Yes, you read it right...it's ISLAND TRAVEL for the whole family this summer.  We are not talking here about a couple of weeks of island hopping, it's a splurge as we're looking at two months of touring the whole Philippines from south to north and back.  It's a splurge and a big deal for us considering our history and natural tendencies, which I wrote about in a hub Happiness is an Island Travel Adventure.  Mama Sez also wrote about it as she announced the big plan and started the countdown.  


We had it in our minds for a long time already.  We kept mum about it to guard us against our tendency to be impatient.  So the right time just came.  It's a GO as the factors that were holding us back changed:
  1. Work.  We have no commitment except for our online writing and marketing.  Thankfully, this can be done almost anywhere and so we're reaping this huge benefit from our decision to do what we love.
  2. Kids.  Our youngest kids are now more ready (and hardy) for an adventure like this.  The older ones can take time off from school but we decided to wait for classes to end anyway.
  3. Money.  Not that we won the lottery but our attitude about money changed as we gave ourselves time to think about what it is that we really want in life.  We think of it as an investment with so much profit before, during and long-after the activity not only for us, but most especially for the kids.  This is explain fully in this hub.
  4. AttitudeNot only did our attitude about money changed, but more importantly our attitude about life is now more focused on flow, pleasure and meaning that are components of true and lasting happiness.  Words like positivity, optimism, gratitude, health, laughter and the phrase "buying experience, not stuff" that all relates to happiness are in our minds in recent months as reflected in what we write in these websites:
The final trigger was when an airline advertised a two-day sale that prompted us to book a flight in March 24 for eight people.  As we contact relatives and friends to coordinate about the trip, some new factors had to be considered such as the cost of renting a van in Luzon.  Renting a van for an out-of-town road trip over a weekend could cost 15,000 pesos (~$320) depending on distance, and we're of course not just thinking of one weekend trip.  So my father-in-law made a suggestion to ship our family car to Manila so we can use it in Luzon.  Since we have done this before (we bought the car from Batangas in Luzon and shipped it to Davao), I had a pretty good idea on how much it would cost.

As I consider that it would cost more than 20,000 pesos (~$425) to put the car on a ferry to Manila, I said to myself "Why not take a road trip and spend that money in a leisurely drive to Luzon?"  The kids would surely enjoy it and the experience unparalleled.  When I mentioned it to Mama Sez, she was amenable to the idea as it was really what we wanted- to drive from Davao to Manila with the kids.

The next question is how about the plane tickets we bought.  From what I read, heard and understood before buying the ticket, they can be rebooked, transferred or put in a travel fund that can be used within 90 days from canceling.  But boy was I wrong.  It turned out that the particular promo seats we got are only rebookable for a fee and are actually non-transferable and definitely cannot be placed in a travel fund if canceled.

I probably would have been enraged! and took it on the ticketing clerk and then be resentful of my mistake (or the unclear fine prints of the document in their website) have I not learned to control my response to an unexpected negative stimulus and to look on the bright side of what happens to me.  I have proven to myself that I have some progress in this as I somehow able take it in stride.  Not that I was not bothered about the likelihood of losing 8,500 pesos (~$180) because of a rush decision (because of a sale!).  But I am looking at the bright side that the "sale" triggered actions from me to facilitate this long awaited trip.

For now, we haven't made up our minds on how we are going to Laguna to A) fly in and ship the car or B) to hit the road and rebook (there's a penalty charge of about $15 each ticket to rebook, most likely to a non-promo seat, which is double the ticket price we purchased; and we don't really need to travel again in the months after this vacation) or C) hit the road and just forget about the tickets and learn from the costly mistake.

Hmmm what do you think?  I'll give you updates as the date gets nearer.  For now, your suggestions would be much appreciated.


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2 comments
  1. the mission February 12, 2010 at 8:48 PM  

    Papa, your baby is so cute!

  2. Papa Sez February 13, 2010 at 10:42 PM  

    Hi lis, thanks for dropping by. Well I have to agree about the cute thing =)

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