#TravellrStories: A Family with Four Different Personalities on One Unforgettable Journey
For the Sukri family, dinners together were not something that happened often. With Mum and Dad always busy with their food distribution business, and daughters Siti and Fathiah teaching in a high school and being in university respectively, quality family time is always scarce.
A month ago, Mr. Sukri decided it was about time for the family to go on a much-needed family vacation, asking Siti to take the reins. Knowing that her family members are very different in their preferences and habits, she was dreading the planning. There were tons to take into account: where would be the best place to take her parents - who are constantly working on their phones, and her younger sister who enjoys new experiences?
Plus, Siti knew that her parents have only travelled via packaged tours years ago, and how it wasn’t their cup of tea. The constant rush from place to place left the couple little time to appreciate wherever they were at. Imagine their apprehension the parents had when Siti booked a trip with us after chancing upon our Facebook! Leaving the planning in the hands of someone else was something that did get Mum and Dad anxious. But after talking to Siti and Fathiah, the trip turned out much better than they initially expected!
From venturing around the streets of Destination X until 1:30 a.m. one night to eating a variety of scrumptious local food suggested for them in the Travelogue, the Sukris had a family trip that exceeded their expectations. The two sisters, Siti and Fathiah, even got to see the more adventurous side to their usually busy parents!
A week after their trip, we invited Siti and Fathiah for a chat at our office to share about their Anywhr journey, and they were brimming with stories to tell us about how the trip brought the family together!
AN UNEXPECTED FOOD PARADISE
Being in a business that handles food, it was no surprise the Sukri family were big foodies. When we asked them what was the best part of their trip, Fathiah replied almost instantly, “the food!” This came as something unexpected for the family as before their trip, friends had warned Siti about how bland the food at their destination country was known to be. They were so concerned about the lack of flavour that they brought condiments from back home just in case the food really was as bland as their friends had testified.
The family, however, was pleasantly surprised and found the food they had to be much more flavourful than expected! They told us they owed it to the fact that they were sent to less “touristy” destinations, giving them a chance to taste the full flavour of foods that might not be as strong when made for tourists.
UNWINDING INTO THE HOLIDAY MOOD
Since Mum and Dad are usually always making calls back home to manage said business, the decision to not get local mobile data in Destination X served to be beneficial, because they could finally truly relax and get into the holiday mood.
Their parents eventually loosened up and got a little more carefree as well! Dad even gleefully did a jump shot in one of the pictures! That was something Siti and Fathiah never expected their father to do, and was glad that their parents were open to trying new things while on their personalised Getaway.
LOCALS SHARE THEIR CULTURE
Something Siti constantly mentioned during our chat was the locals they met. They raved about how their homestay host was always providing them with recommendations on where to get the best views and restaurants to get a taste of the local culture.
In one of the villages, Siti met an old lady selling a special bird-shaped whistle that mimicked a birds’ chirping when it was filled with water. When Siti blew into the whistle, the family was intrigued by how the whistle genuinely sounded like a bird’s chirp! They recounted how locals of the village gathered around them excitedly when they were there as they tried to explain how the whistle worked to the family, and appreciated the excitement the locals had to share their culture.
And they didn’t stop there! The family even went on to complete the 8 Missions we set out specially for their trip, with one that involved getting 5 different tips from the locals. From learning about ways to eat the different local food to learning where’s the cheapest place for souvenirs, the family stepped out of their comfort zone and pushed Google Maps aside to learn from who knows the city best – the locals.
THE OPPORTUNITY FOR QUALITY FAMILY TIME
Given the busy schedule of the Sukri family back in Singapore, they had the chance to spend more time together through this family trip. The sisters saw a glimpse of the explorer in their parents, something they never expected to see! They realised how much Dad loved nature, taking every opportunity to cycle around the cities we sent them to. Mum, similarly, was truly an adventurer (and a rebel) at heart. She always asked about taking alternative routes, and enjoyed walking and exploring. This was a stark contrast in the couple, as Mum and Dad were usually homebodies back in Singapore.
For the two sisters, they had never seen their parents this energetic and stress-free in Singapore. Seeing their dad swinging on a swing in their villa in one of the villages, and their mum happily walking around the village was a relieving reality compared to the initial anxiety of the trip going South. Going Anywhr brought the family closer and gave the family time to reconnect with each other over meals and during their journeys, something they did not have much time to do back home.
Related Post: Why We Travel: Disconnect to Reconnect
An Anywhr personalised trip was ideal for the Sukri family, as they knew that they’d never be able to plan a trip like this if they went to Destination X themselves. When we asked Siti to describe her experience in a sentence, she said, “I’d do it all over again!” The sentiments were shared by Dad as he told Siti, “Next time we’ll go on a trip just like this one!”
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