Venturing away from home for the thrill of exploring the unknown is an attractive reason to travel.
But visiting family living significantly farther away from you is just as appealing a reason to spend time away from home 🙂
I flew out to the Philippines earlier this month to see relatives I hadn’t seen in years, particularly my grandparents. Family is an important aspect of Filipino culture. Combined with financial struggle that many Filipinos face, it’s a huge reason so many relocate overseas: to work jobs that will allow them to financially support their families. (The minimum wage varies depending on region, but is no more than P466 per day as of August 2014, which is about $10.59. Although the standard of living is much lower, it is still difficult to make ends meet with this income.)
While I’ve grown to love the excitement that comes along with traveling solo and developing relationships with complete strangers, returning to my parents’ home country reminded me that there’s just as much fun in journeying with family and in strengthening existing bonds.
Plus, there are a number of perks that come with traveling to see relatives:
1. It’s a home away from home.
2. There’s no extra effort required in meeting new people (Unless, of course, you’re introduced to a bunch of people you didn’t know you’re related to. [See photos 1, 6, and 7 above.] But even then, at least you already have instant social currency: the fact that you’re somehow someone’s cousin/aunt/uncle/niece/nephew/grandparent/etc.)
3. You won’t have to pay for accommodations.
4. Food expenses are minimal to non-existent.
5. You automatically have locals (your relatives) who can show you around.
6. No one can accuse you of wasting time if you choose to bum around at home while in another city/state/province/country: it is not a waste of time because you’re bonding with loved ones.
When traveling, it’s easy to set sights on destinations recommended by friends, family, and various publications.
But sometimes, it’s worth wandering to distant places simply to visit family 🙂