A mother from Laguna shared her experiences after she was able to visit 78 countries and six continents with her 10-year-old son.
Mommy Kaila Sharlene delos Reyes said she and her son, Wyatt, started travelling locally before exploring different countries.
“‘Yung first out of the country namin Vietnam. Nung na-experience namin ‘yung out of the country parang ang sarap pala. Then one time- mahilig kasi siyang magbasa ng trivias tapos nakita niya ‘yung Guinness world record na youngest person na naka-travel sa mga UN countries in the world. And then sabi niya sa’kin, ‘Nanay I think I can beat it,’” Mommy Kaila told The Philippine STAR.
Mommy Kaila and Wyatt started visiting countries in Asia in 2016. She works as a freelance web designer and developer while Wyatt is homeschooled.
“Kung hindi siya homeschooled, makakapag-out of the country lang kami ‘pag school vacation. And same with me if nagw-work ako full-time sa office, hindi namin magagawa ‘to,” she said.
Cold countries are Wyatt’s favorite destinations.
“More on nature ‘yung gusto mga gustong trip. Mahilig siya sa nature, animals, plants,” said Mommy Kaila.
When the pandemic hit the country, Mommy Kaila and Wyatt were forced to postpone their travel goals.
“Dati ang travel lang namin once a year tapos naging twice a year, naging thrice a year. Nung nag-pandemic, two years kaming hindi nakapag-travel so after ng pandemic, bumawi kami,” she noted.
After travel restrictions were eased, they flew to the United States for a month-long vacation.
Antartica is the only continent that they haven’t explored. Meanwhile, Canada and North Pole are Wyatt’s dream destinations.
“Pinakamagastos, Africa. Magastos siya kasi ‘yung mga visa niya, tapos ‘yung mga accommodation, ‘yung mga plane tickets. Sa duration naman is Europe. Last year two months straight kami sa Europe tapos itong year, more than two months din,” she recalled.
“‘Yung ini-earn ko habang nagta-travel, napupunta din dun sa expense. Very worth it naman lalo na kapag nagkukwentuhan kami ni Wyatt, nagre-reminisce ng mga napuntahan,” she added.
They both love spontaneity while exploring new places. Mommy Kaila usually let Wyatt decide on their next adventure.
“We don’t plan at all. Ang pinaka plan lang, listahan ng mga countries. DIY lang talaga kami. Minsan tinatanong ko siya, ‘Where do you want to go?’” she said.
“Minsan may nagtanong sa’kin, ‘Ilang countries na napuntahan mo?’ ‘Parehas lang kami ng anak ko.’ Nagugulat kasi ‘yung first out of the country ko, dahil lang din sa kanya,” she shared.
Looking back, Mommy Kaila said that every country has a story and every penny they spent was worth it after seeing each country’s uniqueness.
“[I] came from a poor family. Nakakatuwa kasi nung bata ako, never ko namang naisip na makakapag-travel ako sa ibang bansa eh. ‘Yung mga bagay na hindi ko na-experience, I’ll make sure na ma-experience ng anak ko,” said Mommy Kaila.
Mommy Kaila hopes to inspire individuals to invest in experiences rather than tangible things.
“Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. Travel while you are young and able kasi kapag matanda na, ang hirap na talaga. Hindi naman kailangan na out of the country agad,” she stressed.
“Mas maganda kasi ‘yung you spend your money on experiences. Kasi ‘yung pera babalik naman ‘yan, eh. Pero ‘yung experience, once in a lifetime lang. Makikita mo ‘yung mundo na you never thought possible pala. It never fails to amaze us,” she added.