suddenly wondered if I’m missing something in my life. So two years ago, I started doing it by myself. And I instantly loved it! Since I do online freelance work, it was convenient for me.
I had this idea about traveling with my siblings to unknown places and have memories together. Of course, it’s not that easy. My older sister, Sandra, has two kids to take care of while my other brother Paul, is at home helping out and taking care of our special brother.
An opportunity came this year when I booked tickets to a local tourist destination (I won’t say which place). It wasn’t later that I learned that my sister was interested to join me on that trip. I figured that if my sister (and her boyfriend) wanted to join , my other brother should. Unfortunately, we can’t bring Lenon because it requires traveling and we’re concerned about him being uncomfortable in a new place. Plus, the meltdowns.
Anyway, there was another opportunity for my sister, her bf, and my brother (plus my niece and nephew in tow) to visit me here in Bohol for a few short days. So on May 6th, they finally visited Panglao Island. They were dead tired but I was glad they arrived safely and not in harms’ way.
The next day, we rented a car and embarked on a day trip to Bohol’s famous tourist spots: Bilar “manmade” Forest, Tarsier Conservation Area, the Blood Compact Site, the church near Loboc River Cruise, and the widely famous Chocolate Hills. Before I forget, my sister and I, and my niece (who claimed to have fear of heights) rode a cable car in Loboc.
Here are some snapshots:
There were a few spots that we skipped out because we started a bit late, and there was no time to squeeze them in.
Needless to say, the gang had loads of fun and they saw a glimpse of my life in such a short amount of time. Also, I’m very sorry for that very “weird” segue about our quick Bohol getaway.
My takeaway from all this experience is that if there’s an opportunity to travel with loved ones (especially your siblings), grab it. An opportunity like this is seldom and rare. I understood that everyone have busy lives and we should consider the financial constraints. Still, life is short and we should create these memories while we can.
The next time we travel, I hope we bring Lenon this time. I’m pretty sure as siblings, we’ll manage to make it work with our youngest brother around. After all, that’s what family is for, right?