As you might already know, I just recently finished my trip to Dieng and Bali with my family. That was my first family travel as an adult. I mean, I traveled with just my Mom and my brother, and without my Dad and my sister but still…
For those who don't know about me and my family background, it's fair to say that we're not much of travelers as a family. I remember when we were kids, I always complained about how I wanted to travel somewhere else for a vacation. The reason being was that our teacher usually asked to write our vacation story when we were back to school. And I got tired of writing about my Grandma's house because that was probably the only place we usually went to for the school break.
Looking back, I guess it was the reason why travel bugs bit me more than anything else. I simply just want to see more parts of the world because I didn't get a chance to do it. The other thing, I suppose it also has something to do with my Dad being the kind of person who's more comfortable to stay at home.
The older I get, the more I understand the whys. However, above all the things, I came to understand that Mom is pretty much like me. She likes to do new things, exploring places is her favorite, etc. One of the many reasons why we asked her whether she'd join us to Dieng and Bali. In which she said yes without any hesitation.
Traveling with Family as an Adult
If you have come to read some of my previous posts about my relationship with Mom, then you probably know that my mom never really got a chance to travel despite being an explorer herself.
I first noticed this back when I was based in Semarang, and I asked her to come with me. We took the train from Bandung, it was an 8-hour journey and she didn't even sleep on the train because she was too excited to visit a new place. Moreover, she even tried to remember which train stations we passed during the journey and what was there to see.
In the past few months, I took her for a few staycations as well and she got always excited from the smallest things like the fact that you could actually take the hotel slippers home for free. Such a pure joy to see from someone who has taught you almost everything in life!
And that, my friends, is the reason why we took her for this holiday. So that she could see a new place for the first time. Because we know that no matter what, she'll appreciate it. Unlike my Dad, who could be a pain in the ass during travel.
Some Things I've Learned from Traveling with Family as an Adult
To be fair, traveling in a group has never been my favorite. Not since I started traveling solo. The idea of sharing all the budgeting might be beneficial at some point, but the drama and all the possibilities to get it ruined kinda turn it off.
But hey, it didn't stop me from getting excited when I had to prepare my last family trip. Not that the trip has finished, what have I learned?
1. Plan B is a necessity as change is inevitable.
We were initially to get into a road trip from Java to Bali, and then continue our trip to Gili for a collaboration with a brand. The project was supposed to be between me, my brother and my cousin and the brand. And we had the talk with this brand in particular since around June or so.
However, due to some circumstances, we had to postpone the trip a few times. And 2 weeks before our departure to Dieng, our first destination for the trip, I sent an e-mail to the brand only for them to inform that they had to nullify the collaboration.
Even though I wasn't pleased about this, I kinda prepared it so I told everyone that since our collaboration would be in Gili and the boat ticket from Bali to Gili is expensive, we could just skip Gili for the trip. That, until my cousin was hesitant to go to the rest of the trip since the collaboration was canceled.
He asked for the cancellation for the rest of the trip, except for our Dieng trip since the accommodation was booked already. But well, nope… I wasn't gonna let anyone cancel another attempt for me to visit Bali, so I asked my brother and my mom whether they still wanted to go.
They did. So that's what we did. After Dieng, we stopped by Tegal (a city that we didn't even plan to visit) before flying to Bali from one of the newest airports in Indonesia, Kertajati International Airport in Majalengka.
2. It's impossible to please everyone.
As we initially planned for a road trip with my cousin who would act as the main driver behind the wheel in his car, his cancellation for the rest of the trip actually gave us some positive side. Sure, I got really annoyed with the fact that he only told me that just 2 days before our departure to Dieng.
However, this actually allowed me, my brother, and my mom to travel by plane together for the first time. Well, my brother and I flew together a few times, but never with my mom.
We weren't much of travelers as a family. My first experience to fly in an airplane was to Turkey when I got a scholarship for the summer course in Izmir. I was traveling with my friends then. As for my mom, the first and the only time she traveled by plane before our Bali trip was back then when she went to Mecca for the hajj pilgrimage.
Anyway, apart from our first travel together as a family now that we're all adults, it somewhat made things a bit more complex in a way that you can't just please everyone. For example, the reason why I wanted to go to Bali was just so I could chill around the beach and basically enjoy the vibes there.
But my mom and my brother aren't those people who enjoy that kind of stuff. So yeah, there was a complaint or two when I enjoyed things too much around the beach. The same thing when my mom kept telling people that Bali wasn't suitable for the elderly etc etc.
Like, you invited yourself to come with us to see how Bali is. Stop complaining. #utterlyannoyed
3. There comes a time when you just have to be more open about yourself despite the values your parents have taught you. Family holiday could be the right time to do so.
I think I saw a meme somewhere that goes like this… One of the signs that you're an adult is when you tell a story to your parents and you no longer skip the part that is illegal. Like dude, it hits right in the feel. 😛
Guess what? It's actually applied and proven during our last trip to Bali because my brother and I could actually be more open to our mom. And basically reveal ourselves, even the bad sides, at the time.
No kidding, even my brother convinced my mom to get his nose pierced in Bali as he had wanted it forever. And he didn't even have to hide the fact that he likes to eat porks. Well, my mom is a devout Muslim and she comes rather from a conservative family, but the fact that she's kinda open to our choice as adults is kinda refreshing.
For the love of God, we didn't even have to lie when she was about to sleep and we told her that we're going out for a drink or two.
4. Still, it's also important to enjoy the moment.
With all the differences, at least you're a family and you get used to your existence in every way which makes things a bit easier compared to travel with a complete stranger. So you might get annoyed about a thing or two, but you could still manage to enjoy it in a way.
After all, enjoy your togetherness and learn more about each other during the holiday. It might not be too much, but it sure will be memorable.
So, have you gone for a family vacation as an adult? What is your favorite thing to do when you go with your family? Drop me a comment below, and cheerio! 🙂