Traveling with family is an odd one. Sure, you’ll be obliged to travel with them when you’re younger – family trips to Mildura, a road trip to Traralgon. But when given the choice, would you choose to go on an adventure overseas with your nearest and dearest? Well I did. And it was, and wasn’t, exactly what I expected.
I chose to travel with both my mum and sister. As a travel agent, I had won a trip through sales, and my partner didn’t want to go (I know, loser right? Kidding. La ya). I decided to ask mum to come with me, since the only real travel she had done was when I was almost finished High School – She had never had the chance prior with being a single mum to 3 kids, and we’re pretty needy kids if I’m honest (I’ve already tried calling her twice this morning and no answer – rude).
Mum and I being tourist dorks.
Asking Mum to come just with me was like trying to go on a quick morning coffee date with her – My sister almost always pops up just as we’re about to leave and BAM, it’s a family affair. Seriously though, I was excited when I asked my sister as well on a whim and she said yes – Girls trip! So on our way to Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam we went!
The trip was a group tour with G Adventures – You can read the travel diaries of each country starting here.
I expected to fight with my sister, and we did. So badly at one point that I cried myself to sleep in mums bed in Cambodia after she slung some words my way. What I didn’t expect was to bond with her immensely as well – although I came off the trip vowing to never spend more than 2 days straight with her ever again, theres something comforting about having family on a trip. When you’re at your most tired, emotional and vulnerable, its nice to have someone who knows you above all else to sit and listen to music with, or take ‘candid’ selfies of in front of monuments without feeling like a dickhead.
Thanks to mum for introducing me to Margaritas – how had I not had these before?
My favourite travel partners.
I expected to run out of money and live frugally on a tight budget. It’s just a part of travel – for me anyway, who was at the time saving for a house and about to embark on two other trips almost immediately after this one had finished! I didn’t expect to be able to have nice cocktails in nice venues because Mum insisted on shouting. Without taking the piss and abusing the situation, it was great all round, as Mum loved being able to shout her girls something nice, and we certainly didn’t say no to a beer at the top of the Labua Hotel!
I expected to find Asia different and possibly challenging. I’m a ‘Europe’ snob. I expected to be somewhat ‘travel superior’ to my family, being the one who travels constantly. I didn’t expect to be completely out of my depth with the third world countries we visited, and I did not expect to be laughed at by my family who took absolutely everything with a grain of salt!
10 hour bus trip? No dramas, mum’ll watched the scenery happily.
Drop toilets? No worries, they’ve brought tissues along with them.
Hotel rooms with no windows? They didn’t have any expectations, doesn’t bother them in the slightest!
Who else can you wear matching outfits with on holidays? That’s right.
I certainly learnt a lot about myself, about my family, and about how little I knew about different cultures that weren’t considered first world.
Traveling with family was incredible – We went on a ‘youth trip’, and it was mum who kept us all out until 3am smoking shisha and drinking cocktails on the sidewalk in Siem Reap. She still keeps in contact with some of the guys on Facebook! I don’t think I’d like to spend a whole day on a bus with my sister ever again – and we did cancel our next trip together away because it was too much too soon to spend another 2 weeks on a bus around Europe, but when we met up for a few days afterwards, it was bloody lovely to see a familiar face, in a foreign country, and show her some of my favourite places.
This crazy cat kept us out until 3am.
I started Evie a bank account this week – One day I hope she uses the money to go traveling instead of buying a car or something practical like that. And just maybe, she’ll want me to come with her.