It is that time of the week once more as we join Frizztext’s A-Z Photo Challenge once again. Letter this week is T and our Featured Photographer, Blanche Berzamin-Acabado has chosen the theme Tiny Traveler. Here are her photographs and stories.
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I come from a family who loves to travel. I remember when I was a kid my dad would always remind us to do well in school to make sure we didn’t have to do any summer classes because summers are for traveling and fun. We didn’t have to go to exotic and faraway places. We just wanted to go someplace and have fun with the whole family.
Now that I have my own family, traveling has become a big part of our lives. For one, we live thousands of miles away from all of our family and most of our friends. Second, my husband’s work (he’s an anthropological archaeologist, by the way) takes us places. As a result, our six-year old son, Jared is quite the tiny traveler. From his first stroller and car seat to his baby carrier, from bus rides to plane rides, from trains and boats, Jared has probably experienced most forms of transportation.
As far as I can remember, Jared is at his happiest state when he is on the go. For this feature, I would like to indulge in my mommy-ness and share with you Jared’s traveling pictures – from strolling on his stroller to getting on his first cable car ride. I hope you enjoy this!
Jared in his first car seat
When Jared was born, my husband and I were not aware of the law that requires newborns to be carried in a car seat so parents can take them home. Boboy and I were both born and raised in the Philippines where it is normal to see newborns leave the hospital in the arms of the parents. So, we didn’t have a car seat ready. I still remember Boboy hurrying to Walmart the same day Jared was to leave the hospital to purchase a car seat. I remember thinking about what kind of car seat he was going to buy and hoping that I will like what he gets. I was relieved to see him come back with a blue and white car seat with little teddy bears on it. It was perfect. We were ready to go home!
Jared in his 2nd stroller
Like most kids, Jared went through a series of different strollers. The first one was a bassinet stroller, which we didn’t enjoy too much simply because it was too heavy for mommy. It was hard for me to lug it down the stairs from our 4th floor apartment unit whenever I would want to take him out for a walk. So, that stroller went out. The next stroller was this one. It was light, it was perfect for the two of us. With this stroller, Jared got to know our very interesting neighborhood – Waikiki. I can still remember how his eyes would go wide at every sound and sight. He loved everything he heard and saw, but most of all, he loved the interactions he got from the people (mostly, tourists) walking around. I think this early exposure to a lot of people helped made Jared become the inquisitive and fun-seeking little boy that he is now.
Jared in his baby carrier
A baby carrier is one of parents’ many best friends. Imagine being able to carry your baby around while doing your chores or anything you might need to do. So, my husband and I got a baby carrier purely for convenience’s sake. We didn’t realize that this will actually be one of Jared’s most favored ways to get around. It was actually him and his dad who made much use for the baby carrier. Almost everyday, while I was at work, the two of them would be out and about. Jared in his carrier and daddy taking him for a walk – to the grocery, the mall, the beach, the zoo, even his office. See this picture? At 5 months, Jared is already learning to enjoy the sights that Waikiki has to offer. The view is so good, he wouldn’t even look at the camera!
Jared on a bus
Honolulu boasts one of the best bus systems in the United States and living there, you just have to take advantage of that. We lived there for five years and we never found it necessary to own a private vehicle. Oh, from time to time, we took the cab for emergencies, or if we wanted to get out of the city, we borrowed or rented a car. But for our daily travels, the bus worked perfectly for us. Jared’s first bus ride was at the tender age of five days old! He absolutely loved it. I still remember how, as a baby, he would cry whenever the bus would stop then immediately stop crying once the bus moves. Jared took the bus to the zoo, the aquarium, to visit mom or dad’s office, to his school. He took the bus everywhere! Here is a picture of Jared, with grandpa, on their way to his Gymboree class.
Jared and his jogging stroller
One of Jared’s most favorite forms of transportation is the jogging stroller. It was my husband’s favorite, too, as running became father and son’s favorite bonding moment. I remember how the two of them would be gone for hours and as soon as they got home, Jared’s eyes will be all lit up with excitement from all the wonderful things he’s seen on the road. I also remember that Jared’s favorite destination whenever he and daddy would go for a run was Diamond Head Crater, which was more than a 2-hour run for dad on a steep slope!
Jared on trains
I’ve never met a kid who isn’t fascinated with trains. Sure enough, my son Jared started his “train-stage” by the time he was almost three years old. There wasn’t a train toy set that he did not like and all he talked about was getting to ride on a real train. In the last four years, Jared has had his share of train experiences. His very first train ride was at the Pineapple Express at the Dole Plantation in North Shore, Hawaii.
Then he tried the monorail at the Pearlridge Shopping Center in Pearl City, Hawaii. In Manila, he had lots of fun when he went on the MRT. So far, though, his favorite train rides are the Disneyland Train and the Disneyland Monorail at Disneyland Park in California. Here are pictures of Jared at the Dole Plantation and Disneyland.
Jared on a cable car
This is Jared, with my brother and sister, on a cable car in Vietnam. We visited Vietnam for a week in 2009 and while Jared was happy the whole time, he was most excited during the half-hour cable car ride we took to reach Perfume Pagoda. For us adults, we were amazed at the breathtaking view of the mountains. For Jared, it was the thrill of the ride that fascinated him most. Good thing he wasn’t scared of heights!
Jared on a submarine
On Jared’s 5th birthday, my husband and I decided to take him on an adventure! So, we signed ourselves up for a submarine tour in Guam. It was one of our best ideas ever. Jared had so much fun! We started our day – our very early day – with a boat ride from the pier to the middle of the ocean, where the submarine is “parked.” Jared was already having fun from that boat ride alone. As soon as the boat reached the sub, we had to “walk a plank” to transfer from the boat to the submarine. As soon as everyone boarded the sub, we started going under water until we reached a depth of 100 feet. Then, we saw a lot of things. Corals, fish, and yes, a shark, too! Here’s a picture Jared, who couldn’t take his eyes off the windows. That was one happy birthday!
Jared on a boat
Jared has been on boats several times before – big ships, canoes, and rowboats. I love this picture because this is the first time that Jared has tried rowing a boat. I remember his excitement when the boat paddler asked him if he wanted to try rowing the boat and I said to go ahead and try. He stood up so fast, the little boat wobbled! This picture was taken in Baguio City, Philippines in the summer of 2012. It’s been several months and Jared still gets excited whenever he sees this picture of him rowing a boat.
Jared and airplanes
This is Jared at the Honolulu International Airport. This picture was taken at 5am. It has always been amazing to me how Jared has never ever been cranky in any of our early trips. Whenever I have to wake him up at 3am, he would just get up and say, “airport day!” That is how excited he is to go to the airport and board an airplane. The first time Jared took a plane was when he was one year old in 2007. In the last five years, he’s been to 12 different airports and rode on an airplane at least 25 times. Wow! We do have a tiny traveler!