Interview #1 — my parents the traveler

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Your travel ideas may be triggered by Instagram photos, diaries of travel bloggers, instant promotions from various traveling websites or simply a break. Lucky me get inspiration from my nomadic parents, an ordinary couple who insisted to bring me along their journeys. How could they manage to sustain a family while satisfying their wanderlust desire I would not know, so I did a little chat with my mum to find that out.

Way before batches of Chinese flowed into the rest of the world, my mum and dad had already been to 17 countries, over 40 cities since the early eighties as budget wanderers. The secret behind the walks without applications, google maps, search engines and translation tools is no wonder the pure passion.

It’s all about the preparations

Did I mention that my parents are not English speakers? Yes, all they had were maps, guidebooks, simple English and each other. ‘Your dad did loads of researches in library with books and magazines before trips,’ she says, ‘and we carried the well marked traveling guidebooks along with us and made use of our body language.’ If it wouldn’t be the technological advancement, individual traveling is still a myth to most people.

Bittersweet journeys

Freedom and satisfaction aside, incidents-handling is always the most scary yet fascinating part of any trips in terms of our surprisingly good independence and luck. ‘It was our first time missing the flight! I freaked out because I had no idea who should I talk to or if the French would understand me,’ she replies, ‘I didn’t even know if I need to pay extra to make up the mistake.’

‘There were loud noises in all the cabins at our first night on the train in Europe. I thought it was something bad (giggle). It turned out to be just a ticket inspection.’ she added, showing excitements for all these silly ‘first time’ moments. Their holidays were definitely not perfect after all in terms of weather, mistakes and limited budgets. But you know what remains up to now? ‘Sometimes it’s quite funny to look back and realise that we’ve come this far.’

While we’re young

It costed my parents HKD $10,000 for a 15-day trip to Europe in the eighties, the time when newspaper were priced at HKD 50 cents each. The couple never stepped back from the voyages even without hostels and budget airlines at the time. ‘We enjoyed the journeys and opportunities to see the world, especially when your father offered to do all the preparations and be the motivation.’ she explains. ‘Be bold and adventurous while you’re young.’

Just GO

‘If you are not a decisive or adventurous person, get yourself a travel partner who can be in charge of everything,’ being nostalgic about the perfect travel partnership with my father, ‘but one should keep going his or her journeys regardless the age or the form of traveling.’