“Be motivated like the falcon,hunt gloriously. Be magnificent as the leopard, fight to win. Spend less time with nightingales and peacocks. One is all talk, the other only color.”
One of the ‘touristy” thing to do in Qatar is see falcons. There are falcon shops located in some of the Souqs where in local and tourists hang out.
Falcon hunting is also a popular sports.
As a homeschooling family, we seek to attend to events like this to be able to see locals mainly and to learn about anything – science, art, philosophy (to hunt or not to hunt), politics and sometimes, hunting weapons like guns and knives, real up close.
This year ‘s Katara International Hunting & Falcons Exhibition gave our family lots of fun activities. Crowded with locals, we enjoyed all exhibitions, most of them hand ons even for kids. And of course, lots of falcons.
“It is a question of discipline. When you’ve finished your own toilet in the morning, then it is time to attend to the toilet of your planet, just so, with the greatest care. You must see to it that you pull up regularly all the baobabs, at the very first moment when they can be distinguished from the rose-bushes which they resemble so closely in their earliest youth…” (5.16). The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery
In addition to traveling together as family, we are avid fans of reading aloud to kids. We collect classic books and one of our favorite is The Little Prince. Hence, our fascination to Baobab trees.
Baobab trees are the Africa’s iconic ” Tree of Life.” Kinda like our Asia’s Coconut Tree – we call our high rising coconut trees as Tree of Life as well.
Fun facts about Baobabs:
Baobab trees grow in 32 African countries.
They can live for up to 5,000 years, reach up to 30 metres high and up to an enormous 50 metres in circumference.
Baobab trees can provide shelter, food and water for animals and humans. A lot of savannah communities have made their homes near Baobab trees.
Baobab bears fruit! And based on what we’ve read so far, Baobab fruit is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. Hey, that’s what we say to our coconut!
Soon, we’ll be visiting baobabs in Africa, we know it would be a fantastic experience and family travel bucketlist to tick and enjoy. We also know that we’ll bring our worn out Little Prince book with us. Every time we read that book, there are a lot of realizations in life thay suddenly sparks our minds. Just like traveling.
For the meantime, a more interesting information about baobab tree….
Drum rolls please!!!
Did you know that there are baobab trees in Aspire Park, Doha, Qatar? To touch a real love baobab tree is like meeting Little Prince in person. There’s always a lot of reason to explore Qatar. Or any nearby neighborhood, for that matter. With curious eyes and wandering feet, we’ll never know what we can discover.
It’s easy to make travel wishlists, bucket lists of places we want to go, destinations we dream of! Even those creatures under the rock would want to visit some places they have never been. But most of the time, they do stay under the rock, left in wonderment of what’s like outside their world.
Why wouldn’t they, staying under the rock, is comfortable. It’s easier to just keep wishing to explore the world than actually travel. Similarly, it’s way easier to make the Eiffel Tower photo (or other places!) the desktop screensaver than actually book a ticket and go to Paris.
But bucket lists are meant to be ticked off, and not to remain list forever.
The secret to realizing going to these destinations are actually pretty straight forward.
1. Faith and Vision go together. A strong vision is backed up my breakdown of goals, yes, but more importantly, it’s main support and foundation is a belief system, a strong faith about something. It could be Jesus Christ for devote Christians, it could The Force for Star Wars Fanatic, it could be the unicorn for people who believe in the unknown, the extraordinary, the unseen. We believe in fate, God’s blessings and positivity. Those are the foundation of our Vision, family values, you may say. The thing is, Vision is something we strive for long term, hence, our faith, values and passion should support our own desire for the future.
2. Visualize. Visualize. Visualize. And Visualize Some More. Have you seen the movie Jumper? If yes, you know that it’s about a young man with a teleportation abilities, his travel adventures mixed with family drama and young love action. Making our travel dreams come true is similar to how he used his teleportation abilities. Focus on that one.. Did you notice that he can only go to a place if he can imagine it? Pictures of different places all around his room. If he doesn’t know what Rome looks like, he can never teleport there. It’s simple and actually neuro-science worthy!
3. Don’t be just SMART. Be SMART-ER. Our family is more of an advocate of setting vision and goals than travel addicts. Well, we are travel addicts, but all of our travels are part of our bigger plan… to travel more! Seriously now, we believe that setting goals is necessary for everybody!
Everybody has this “SOMEDAY!” Here’s the big open secret to getting to our “someday.” Not only we need to be SMART, but what really works is if we are SMARTER! This good, (very) old acronym works!
Measurable (no-brainier KPI)
Attainable (in life, all goals are!)
Realistic (make sense to YOU!)
Time bound (w/ deadline set)
Reviewed (evolving YOU!) .
Write down goals, most preferably, uninfluenced, own personal goals which echoes your deep inner desires and passions, and evaluate it periodically, make necessary adjustments (to yourself, to the lifestyle or to the goals!) Of course, you can change goals in life. Life is….life. Sometimes, there are changes in life which we can’t control. When we say, our family aim to travel to 100 countries together, we are declaring and sending our thoughts on how we want to live our lives. If, for whatever circumstances, the Universe, God or Energy have other megaplans for us and the world, then we will adjust our goals. Revision of goals is not non-achievement of living life. It’s driving the car and changing routes when a particular road is blocked.
We can see this in every work employee. They are almost always afraid to set high goals at work because they may not achieve it, get punished for non-achievement and be embarrassed about it. But such is not the case about life – setting goals and being open about these goal, means the intent to maximize one’s life potential and God given resources.
4. Positive Can-Do Attitude. The glass is not half full nor half empty. Oh the places we travel with that glass!
The reality in life – positive attracts positive. Positive multiplies positive is enormous positive potential. We are the sum or total of the positive influence we surround ourselves it. That may be the universal requirement for goal achievement.
5. Be Spontaneous and Just Leave. Action cures fear! The beginning of a thousand miles is a single step! Take the first bite is how you eat the entire cow.
A little trivia about our family? We started traveling right after our Traveling Dad lost his day job. That’s when we know for sure that life is off to good start the moment we say…”What the heck!! Let’s just go.”
“Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng ating bayan.” – Dr.Jose P. Rizal, Pambansang Bayani ng Pilipinas
Translation: The youth is the hope of our nation, – Dr. Jose P.Rizal, Philippine National Hero
Well, the world changed a lot since that Dr. Jose P. Rizal made that quote infamous. There is still a ring of truth into that quote at this day and age, that we believe. Despite the fact that how many generations of youth have let down Dr. Jose P. Rizal? Well, we are not an authority on Philippine History, much more an expert on interpreting Philippine current events based on history. Although, proudly we say, our family is raising three global citizens exploring the world (Turknoy Travels 100 , now 30/100) using their Philippine passports.
So, from one Pinoy family to another, we encourage you to travel with kids and we have three persuading reasons:
Pinoys are World Class, Traveling Magnifies Opportunities For Pinoy Kids to be World Class. Bragging aside, we know how Filipinos contribute to international workforce, arts, science and new discoveries. Monkey see, monkey do. When kids see Filipinos all over the world, doing what they like best and being admired for it by almost all nationalities, that fire of passion will burn until they accomplish something similar.
A lame comparison, albeit common, would be to be so excited about having a Filipino Restaurant in a certain city in any country! We will definitely be tempted to visit and chat with the owner about how that success came to be.
Don’t even get us started about Filipinos winning in international competition, mainly in singing or in fashion. Don’t we all feel that same old “Proud to be Pinoy” sentiments? Speaking of which… “Uyy, there’s a Pinoy winner in Project Runway.” or that Isn’t Bruno Mars Filipino by blood line?!
There’s fire burning in every adult Filipino to succeed in international scene. When that fire started kindling at an early age, there’s no amount of life’s fire extinguisher can void that.
The World is Beautiful. There’s More to Life Than SM.
Disclaimer alert, these statements are written from a village Filipino perspective, as our family came from a far away village with happily-ever-after endings. Yes, a remote, small village where everybody knows everybody’s names and sadly and happily, depends on how you look at it, everybody’s business.
Way way back, do you know where our family go to entertain guests? Where we think, we would go for an adventure? SM! Yes, those big, gigantic, enormous buildings, apparently the biggest malls in Asia or in the world. molding the minds of millions of Filipinos to buy their hard earned dollars, euros, pesos or any denomination because they are SM! Imagine how small scale entrepreneurs and small scale real estate agents would prosper without these gigantic commercial monopoly.
Okay, got a little carried away there. The point is, the Philippines has lots of magnificent islands, mountains, seas, waterfalls to explore. Thanks to a gazillion of tourists who got viral attention in the internet because they showcase the beauty of our motherland, The Philippines.And yes, we know that Pinoy millennial have been traveling the world and the country quite extensively, like no other generation has ever done. Why not Pinoy kids, follow millennial lead?
Going farther, when we travel with kids, we get to see that other countries have a lifestyle, not necessary like our country that works. In Europe, there are no big malls, yet the tourists and locals visit Old Towns patronising small shops earning their living for centuries! Okay, maybe for decades. But that’s the point. Business can run for decades because they have the sense of heritage.
It’s a beautiful world, not in a supermall, megamall kind of way! The earlier the kids learn this, the better for the country!
That Colonial Mentality (Hey Joe!)
Most – Hey Joe! You American?
Some: Not all white people are Americans! Some of them are Brits!
Obviously pun intended. But hey, not Filipinos fault! Our gorgeous archipelago has been colonized for centuries and the school textbooks are yet to be revised to include stories about other countries (you know, like what are Bohemians?! – seriously, hope we are wrong for thinking this, do educate us!)
Every country is different. Each one has different history and culture. White, black, brown, yellow, pink. If we are not open to this understanding and keen on generalizing skin colors, we might as well be uneducated. Europe has 50 countries, each one of the countries have diverse backgrounds and most of them, black, white, yellow, pink and every color in between. Africa is not country, the continent has 54 countries and no, not all of their inhabitants are black! Add in the other 4 continents, and we have almost 200 nationalities. We know how it feels to be stereotype as ” You Asian looks the same with your small eyes and like rice so much!” Ggrr
I guess, our point is, travel with kids for them to introduce diversity!
These are our three personal reasons why we travel with our Pinoy kids. There are more, like appreciation of world religion, which we elaborated on our Singapore blog post and our worldschooling ideas. We intend to share more as we go on more adventure with our family goals.
Do you have a burning reason why Pinoy kids should travel the world?
“Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.” – Paolo Coelho
If you think travel is expensive, then most probably, you never really had an adventure just yet. Our family can say that with conviction because we have been there.
The family who follows routine and “saves for the kid’s future.” The family who doesn’t define what is important for the family members, but tries very hard to “fit in,” such as attending birthday parties and then throwing birthday parties or play groups with lots of freebies!
In no way, we are claiming that these parties are bad or waste of time. It’s just that, at birthday parties, you always see that one awkward group of people who look like they are trying to have fun, but can’t because it’s not in their DNA to be around people. When we attend parties, that’s how our introvert family looks like.
Parties make some extrovert people happy and contented. Throwing lots of parties is awesome if it is your priority in life and if that makes your family happy.
That’s our main point really. Do what makes you feel alive. Know your priorities. Make sure it’s what matters to you and your family. Not the routine priorities of our lives.
The moment our family said our priorities out loud (or through this blog!), we started to experience realization of our travel goals in no way we thought possible, most of them for free. It’s because our eyes are laser-focused on what’s out there to make our priorities our realities.
To name a few examples:
· Our Qatar Airways family ticket to Munich is free-of-charge using Qmiles.
· We got Qatar Airways return trip for free, again using Qmiles for our trip to The Netherlands.
· We got free upgrade from economy to business class from Istanbul to Doha.
· We always stay in the business lounge at any airport, even we always travel economy. For free.
· We always have room upgrade at any hotel/ hostel we stay in because we always book for two adults only (and yes, we are actually five!) Again, free of charge, because we have a “business class” status in the online travel booking community.
Yes, we do spend money for traveling. The value for the money we spent is sky-rocking-high and that’s what makes it cheap.
Way back 2009, we spent the same amount of money for our first daughter’s 4th birthday party at Chili’s and our second Europe trip. Add in the birthday gifts we gave to the birthday parties we attended for that same year and that would be the same as our trip to Nepal.
When we didn’t travel last year over Eid holidays, we ended up spending more than when we travelled to Denmark and Sweden for the second time over the 11-day holiday. Living costs is relative. We just need to decide which (and where) perspective to look at!
It takes courage to define our priorities in life. It also takes courage to say “No” to things that doesn’t make us as happy. It does cost us financially and before we knew it, it will give us lots of should-have beens.
“Knowing your own family and having a purpose makes the unit live and love their lives on your own family’s terms. You know you have your own family lifestyle when the family members “need to do” is defined by its own members not by anyone else telling them. “ – Turknoys
In her previous life, Turknoy Mum was a quality assurance guru in her field (subtly emphasizing here that she knows the theories of sound management in business and in life!). She used to facilitate training about “Customer Satisfaction.” Her training purpose would be to define ways how to achieve customer satisfaction in business settings. For management to be able to do that, the organization needs to articulate what the customers really need. Satisfaction comes from having the customer requirements fulfilled. Hence, the obvious challenge lies on how to define what the customers really need, directly or indirectly, stated or implied.
However, the real challenge and less obvious to most organizations before achieving customer satisfaction, prior to being fluent with defining what the customers really need is identifying who their real customers are, their target niche, who they want to satisfy in the first place.
Well, it should be obvious. Organizations can’t please everybody and they don’t have do. Their purpose is really to make money, not customer satisfaction (newsflash!). Organizations are concerned about customer satisfaction because they want to have more profit. Satisfied customers tend to be repeat customers. Plain truth, commercial businesses are not focused about how customers are treated or served, they want customers to come again for more business or want their customers to tell good things about their business to attract more customers.
Organizations have mission, purpose-driven. It should be the same for individuals. It definitely should be the same for families.
Mission and purpose which drives a unique individual should be unique.
Mission and purpose which drives a unique family unit should be, duh, unique! Every family has different requirements for their satisfaction.
Yeah, let’s talk about Family Satisfaction, traditionally known as Happily Ever After. It’s so happily ever after, it’s considered an end-game for all single eligible, smart, independent people.
Our strong and high opinion about Family Satisfaction – It’s not an end-game. It’s that “Other Level – not mandatory next level, not higher level, a different level!
It’s a choice we have to make, if we want it. Everybody can be qualified to have a family but not everyone should build a family! Not everybody wants it, we need the world to acknowledge this! Sometimes a person is destined to not have family or kids, but a lot of times, a person may not want to have family or kids!
How do we know who wants to have a family? There, there you go!! KNOW THYSELF! Like, deep-from-the-gut, straight-from-the-heart know yourself hard! If family life is not something for an individual, no amount of activities, goals or mission with the future family can satisfy or be enough to obtain happiness in life.
And if we do want to have a family, how do we know how we can satisfy every member of family, how we do get family satisfaction? There, there you go!! KNOW THY FAMILY! Like, deep-from-the-gut, straight-from-the-heart know every member of the family hard!
Knowing our own self, and our own family is not an easy task. It means acknowledging our deepest desires in life, we were often instructed by almost every “superior” human beings and ancient institutions to hide and contain.
Finding ourselves is not a one-off process. As our family home educate, unschool, explore with kids and live our lives without worrying about non conformities, every day is a learning opportunity to get to know our passion and desires.
We are allowing our curiosity guide our way to find ourselves. So far, it has taken us to places we only imagined before.
Maybe it involves continued traveling, or maybe it involves something else.