Highlights Of 2019: Our First Family Travel Abroad

GRATEFUL - one word that I would like to describe the year that has passed. I feel that I'm blessed more that I deserve. 

Blue Pond Biei
Blue Pond Biei

Travel Highlights in 2019 

Traveling is certainly one of the highlights of my 2019. It's not just about the instagrammable places we visited nor the splurging that made it extra special.  I always look forward to a new place to visit, to experience snow, new dishes to taste and new activities to try such as skiing.

My husband and I visited Sapporo Japan in spring time. The trip was special because it was our first time in Japan. Although we were not really prepared for the trip since we're too busy. Hubby, with our marketing agency and working part-time as a college teacher. I'm busy with my blog and other work so we just pack our things and followed our Hokkaido DIY Itinerary that we submitted at the embassy for Japan visa application.

Sapporo Tower, Hokkaido Japan May 2019
Sapporo Tower, Hokkaido Japan May 2019

It was meant to be...

We applied for Japan visa about three weeks prior to departure. It even fell on a holiday. We were talking and preparing for changes. I might be traveling solo for Japan because the embassy for asking for additional docs for hubby to support his birth certificate (late registration). Tip: prepare a school record/credential if your BC was registered late. You have to go to your school and request for it.

We submitted the documents and was told that the visa might be released two days prior to our departure. What if hubby would not be granted a visa? I don't want to travel alone in this beautiful city. God heard our prayers, we both received our Japan visa on time.

Odori Park
Odori Park

Hokkaido is one of our favorite travels. We had a great time together as husband and wife.

We spent eight days in Sapporo. We lived in a transient house in Otaru for the first two days before we go back to the city. Japan is very clean and tidy. People are disciplined. Otaru was beautiful, laid-back and quite small. I will write a more detailed story of the places we visit including the traditional Japanese house we stayed in Otaru. 

We also visited the Blue Pond, Biei, Otaru, Furano, Hokkaido Asahiyama Zoo, Mt. Moiwa, Sapporo Clock Tower, Sapporo Beer Garten, Odori Park and other major tourist spots in Sapporo.

Meryenda in front of Sapporo TV Tower

Birds eye view of Sapporo from top of Sapporo TV Tower

Blue Pond Biei
Blue Pond Biei

Traveling to General Santos and South Cotabato to Visit Organic Farms

7 Falls, South Cotabato
That same year, I also got to travel to General Santos all the way to South Cotabato for the first time. Some says that traveling to some parts of Mindanao is not safe. Personally, I had a wonderful and safe travel to Mindanao even in Davao and Samal island. It's a place worth exploring. To prove that I have booked a trip to Gen San this year, there's so much to discover. The people are warm and friendly and the food is very good.

General Santos Fish Por
General Santos Fish Port, The Tuna Capital of the Philippines

Time passes by so fast, sometimes we did not notice it's weekend again. It's important to make the most of our time with the people that matters most. This is the time we should always express our love for the family and friends, anyone who are close to our hearts. It's also the right time to forgive. We do not know what tomorrow would bring. Life is not a dress rehearsal and there's no repeat performance so make sure to give your best shot and enjoy every single day.

Beijing in Winter with the Family 

In December me and my family went on a vacation in Beijing, China to bond and experience winter. While it was not my first time to experience winter, it was my first time to see falling snow and I'm so amazed. Living in a tropical country like my home, there's only two season - wet and dry. To experience winter and snow is special.

Beijing China
Family Getaway in Beijing

Mutianyu Great Wall of China
Mutianyu Great Wall of China with mom

One of my dreams is to travel with my family. I wanted to share the beauty of traveling. I wanted them to experience exploring other parts of the world. With my small budget, I was able to book a trip for three to Beijing - me, my mom and my sister Tina. Although we've been traveling a lot around the Philippines, I've been praying I could bring mom abroad but she had problems getting a passport. I guess God heard our prayers and my heart's desire. A month prior to our trip, she got her passport.

Mutianyu Great Wall of China
Mutianyu Great Wall of China

Forbidden City
Forbidden City

Our trip in Beijing wasn't perfect. We had a missing a missing luggage but it was delivered the next day in our hotel. We got lost while strolling in downtown Beijing. Getting lost is part of traveling but I learned that traveling is not for everybody. There's also a minor accident, somehow it ruined the trip. There was a miscommunication. I was sad but needed to move on so I just let it pass.

Some of us remained positive and still wanted to go with our Beijing itinerary. We've got to visit the Forbidden City, the Beijing Zoo, Summer Palace and a little city tour where we strolled along Wangfujing shopping district and Walmart Beijing.

Where to Eat in Beijing
Where to Eat in Beijing

My prayers of traveling abroad with the family especially with mom was granted. I hope it was also a memorable experience for them. This 2020, I wish nothing but my prayers includes good health for all of us. I pray that we could spend more quality time together. I want to create new memories, that is also my prayers for you. Happy New Year. Happy New Decade!


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