Real People: TGnewyorker
TG was one of the very first people to encourage me to keep travel writing — I will always remember and appreciate that! We were in grade school together, so she’s also the first person, among those in this Real People series, that I ever met! TG is probably 10x as traveled as I am — in fact, she’s currently in her answer to “Where are you going next?” But more than the stamps on her passport, what I greatly admire is how she always puts her family first. She doesn’t travel to flee from home but to enrich it. And her travel tips are for everyone. Don’t live beyond your means; make sure your needs are paid first; travel light — whether you’re going to Bantayan or Barcelona, local or international, that’s travel advice you can always take to heart.
I am a 34-year-old mother of 3 kids (to my NoahMykaBella) & a full-time house wife. I am a nursing graduate but opted to stay home and raise my kids because time is precious, they will only be kids once, and we can’t turn back time.
HOW DO YOU FUND YOUR TRAVELS?
Usually I plan all of my travels. I make sure I have money for them. I brainstorm my expected expenses and see to it that I have enough. When I travel it’s mine and my husband’s money. He works while I also manage a small school canteen. We don’t have money set aside for travel but I make sure all other needs that are important like house loans, car loans, etc. are paid first. Travel for us is a luxury, but since I love to travel, I do plan travels for my family (husband + kids) and a “couple” trip (me + husband only).
WHERE WAS YOUR MOST RECENT TRAVEL?
The last time I traveled (which was just last Sept. 17-22, 2014) was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A must when you go to KL is to eat at Jalan Alor. The best place! My husband and I ate there every dinner. A must-see also is the Petronas Tower.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING NEXT?
I’m going to Bangkok next month, November, with 3 of my girl friends. (Note: This was written in October.) Our plan is just to eat and shop — more like shop and eat-till-you-drop. This will be my 2nd BKK trip. The first was in 2010 with my husband and I’ve said I will be back. I loved BKK! Then I have a Singapore trip with my family this December, with Mike & NoahMykaBella. I went to SG last year, and I told myself if I have the money, I will bring my kids to SG! I know they will like it. This is our Christmas gift for our 3 kids. It’ll be a surprise for them! I am very excited for this trip!
WHAT ARE THE PLACES AT THE TOP OF YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST?
In my lifetime I want to travel and see more of the world, hopefully with my husband. I want to go to Santorini, Greece & Cinque Terre in Italy! Soon, I’m hoping.
I have been to so many places but my ultimate favorite was Italy, the South of Italy to be exact. I traveled there with my family (parents and siblings in 2008) to the Mediterranean. It was beautiful! Positano and Sorento was just the place to be…that Mediterranean cruise was all paid for by my parents who are New York-based (together with my siblings). I flew Cebu-NY and then NY to Barcelona, Spain where the port was. In 2012 I went back to Italy and again it’s still beautiful. Even though I went to Germany and France at that time, Italy remained my favorite. The Vatican I loved! And San Giovani Rotondo, where we find Padre Pio’s shrine, was just a pretty little town. Venice was beautiful too!
My fave hotel was the one in Paris — Hotel de Trocadero. The tip of the Eiffel Tower was just outside our room window.
In KL, it was Jalan Alor — it’s a street in KL full of restos but outdoors and so cheap! In BKK were the little street stalls that you find all over the city. In Rome was this little resto at the back of our B&B. And when in New York, you gotta eat the bagels and chestnuts you see on the streets as well as hotdogs in a bun. And New York pizza too. Those huge pizzas — you have to fold them to eat them. That’s how to eat a NY pizza!
Don’t live beyond your means. Traveling is expensive, but I know we all need a little R&R. Traveling doesn’t mean to just go international. You can simply travel local. Since I’m Cebu-based my fave place to go is the beach in Bantayan Island. Another local destination that remains a favorite is Bohol. It’s so close by and easy to travel to.
Always travel light! Just bring 1 pair of pants and a couple of comfortable shoes. Please don’t bring your whole closet. Chances are, you won’t be wearing all your clothes. Bring clothes for the exact days you will be there plus 2 extra clothing just in case…that’s how I do it. And I bring an extra foldable bag in case I will be shopping — going home I will have a bag to pack them in. Also, make sure you know the climate of the place you’re going to. Pack clothes for winter when you’re going to a cold place but please leave your leather boots when going to a tropical climate.