SINGAPORE – Reconnecting the familial dots

It is nice to live in an area where a versatile market is a stone’s throw away, a good public transport system a stroll of a distance from your front door and the most smashing ‘rempeyek’ ever selling close by for every other day’s purchase. I learned to appreciate these small offerings in the short time span I spent on a family holiday trip to Singapore, reconnecting with long-lost or more so newly-found families. It was meant to celebrate my birthday and hubby’s – a so-called birthday trip to Malaysia’s sister land down under. Turned out we celebrated more than that – we celebrated heartfelt reunions, great companies and warm hospitality by people tied to us in one way or another via ancestral blood, ties some of which are supposedly close in relation.

So it was over the weekends and then some that we had a change in the physical and emotional environment. It wasn’t just a change in cities and in homes; we also had a change of family this week – for Adam, from having a new grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins, he’d upgraded to having great-grandparents too, probably the only ones he’ll ever have from this side of the family.

I’ve always had a big list of things to do when visiting places. Its my way of making trips feel worth the while (or used to feel). Plenty of must-go-or-I’ll-forever-brood-over-it places to visit, scheduling with friends and lots of meeting family time and playing cards. I’ve missed plenty of all that respectively, but far from feeling regret, I feel fulfilled; because the few of each occasions that I managed to cover made everything worth the while. I guess in a way, I no longer feel the need to rush things through and living in the moment more than rushing through it. What’s the point of being on a holiday when you’re too busy being stressed out over time management and being grumpy about missing the earlier train to catch Shrek and Fiona roaming the streets of Universal Studio.

I guess I have come to a point in my life where relationships have gained an upper status in value than the need to complete the must-do’s of holidaying. It may either mean I’m getting older and have less flair for the flashy world of fleeting enjoyment or I have become more matured and begun to treasure more tangible aspects of life like reconnecting with relatives and creating meaningful family memories. I came around making more than just memories – it included a bonus of making closer familial ties with relatives who days ago were close to being strangers. I know now, holidaying is not all about covering as many hotspots and doing as many item’s in the tourists’ must-do lists, its about making great memories regardless of where you go or what you do. For me, this is what I achieved on this trip to Singapore. Despite that, we still managed to cover the tourist essential hotspots, but they no longer become the highlights of the trip. The family reunions and bridging familial ties are.

If time grants me the opportunity, more post on Singapore may come later.

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