Thankful for the memories

Thankful for the memories

2020 has definitely been a year of great emotions with many highs and lows. My last blog post discussed the angst of Covid travel during Thanksgiving. This post I’d like to dedicate to the joy of going back home.

My life has significantly changed since I left home so many years ago to make my mark on the world. I have traveled extensively both for work and for pleasure. Pulling up to my mom’s home reminded me not only of how much I have made inner travel, as much as I have made the physical travels.

My mom has lived in the same apartment for over forty years. In comparison, I live in a five- bedroom home with plenty of hosting spaces, inside and out, as well as an apartment in Singapore that I also call home.

Despite those differences, this thanksgiving was one of the happiest and memorable ever. Chairs had to be brought in for seating, the floor became a seating space, and laps became temporary dining spaces. However, the laughter flowed and happiness permeated the room.

In our travels, it’s not always the destination, but how we get to the destination that matters. I invite you to take an inner journey and reflect on the travel you have made to reach the destination you’re currently at. I encourage you to be thankful for the memories. It could have been better or it could have been worse, but give thanks for the journey you’ve traveled keep looking forward to the ones ahead. We are not all as blessed.

Covid travel or not?

Covid travel or not?

This was not my first trip since the outbreak of Covid 19, but with the resurgence and travel advisories against Thanksgiving travel, I had lots of inner struggle with my travel plans.

My first trip during Covid was the long trip back from Asia and it was a struggle trying to decide whether to stay in Asia or return to the US. As my youngest had braved Covid on her own for several months, I decided it was time to return home and be there for my daughter (see motherhood blog). As I was now in the US and only 3 hours away from my mom rather than 24, I planned my Thanksgiving travel. There was certainly a bit of angst as New York had been designated a hot spot.

However, my trip was a choice I felt I had to make. Having been an ex-pat for many years and not seeing my mom in a while, I looked forward to this visit. I had planned this trip well before the resurgence of covid concerns and realities. With a recent unexpected death in the family, I struggled with the thoughts of missed opportunities. Should I reschedule my trip? Covid was so unpredictable I wondered whether any other timing would be optimal for covid travel.

It is said that most family gatherings are at funerals and I struggled with the thought of canceling my trip and missing a positive family experience. Still and all, I am a prolific traveler, and I honestly missed the travel experience and was looking forward to the trip. I chose to keep my travel plans but wondered how much of my decision was a want and how much was a need. No one can predict the future, and my choice could be seen as unnecessary and risky. It could also be seen as a perfect time to choose family while they are around, rather than grieve for them or the missed opportunity to create memories.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences if you’ve had to make a similar choice. What would your choice be? Covid travel or not?

Marriage, the inner journey.

Marriage, the inner journey.

It’s only fitting today as I celebrate my wedding anniversary, to focus on the journey of marriage.  Although an experienced traveler, I did not pack light for this journey and it came with no travel map.  I was bringing a bundle of past anxieties and hurts, along with two minor children. Having taken this journey before I was aware of turbulence and so I believed I was prepared.

There is no blueprint for the perfect marriage journey. Oftentimes that inner journey is fraught with the perceptions of our family and peers.  At times they are wearing rose colored glasses, but more often they are wearing shades.  It takes a lot of travel to get to a point where you are satisfied with the marriage journey as it is and as you make it.

My marriage journey took me to another continent with two kids, no family, no support and a strong faith in making the journey about me. I was often advised of the perils of  moving away with no family or friends to rely on.  However, I knew that I had taken this journey before with the support of family and friends, to a not so happy landing. This time, I had to take the journey on my own and with the thought that I had the inner strength to survive, even on another continent, and so my journey began.

Today I look back and I am so proud of not doubting myself.  My life is richer for the journey and experience.  I am content to have raised third culture kids (more on another blog post) who are truly culturally aware and diverse.  I have created a marriage that has survived and continues to survive the long distance trials and heartaches.  But, most importantly, I chose to take that inner journey, and although it is continuing, I have weathered the turbulent as well as the smooth cruising altitudes, with a great love I could not have imagined.

How has your inner marriage journey been? Have you reached your destination? I invite you to enjoy the journey, no matter the destination, and share with us the joys and pitfalls of your travel experience.

Massage, one of the best things for self care.

Massage, one of the best things for self care.

They are plenty of different types of travelers. Backpackers, weekenders, thrill seekers, and holiday travelers are but a few.  I have traveled extensively for work and pleasure and I consider myself a spa traveler.  For me, travel is not just to have been to a destination or to check it off my bucket list, I travel for the experience of travel.  Most importantly, a spa visit to wherever I go is a must as I believe that self care is the best care.

With Covid 19, travel is limited, but it is limitless in my mind.  Inner travel often takes me back to many of my previous travel experiences as well as the ones I’d like to have.  Lately, getting at home massages has been a way for me to elevate my inner travel experience. I believe that a massage is one of the best things for self care, a way to treat yourself and take a break from life.  For an hour, I can do nothing but be still and have someone concentrate on me, the ultimate getaway.

What travel experiences do you think you can bring to your life without leaving the presence of your home?  Can you make a cocktail or cocktail and take an hour for yourself? Can you just sit still and watch the world go by on your street or neighborhood?  Just people watch like we do when we’re on vacation and curious about the people and places we see.  Try it and let me know how bringing the inner travel experience to life works for you.

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