Why do you travel?

I travel to learn, to unwind, to bond, and to reflect. I really love to travel because it’s an exciting way to learn about people, history, culture, and food. When I’m traveling, all my senses are engaged as I try to immerse myself in the place where I’m in. In the process, I am able to slow down and reflect. It’s a spiritual experience for me. Traveling is also a good way to bond with friends and family. Although I enjoy exploring alone, there’s also a different kind of joy in sharing an experience with the most significant people in your life.

What did you love most about your trip?

 

Our family really marveled at the sites included in the tour and the accommodations. For a relatively short amount of time, we were able to cover most of Europe’s highlights. My favorite part of the tour include the Glacier 3000, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the guided tours around Paris, Florence, and Amsterdam. We also liked the accommodations because most of them were near the city center so we got to maximize our free time during the afternoon. Lastly, we would like to commend our tour guide, Sir James, for making sure that we have a smooth travel schedule.

What’s the one thing you won’t forget?

I won’t forget our Dad’s birthday dinner in Lucerne, Switzerland. We had our late dinner at La Cocina, a restaurant near our hotel. I was afraid they’d refuse to serve us because it was almost past 10. We just finished tidying up since we just came from Bern that same day. The first server who entertained was stern about the time so he politely prompted us that the kitchen will close in about 10 minutes. We hurried and placed our orders. Everyone was in a hurry but we were eventually entertained by this amicable server named Luigi. He was very warm and calm. He tried to answer all our inquiries regarding the food. I asked him to take our family photo and casually mentioned that it was our Dad’s 60th birthday. We ate our dinner and enjoyed a bottle of wine and while we were about to finish the main course, the lights slowly dimmed and the music got loud, Luigi was holding our Dad’s tiramisu with a tiny lightstick. It was truly a wonderful night, maybe the simplest yet warmest of his birthdays.

What will you come back for in this trip?

I’ll come back for more in-depth museum tours! It was peak season when we travelled to Europe so the lines for the museums, churches, and other tours were really long. Due to the limited amount of time, we were only able to visit few museums in Amsterdam when we were touring on our own.

Did this trip inspire you in any way? How?

This trip inspired me to work hard so I can travel more haha! It also inspired me to stay in the Philippines to work so that I may eventually contribute something meaningful in our society.

Why do you think Filipinos should travel?

I think that Filipinos should travel to gain more knowledge about other cultures and at the same time appreciate this beautiful country that we have. Visiting well-developed nations gives you a lot of insights. It gives you a break from the daily horror, that is EDSA, and shows you how efficient public transport can improve people’s lives. It also shows how other nations are proud of their heritage, hence they really put enough funds to preserve their infrastructure. It’s very hard not to compare.

However, seeing other prosperous nations also invites you to reflect on how our country is rich and blessed with natural resources. As I stand in awe of Europe’s great architecture and efficient public transport, I get to appreciate why a lot of foreign travelers love to visit our country for our beaches, our food, and for the unwavering hospitality of the Filipino people.

Any travel tips/hacks you’d like to share?

Pick a date and plan early! This is very important especially when traveling in big groups. Once you have a schedule, everything follows.

Research, research, research! Before going to a new place, I make sure to research about the prevailing culture (Do’s and Don’ts), the majestic sites to see, the amazing food to try. This way, I am able to maximize the trip.

Pace yourself. Since it was summertime when we went to Europe, the sun sets at around 10pm. We tried to maximize our stay by going around the different cities up until 12 midnight! However, there were times when we chose to have an early night especially when the next tour day is going to be hectic. So it’s very important to conserve your energy to make sure you’ll still be appreciative of the sites that you’ll be seeing the next day.

Why did you choose to #travelwithaccess?

I chose Access Travel because I read and heard good reviews about it, one of which came from my friend who went to an expedition in Iceland. I’ve been dreaming of going to Europe with my family for the longest time but we just couldn’t set it primarily because of our schedule. So when I got my license as a doctor and have decided to take a year off, I looked for different European tour packages on the internet.

I compared the prices, the itinerary and inclusions, and when I saw what Access travel had to offer, I took a screenshot and sent it to my family. They got all so excited and found that the package offered by Access is really good so I got in touch with Ms. Jerina and everything followed.

What are the places in your travel bucket list?

There are still a lot of places I’d like to see, but these are the ones on top of my head right now: Morocco, Jamaica, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Norway, Greenland, India, Nepal, Turkey, Maldives, Antartica, and Africa.

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