Thinking beyond borders, Paulyne Fermin explores where she and other parents would like to go with their families on vacation after the pandemic. These are their stories.
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The new year brought with it renewed spirits and much hope. Local businesses reopened their doors and people began venturing out. It looked like the Filipinos had weathered through the worst of the pandemic and it was only a matter of waiting a few months more before things would go back to normal.
Recently, however, cases started to rise alarmingly and with record-breaking numbers, too. This surge brought us back to square one–quarantined in the house, fearing for our health and safety.
“When will I be able to go back to school again, Mom?” asked my nine-year-old daughter. But before I could respond, her older brother said reassuringly, “It’s best to stay at home. I’ll spend my first year in college in the house but I’m sure we’ll be back on campus in no time.”
I smiled at both of them and asked what they’d like to do once everything clears up. “Travel!” they said in unison. Soon, the room was filled with excited voices. By the time we rose from the dinner table, we had a list of 10 countries that we wanted to visit for a vacation, along with a couple of local places, too.
I’m certain that most families have had similar conversations about traveling and going on a vacation. We’ve all been cooped up in our homes–wondering, worrying, and wishing for the day when we can see the world again. Ahh, the places we could have gone if we only knew.
Dream Vacation Destinations, As Told By Parents
I asked several Dads and Moms to share their dream family vacations. For those with young ones, the happiest place on earth is their top choice. For others, they’d choose to go back to their second homes. Still, others want to explore new destinations. Here’s what the parents had to say:
MARIELLE DE LEON-LAZARO: Co-Founder of Tali Handmade, wife to Miguel and Mom of Iñigo, Isabel, Jaime, and Mattias
“Prague in the Czech Republic is my next family dream destination,” says Marielle, a proud mom of four. “My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the picturesque places. The sights and sounds are truly amazing! To this day, we wish we can bring our kids there and discover more.”
VANNA GARCIA-KAW: Owner of First Bloom Lasers, wife to Louie and Mom of Ethan, Lucas, and Tyler
“My family loves to go to the beach! Apart from the beautiful beaches here in the Philippines, my heart pines for the clear blue waters of Maldives,” says Vanna. The gorgeous mom has been to the Maldives with her husband several times and now wishes she can take her three boys with them when they visit next. “A stay at Anantara Dhigu or Dusit Thani Resort would be fun since these are family-friendly places.”
FRANCO LAUREL: Actor-Singer, husband to Ayen and Dad of Mariella, Hasan, Angia, Sofia, and Lucia
“I would love to go back to Tokyo, Japan. Having lived in the Land of the Rising Sun for 5 and a half years during my college years, Japan holds a special place in my heart. My wife Ayen and our children love the people, culture, food, serenity, and energy of the country,” Franco shares.
“We planned a trip to Tokyo Disneyland just before the lockdown in 2020 but had to postpone it indefinitely. It would have been the first time in (Tokyo) Disneyland and Disney Sea for our youngest daughter Lucia. We are looking forward to the day when we can step foot in my second home again.”
RJ LEDESMA, Serial Entrepreneur, Host, Motivational Speaker, husband to Vanessa and Dad of Fortune, Rene III, and Lorenzo
“To say that my kids are experiencing cabin fever is an understatement. They’d constantly remind me, in between attending online classes and climbing walls, about the places they want to visit after this pandemic. Not a surprise that they chose the bi-located happiest places on earth–the different Disneyland theme parks! Whether it be in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, or Paris, we are ready to hop on a magic carpet and make our way to a whole new world outside our house!”
Mommy Naomi dreams of taking a hot air balloon ride over the Cradle of Mankind.
“We had such an amazing time during our trip to South Africa in 2019!” she gushes. “Seeing the animals in the savanna–words cannot describe the beauty of being in the wild. Taking that hot air balloon adventure will be first on the agenda when we visit again.”
ERICK TIONGSON, Emergency Medicine Specialist at Asian Hospital, Husband to Teena and Dad to Chloe and Tristan
For ER doctor Erick and his cardiac anesthesiologist wife Dr. Teena, a trip back to the United States would be a blessing.
“I would like to visit my mom, sisters, niece, and nephews,” he explains. “Being apart for a whole year and worrying about each other has made us realize what the most important thing in life is…family!”
My Dream Destination: Europe
As for my own family, we would really love to go back to France and Italy on vacation. A side trip to Spain or Switzerland would be nice, too! After all, we love visiting museums, learning about the past, and shopping (okay, the retail therapy is for me) and Europe has all that. That’s why for my dream destination, I envision an unhurried, leisurely European trip next time. That way, we get to experience more of its rich culture and varied cuisine.
Nobody knows when things will go back to normal. We’ve already been in it for over a year and know better than to be reckless. Although our yearning for travel is constant, the vacation trips will have to wait for now. Let’s do our part and stay home. Let’s pray and put our faith in the Good Lord who makes everything possible.
Surely, this too will end. But until then, let’s continue to hope for deliverance.