A mod­ern fam­ily on the move

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - LU­CILLE WONG

NORTH­COTE, VIC­TO­RIA MY sis­ter lives in Lon­don, my par­ents are new re­tirees and I’m due for some an­nual leave. I’m the ge­nius who sug­gests a sim­ple fam­ily hol­i­day.

My sis­ter and I are in our 30s. The last fam­ily trip was in 1993 when we went to Dis­ney­land in Los An­ge­les. I was 12 and I threw up af­ter spin­ning around in a teacup on the Mad Tea Party ride.

But how much fun would a fam­ily hol­i­day be? We de­cide Asia is a good meet­ing point, half­way be­tween Lon­don and our Mel­bourne home. My mum doesn’t want to go any­where that re­quires a visa so China, In­dia and Viet­nam are out. My dad doesn’t want to go any­where at all but if mum says so, then the flight has to be di­rect with a ‘‘good’’ air­line. On­that note, my­sis­ter says it has to be di­rect from Lon­don as well.

My mum wants the ‘‘good’’ air­line too and fares on sale. My cau­tious mum also says def­i­nitely not China be­cause of pos­si­ble bird flu (for­get­ting she has al­ready ruled out that desti­na­tion be­cause of the visa) and not Ja­pan as she is un­com­fort­able with ‘‘the nu­clear ra­di­a­tion sit­u­a­tion’’. My sis­ter de­clares that she ab­so­lutely can­not go some­where that she has al­ready been.

I tell her that at­ti­tude is ridicu­lous. Travel isn’t just about tick and flick. But she can’t have it all her way so I an­nounce I will also not ven­ture any place I’ve been. That vir­tu­ally leaves us with nowhere.

The only fair way is to go some­where that we have both vis­ited. Hong Kong fits the bill so far. We do a quick check of fares. There is even a sale.

Yes, good, let’s go to Hong Kong for two weeks. Then my sis­ter asks: ‘‘Where else?’’

She is well and truly a Lon­doner now. If she doesn’t cross five bor­ders in one trip, it’s a waste of time. Well, I still live in Aus­tralia. I can visit one coun­try and be sat­is­fied. I don’t want to go on a side trip. ‘‘Fine,’’ she says, ‘‘I’ll go by my­self.’’

Mum says the Lon­don daugh­ter can’t go by her­self. It’s a fam­ily hol­i­day and we all have to spend time with each other. Fine. So where are we go­ing for the side trip? Who is book­ing the ho­tels? What are the dates? Are her daugh­ters bring­ing part­ners? Oh heck, I just can’t wait for this sim­ple fam­ily hol­i­day. Send your 400-word con­tri­bu­tion to Fol­low the Reader: travel@ theaus­tralian.com.au. Colum­nists re­ceive a Kathmandu Travel Se­cu­rity ID kit of a brightly coloured lug­gage strap, tough ABS lug­gage tag, se­ty­our-own com­bi­na­tion lock, neck money pouch and carry bag ($79.98). More: 1800 333 484; kathmandu.com.au.

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