What I learned from the trip with my family
Since my dad passed away a few years ago, I have been trying to visit my family more. Usually each year I would stop in Japan for a week or two, and then fly over to Malaysia to visit them.
This year, we did something a little differently. Instead of going back to Penang, we decided to meet in Singapore for a week for vacation. Traveling together was not something we often do because my mom has had some health concerns. One of the reasons we chose Singapore is because my sister has been living in Singapore for years, and there are limitations of how much my mother could walk, how long the flight is she could handle. We liked to take it easy first before planning to visit somewhere further from Malaysia. Also Singapore is close to Malaysia, the country is generally considered pretty safe to travel, and transportation is very efficient as well.
We rented a triple room in the center of the city. By sharing living space for a week, I got to learn more about their living habits and preference in things. Due to her health issues, there was food that she can't have, so we had to carefully choose restaurants and places to eat. That was a little challenging because it's not like living in the US that I can easily have access to health food stores. Thankfully, when it comes to food, there is an abundance of options in Singapore, we just had to spend more time asking and checking.
When I travel on my own, I often walk fast, I mean, very fast. However, with my mom around, it was like walking in slow motion so that I wouldn't just disappear from her sight. I imagine if I walked rapidly, that probably would make her nervous instead of enjoying the trip.
Slowing down is not something I practice a lot in my daily life. With social media invading my personal space, I never feel like I have enough time to finish anything. At the same time, I don't like rushing things; thus there is a constant conflict I have to deal with within myself. People always say, it is good to take time off, and I would roll my eyes behind my head; yeah, like I don't have to finish all my photo editing, planning, and scheduling. With my family around 24/7, I had no time to work. I had to try to put aside my thoughts about work and listened to what they said, making conversation. It was an excellent opportunity to bond to grow closer together.
In the end, nobody gets hurt or die because I didn't work for a couple of weeks. Yes, I can take a break, and I should give myself time to empty mind clusters. Perhaps it was egocentric to think about how important for me not to take breaks and to have a false sense of need by society. The truth is, the earth will continue to turn, and things will continue to evolve without me. It's better for me to be absent for some time so that I could think of how to better fit and contribute to people around me, and the society in general.
We know it was a wonderful vacation for us because we already miss each other once the trip ended. Once my family left the hotel room, the room felt cold and empty, not in a way like a haunted house, but more of just hard to not see them around. The feeling of loneliness has been haunting me since they left, and the bursting of multidimensional feelings rushing through my veins. Didn't they say love is challenging and complicated?