Going on a road trip is one of my favorite things to do. I learn a lot from these trips. My father would take us on picnics on weekends, usually to Los Baños, Tagaytay or Cavite. Our Visita Iglesia always began in Sta. Ana, Manila and ended in Tagaytay.
I never imagined I would marry someone whose hometown is a good 12- to 14-hour drive! When my children were growing up, we would take them on road trips during summer vacation to see their Lolo ‘Ome in Bicol and leave them there for a month. There were weekends when we would take them to Pasay where my folks were and sometimes, on road trips to other destinations.
Looking back, I realized that each trip was unique, even if the destinations were the same. Each trip was taken at different stages of our lives, we used different vehicles, and the places we passed or went to also changed.
When the children were very young, I thought I was lucky to have only bulky diapers to take with us. Because they were all fully breastfed, I did not have to worry about formula, teats, bottles and sterilizers. A sedan was enough when they were little as I would have one of them on my lap, but as they grew and took up more space, they also wanted more elbow room, prompting us to look for a bigger vehicle. It wasn’t until they actually packed their own stuff that I realized I had one concern too many!
Now that they have lives of their own, there are very few occasions when attendance is perfect. A few years ago, we scheduled a trip to Murcia and, even if they all went, they spent much of the time sleeping as they had to stay up late to meet their respective deadlines or prepare for their brief absence.
Road trips are the unique adventures in life that we take. Paying just a little more attention to how each one is different from the rest allows us to see the changes that often go unnoticed. More importantly, these trips say a whole lot about where we are in life, our priorities and preferences. On our latest road trip, we just had to stop at a place that had such a majestic view of the Mayon Volcano—without cumbersome diapers and impatient little ones—and then I realized, we’re almost “empty nesters”!