A modern family on the move
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.