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  • Writer's pictureBach

The Evolution of Travel: From Escapes to Curated Experiences

My travel adventures began at a young age, and initially, my explorations centered around destinations close to home. Hong Kong, being nearby, was a frequent choice, as was San Francisco, where I would visit my brothers. Trips to the United States often revolved around theme parks like Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Knotts Berry Farm, with occasional visits to attractions like Hearst Castle. Monterey became a go-to destination, and I vividly recall the awe-inspiring moment when I first experienced snow near Lake Tahoe. Overwhelmed with excitement, I impulsively dashed out of the car and found myself waist-deep in fresh snow, resulting in a pantless journey to Reno within the confines of my grandmother's station wagon.


At the age of 15, we went on an ambitious adventure, exploring 25 states within a single month. Equipped with a large van, four suitcases, and a toaster my mom had purchased from Best Buy, we embarked on a journey filled with daily feasts of Chinese food, as per my father's preference. Armed with a trusty map and every hotel booklet we could find at random gas stations, we persevered through the month-long expedition, emerging exhausted but enriched with funny anecdotes, a few extra pounds, and a bag of film rolls.


Subsequent travels mainly revolved around visits to San Francisco during summer and Christmas breaks, where we would just stay in our home in South San Francisco. After getting married, my travel adventures expanded, now armed not only with a map but also with printed directions from Google. This newfound resource allowed us to go on road trips with our children, exploring both northern and southern California.


Eventually, our family journeys transitioned to organized tours, until my father voiced his dissatisfaction with the constant rush. In 2011, I took on the responsibility of curating our own tours. With the advent of the internet and convenient platforms like booking.com, rentalcars.com, sixt.com, and airline websites, I gained the ability to plan our trips well in advance. Our travels predominantly encompass road trips across the United States and Canada, facilitated by three SUV rentals and long-range walkie-talkies. Finding suitable accommodations that offered ample space for our family, which typically numbered 13 individuals, became a priority, leading us to opt for hotels that offer free breakfast and Airbnb rentals capable of accommodating up to 20 people.


When exploring Europe, our preferred mode of transportation is often trains or private drivers, occasionally supplemented by rented vans or cars. Our accommodations primarily consist of hotels located in the heart of the city, allowing us to go on leisurely walking tours.


In Asia, we frequently rely on private drivers for day trips, although in Japan, we make sure to experience the exhilarating Shinkansen train as we travel between destinations.


As my travel experiences have evolved over the years, so too have the tools and resources at my disposal, enabling me to create meticulously curated journeys that cater to the unique preferences and needs of our family.

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