Dearest Sinaya,

Today you turn 5 months. Your firm grasp around my finger feels stronger than before. Your eyes are so open and awake, looking around the room, observing, learning. You are so eager to stand, to walk, to move. In fact, the only way we can easily put you to sleep is to place you in the car seat and take off somewhere, anywhere.

You always want to be on the go.

I'm not surprised. You're our daughter after all. Your parents are a couple of outliers, people who don't quite fit in. We feel at home away from home.

Dear Sinaya1

You would be amazed to learn that you have already traveled to a few countries starting from when you were still in my tummy. You've been to Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia even before you were born. When you showed up to greet us in Manila, we knew that one of our greatest adventures had just begun. At the nursery, when I first saw your beautiful, pink face, I realized that you didn't quite fit in too. 

At 2 months, you were already safely cocooned inside a bassinet, tucked in by a lovely flight attendant. You were on your way to France, the youngest passenger on board. The most well behaved one too. Before you turned 4 months, you have already braved below zero temperatures and touched snow in the Alps without a single cry or complaint.

Dear Sinaya2

I have so many dreams for you. I know that we have given you a head start in life. Doors will be open for you that have once been closed to me or to your father. 

I hope that one day, you will look at me with those big, curious eyes of yours and ask, "Mom, where is Azerbaijan?". Or start reciting the capital cities of the world in front of your grandparents. I hope you make me read Dr. Seuss's "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" for the 3rd time before going to bed.

I hope one day you will point to a map and correctly locate your birth country, the Philippines, and say "I want to travel to all 7,107 islands!" Or stuff your toys into your very own little backpack when you travel with us. I hope you will eat durian, blue cheese or ginamos (fish sauce) and not even make a face. 

I hope one day you will look at the sea and marvel at its power and wrath and yet not be afraid to take a dip or surf waves. Or look at a mountain and be curious enough to see the view from the top that you take the first step. I hope you will bike unpaved paths, climb trees and bathe in rivers.

I hope you will speak fluent English, French and Portuguese with a few Tagalog and Bisaya words sprinkled in between. 

I hope you will dream of faraway places, novel experiences and unfamiliar cultures. I hope you would always want to venture out into the unknown. I hope you will never stop seeking places, experiences and people who amaze you. I hope you will always see the world with a childlike wonder, no different from how you see it today.

I hope one day you will travel. I hope you go far into the world and deep into yourself. I hope you will see how distinct we all are and yet we are all the same. I hope you will see how light falls differently in many parts of the world but it is from the same sun.

And never ever forget where you came from and be proud of who you are.

I hope one day you will tell me that you're off to chase your own adventures. Then ask me where I've been and where you should go. 

And when that time comes, I hope I can stop myself from wondering, "What if something happens to her?" I hope I can sleep at night even when I don't know where you are or if you're okay. I hope I can trust that you will always be safe, healthy, and happy.

Lois Naya2

I know it will be difficult. But I love you so much and one day I will have to let you go.


This post was inspired by an open letter that I wrote to my dad 4 years ago: Dear Dad, I Quit My Job to Travel the World.

Lois has traveled extensively and has called the Philippines, USA, Germany, Switzerland, Thailand and France, home in various stages of her life. She just recently got married and now has a baby girl. She is currently based in Europe, trying to find a home base for her family. She is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of We Are Sole Sisters.

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2 Responses so far.

  1. Beautiful letter... It's amazing how much of a personality is obvious at such a young age. Curiosity, determinedness...

  2. Thank you Colleen for your comment and for your message. Yes, I already have an idea of who this little will turn out to be and she makes me happy every day!

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