When you’re reading this post my son Aaron is on his way traveling to the USA. He started his journey last night (Wednesday). He left Davao at 10:15 pm, and arrived in Manila at a little after midnight. He will be in Manila for a few hours, then he will be starting his journey to the USA today Thursday (today) here in the Philippines. He will be arriving in Portland, Oregon (Thursday there in that part of the world) almost 24 hours after he left Manila .
This trip, it all started almost 2 years ago. My mother-in-law got seriously ill. Aaron at that time was just a few months shy of his high school graduation. Part of his high school graduation gift, Bob and I decided on sending him to the USA to see his grandma and bond with her. When we talked to Aaron about our plan, we got a big “NO” from him. So Bob and I didn’t push him, we just dropped the subject, sort of mentioning once in awile. 6 months after, Aaron decided that he was ready. He told us that he wanted to visit his granny by June. He was just few months shy of his 17th birthday. So we gathered lots of his papers for the travel plan. We found out that there was so much stuff to do for him since he will be traveling alone and underage. When we went to some Philippine government agency for some paper work, Aaron got frustrated. As usual everything was so slow. Just to get something you will be standing in line for literary hours at a time.
He told us then that he wants to wait to travel after his 18th birthday. Less hassles. So after his 18th birthday, we then started gathering his papers. We went to Manila for his passport renewal from the US embassy. Apply some local paper work. Finally it was finished a few weeks ago. So we started looking for cheap tickets. We also thought that he will be traveling around the month of April or May. The tickets for April and May were much more expensive. When we tried to get good tickets, this week is really the best price ticket to travel already. Bob saw a cheap ticket a week or so ago. We thought that it will still be okay to wait. When we tried to book, it’s already full. Luckily we got another cheaper ticket. We got him a round trip ticket. He will be there for a little over 7 months. If he wants to extend he will try to re-book the ticket again for later return, which will incur a fee of course. I’m sure we will pay some for that.
He is really excited to go and see his Granny. It’s been a few years since he last saw her. They already made plans on what to do there. They will be seeing Bob’s extended family there from different States. This will be a good memory maker for both of them to last Aaron a lifetime. We know he will be okay there. This is Aaron’s first time ever being away from us for a long time. It will be hard for all of us here at the house and him too. But it will be good for him to experience and start a new life away from us. I’m not worried about it because he is in good hands with his Granny being there for him. Thank you Mother for taking Aaron and loving him. Bob and I really appreciate that very much.
To you my dear Aaron: Enjoy your stay with your Granny. Have fun exploring the land that you were born and grow up with until the time we left. Enjoy bonding with your cousins and family there. Don’t forget to see the people that we used to hangout with there before. We love you so much son. It’s going to be hard on all of us but we are so happy for you at the same time. Tears are flowing already from me hon while writing this post. I love you forever and beyond.
Message from Dad: Aaron, have a wonderful trip! This will be a big learning experience for you. The learning will start right away as you embark on your first time traveling alone, and it will continue as you get reintroduced to the land of your birth. I am sad to see you leaving, but I am also happy that you will go back to the USA and experience life there. I am happy that you can have some time to re-connect with my culture and with my side of the family. You are a good kid, and I love you dearly, son! Bon voyage!