Seeing Southampton | What Family Trips Taught Me

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Seacity Museum which houses artifacts from Titanic

Aside from IKEA, the Southampton Bar Gate, and museums, Southampton was the place where my sister lived throughout her years in the UK. Staying there felt different among the rest of the cities I've been to in the UK, mainly because my sister showed us all the places she would frequently go to.


My first IKEA experience!

She showed us around the supermarkets where she would buy her fruits and vegetables, and even all the thrift shops that she went to, especially her favorite ones. She showed us the neighborhood where she lived, and the hospital she worked at. These things were a big deal for me and my parents, because all the places and things my sister would enthusiastically share to us about through phone calls and videocalls, they all came to life. We were with her physically, and there were no more screens in between us.

Walking along the Southampton City Center

Living life abroad is never an easy feat. It all feels so glamorous whenever we're travelling to someplace new, but it is fleeting. No one ever mentions the physical distance away from loved ones, the overtimes at the workplace, nor the displacement felt while adapting to new cultures. But even through all that, I will always admire and be proud of how much my sister has grown, exponentially if I may say. She's never been one to boast of what she has, and has always taken time to keep in touch with us. Every phone call is like a party, literally, because we're always sharing updates with each other, about anything at all.


Southampton City Art Gallery

Southampton Library


Showing us around the UK was definitely a big milestone for her, and I understand why that is. We never really took much family trips before. My parents always set aside their own personal agendas and interests so that they can ensure my sister and I were always well taken cared of and well provided for. Now since my sister and I are working, they still won't take trips unless we go with them haha! Our parents have aged. They don't want to be out of their comfort zones anymore, they love familiarity and routine. They are happy knowing my sister and I are figuring out our lives (with their guidance of course), and perhaps that may be enough for them.


So now my sister and I encourage them to take more trips, and most of these trips involve visiting my sister. This makes the travel all the more meaningful, because in a way, this is how we become a complete family now. I know going places with family can feel quite restricting at times. Most of the time it'll be with a tour group, or they would most likely want to stick to the tourist spots. And there's me, who wants to explore a bit more. There was that one time we went to Taiwan together last 2018, to celebrate my sister's 30th birthday. I remember being an absolute brat while I was there, since while we were at Jiufen, we had around an hour or so before we had to go back to the van that would take us to the next destination. My parents told us that they were already tired, but I insisted on walking around more. My sister then reminded me that I had to be considerate this time around, since we were with our parents. This experience definitely taught me how to be more selfless and to look beyond my own interests. It made me ask the real question: What was this trip all about? 

A few things that stuck with me throughout the years would be that through our trips together,

We Get To Know Each Other More 

Sometimes we think we know our parents well enough already, since we've been living with them our entire lives. But it's true when they say that when you travel with someone, you're bound to learn something new about each other. This also applies with family! You're not at home, nor are you in the same familiar spaces like the malls and restaurants you frequently go to, so it's definitely a new experience you'll share together.

We Learn New Things Together

Whenever you're in a foreign country, you're bound to learn something new. May it be a new phrase, or figuring out the train lines, or even handling a new currency. Usually by the end of the day when we're together in our accommodation, we sit down and talk about what we've learned and observed. It could be as simple as the recurring themes in paintings we saw in a gallery, or what we thought of the live performance of performers that hopped on our train cabin. Knowing how our parents have lived more years than us, we can surely pick up a lot of insights from their observations.

The Bar Gate, a medieval gatehouse in Southampton's city center


We Rediscover Our Values as A Family

Family trips are the perfect time to reflect, to talk, and to sit down together. I'm blessed to have supportive parents, and a very driven older sister. We always get to talk about what's going on each other's lives, on how we make decisions, and what our future plans are. In the process, we're able to ground ourselves back to what's truly important, which is why I believe family is an important foundation.

We Make Memories

Going on family trips now became less of what I personally wanted to do, but more of spending that time with the people I love most dearly. Making memories by taking my parents' photos, taking shameless selfies with them, and walking with them while they're still able; these are priceless moments I wouldn't dare trade for anything. I learned that these moments need to be cherished, and that I need to understand that my parents are not as young as they used to be. But even so, getting to see what we can together and sharing the moment is ultimately what matters.


As we grow older, so do they. Gone were the days when we were still babies and we depended so much on them to teach us about the world, now it's us showing them the world. Let's never forget to bring them along with us as we figure out life.


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I look forward to my next trip with family, wherever it may be!

Hope you're having a great week so far, dear reader. I'm glad it's Friday already tomorrow; this week flew by, and I'm grateful. 


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14 comments

  1. oh how pretty Southampton is!! IKEA is the BEST, I could get lost in there for a whole day. The library is also so lovely and classy :) I totally get it, my parents are the same. I think as you age you just don't want to venture anymore and you just want what you're used to. Happy you guys are finding your own way!

    Geraldine

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    1. Hello Gerladine!! Yes Southampton was indeed pretty and historical. I enjoyed the library; we spent the afternoon there and it was such a joy just looking at all the books there! Parents in general tend to be more careful as they age; it takes a generous amount of patience and understanding sometimes, but we do so because we love them as they have loved us all these years. Thanks for dropping by!!

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  2. Oooh! I LOVE IKEA! It is such a nice place to get some affordable home inspo without going crazy. Southampton looks pretty neat. I like that your sister did a great job giving your family a tour. The library looks neat. I felt the same way about my parents, where I wanted to walk more but forgot that they don't have as much energy. In the end, the point is to spend some time together, in a safe manner. I love that you and your family are close and grow through experiences.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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    1. It was fun going around IKEA, I also liked the food :) Southampton was definitely neat~ hehe and yes being with parents, we tend to go on the safer side of things, but that's okay because I'd rather cherish the time spent together than to go venture off for myself; that's just going to be for another trip I guess. Hope you're having a great day Nancy!

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  3. Sounds wonderful! That's so nice that you get to go on family trips - making memories is what life is about! I don't live near my family, so I always cherish the time I spend with them.

    -Madi xo | http://www.everydaywithmadirae.com

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    1. Family trips are the best kind of trips, definitely! Thanks for dropping by Madi :)

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  4. I love this! I have fond memories from family trips as a child!

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    1. That's so nice~ I appreciate it now all the more as a young adult :") Thanks for dropping by, Brittany!

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  5. That sounds like such a fun trip! I'm so glad you had the special time together with your family.

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    1. Thanks Cyndi, it definitely was a great time together!

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  6. love family trips although the whining of my son can occasionally put a damper on it 😹 that city art gallery looks lovely. never been to Southampton before. one day!

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    1. Aww, he'll come to appreciate family trips more when he grows a bit older, definitely 😅 Hope you get to visit someday, Janna! Southampton was lovely.

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  7. I used to live in Southampton, and looking at these pictures bring back lots of memories :')

    Hope you'll get the chance to do more trips with your family in the future :)

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    1. It's great that we share memories of this place! I had a lovely time strolling around here, even though I only experienced living here for a week together with my sister.

      Thank you so much Dixie! ♡♡

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