All Those Family Trips

Comments 2 Standard

I’m usually pretty happy with how I’ve planned trips for the family over the years, but this year when I was planning our trip to Halifax for the holiday, I really regretted something. Something that I think could really add meaning to the time spent together.

achievement blur charity collaboration

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

All these years of tripping with the kids in many kinds of places, I should have built in a volunteer experience, or even planned a volunteer trip. It’s not too late to still do this, of course, but I really should have thought the purpose behind some of the things we were doing when away. I fully support vacationing to unwind, be somewhere else and just enjoy the new location. However, I’m also not one to pack too much into the trip for fear that everyone will be disgruntled by a timetable (myself included). We will tend to experience the highlights of a place, but we also like to venture into the local scene. To me, part of being a local is understanding the community you are visiting – and sometimes it isn’t pretty. Every community has it’s woes and challenges and if we are going to spend time there, shouldn’t we do something helpful because spend money in the local coffee shop (which is one of our favorite things to do).

I think it just really came to mind this year because we were planning a trip in our home country over the holidays and holiday time is often when volunteers are needed to help at dinners or pack toys and such. I’ll keep this in mind for the next trip.

Thoughts?

 

#Gratitude for Awesome People

Leave a comment Standard

Let me tell you something.

I know some amazing people. All kinds of amazingly intelligent, kind-hearted, there-for-you kind of people.

It’s noticeable to me that I gravitate to a certain type – we all do. But it’s really interesting when I think about the range of people that have come into my life. Having met so many people from different countries, cultures, and life experiences, you’d think it might be hard to adjust to ways of thinking or understand someone else’s background. But in the end, what really matters to me is what kind of person you are. And those people are thoughtful, reliable, and probably best of all – they challenge my thinking. Those are the kind of people we all need in our lives.

I’ve got my friends from long ago that have taken different paths from my own, but it doesn’t change the respect we have for each other or the way in which we value each other. I’ve got sets of friends from more recent years, having changed work and living environments that I also just can’t imagine my life without.

Perhaps the turning of a new year has got me thinking. It’s a hard time of year for many people for a few reasons and so I wanted to just throw my teeny bit of gratitude out into the atmosphere. I value the updates and conversations, the sharing of thoughts, the venting, and celebrations we have with and for each other. I think of you often and you know who you are. I just wanted you to know.

affection appreciation decoration design

Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com

 

That Time I Went Surfing

Leave a comment Standard

Our family trip this summer was to Waikiki. I hadn’t been since 1997, and the rest of the fam had never been, so why not head into the islands of the Pacific?

I prepped a little by watching a few episode of the new Hawaii Five-0, so I was ready for some ‘O ka’oihana Hawai’i.

One of the things we kept bringing up in conversation throughout the week was whether we should go surfing or not. Despite it being the end of August and fairly “quiet” in the water, there were still a lot of people out riding those waves. After many conversations of deliberation, we finally decided we would check out the surf lesson stations and just do it. We were in Hawaii, after all!

I was unsure until the last moment if I was going to boogie board with Bray or get on a big ole board…

Well, had I not gone surfing, I wouldn’t have said hello to Scott Caan as he swam by on his own board.  So I made a good decision. 😉

https://www.flickr.com/photos/brucyebabes/5610481153/

Obviously I didn’t take this photo. I was busy surfing and saying hello to Scott. 04-08-11 Oahu, HI Exclusive: Actor Scott Caan out surfing with some buddies in Oahu, HI. Scott is in Hawaii shooting the hit TV show ‘Hawaii Five-O’… Exclusive Pix by Flynet ¬©2011 818-307-4813 Nicolas 310-869-0177 Scott

Same Sun, Same Moon

Leave a comment Standard

One morning last week, I had this great realization of how small yet completely enormous and magnificent the world is.

In a common morning Voxer chat with friends in North America, Meghan posted an amazing picture of the sunset as she looked from her window in Salt Lake City. 

Literally, in that same moment, I stood at my window, looking to the east, awaiting for the Singapore sun to rise. In response to her sunset picture, I took and sent a photo of that same glorious sun. Right then, I felt so close and so far away from my friends at the same time. It was a really cool moment to share with small of my dear friends that are so far away.

Many times I’ll take evening photos of the moon and hashtag it #samemoon, tagging friends that are abroad. It’s our way of showing we are thinking of each other, although separated by half the world.

But this morning’s sun was an occurrence that made me really miss my friends, and even though we are in touch often, I miss their faces and being with them. Maybe I’m feeling a bit sad about not having made the trip with Brett to North America for the holidays, or maybe I was just feeling a bit affected by the movie I had just seen (thanks Ryan and Emma, for #LaLaLand), or maybe I just miss my people. But that’s okay, I’ll see them soon.

 

Break Time

Leave a comment Standard

It’s winter break, a time span of three weeks between semesters one and two. A time to recharge and replenish. And I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. This semester was such a highly intense time of so many things on different levels that I found myself running low on patience too often.

But now it’s the time for me to seriously “break” for a few days. Normally Brett and I would leave right away and go somewhere near or far, to detach as soon as possible. But this year Brett left for North America a couple of days before my semester ended, so I’m here in Sing on my own for a few days of winding down and getting the last bits of organizing done in the new apartment.

At first, I found myself quite uncertain about not joining Brett on the trip to North America. I wouldn’t be seeing my family or his this holiday season otherwise, but now…. now, I’m a bit relieved to have been absent from the whirlwind of driving to see as many people as possible in the tiniest amount of time. Brett has really jammed a lot in the few days he is there, so he is really taking one for the team this time around! Had I ventured on this trip with him, I don’t think I would have been the best version of myself, on so many levels. I just don’t think it would have been good for me or anyone to go right away! Seeing my family and friends virtually will do until 2017.

bestversionofmyself

I really needed some nothing time before escaping during this break. I’ve had three days and I’m still not to the nothing part, but I’m getting there, and let me tell you – it feels glorious! Shouldn’t be long until life is sorted and before I know it, Brett and I will be headed to Bali for some quiet time, amazing food and rejuvenation.

Just what we both need.

 

 

Versions of Home

Leave a comment Standard

We all have our own versions of home. For some it’s the house you grew up in, for others it’s where family is.

For me, home is where I love to be, where I’ve grown and become a better person, and where my loved ones are. I’m one of those fantastically lucky people who has physical homes in three countries, and in versions of home in several locations sprinkled around the planet, wherever my loved ones happen to reside.

Last week I came back from a great trip to New York and Washington, D.C. I had been in New York in March and was unsure of my feelings about being back upon arrival. I equated the uneasiness to the poor weather, maybe not enough detachment time yet.

This time, when I arrived to JFK after a long 23 hour journey, I felt like I was coming home to this beautiful summery place. I guess I’ve already become a fair-weather New York lover, completely detaching myself from anywhere/time that will have a temperature less than 25 degrees Celsius… But there’s just something about the beauty of a city being in full bloom and people being in summer mode. It was so lovely and I looked forward to being there.

This trip, I really bounced around, splitting my nights between hotels and friend’s homes, which was fun. I managed to store my luggage as I moved around. Plus summer clothes make it so easy to throw things in a small bag for a night or two, and be on your way. I easily fell into the same summer groove that I’ve known for the past nine summers. The trip to DC was fun and normal, and my conference was fab as usual.

And at the end of a packed 12 days, I felt like I was leaving home to go home, a different version of it anyway. My most comfortable version of home is wherever Brett and I are together, and that could really be anywhere. I have a lot of people to thank for making my trip to my New York home an excellent one, and I look forward to all of my trips home, whether it’s Edmonton, New York, or Singapore… or wherever that may be in the future.

park

 

Five More Hours

Comments 5 Standard

It’s 7pm on NYE and I could just head to bed and go to sleep.

Brett and I had a nice late afternoon lunch and beer stop at an Aussie place here in Robertson Quay. I was quite impressed with the food and happy to see a Boston vs Detroit hockey game on the TV.

And now we are home… at 7pm on New Year’s Eve. This is not new; we aren’t New Year’s Eve people. But for today we said we’d have a nap and head down to the pool later, hoping to see the fireworks at Marina Bay.

We will see if that actually happens!

Have fun tonight, whatever fun is to you!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/57a/15101110/files/2014/12/img_9215.jpg

That Was Thirteen Years Ago

Comments 2 Standard

What was?

Meeting my husband. Our first date. My first experience eating Indian food. 🙂

The last week of September and beginning of October encompass a few significant dates for us – our “meetaversary”, our first date, and our anniversary.

Who knew at the time we’d be where we are now.

Our lives are so different from then.

But in a great way.

An intense way.

A learn and grow way.

An “I wouldn’t change it” way.

Staying In One Place

Leave a comment Standard

We arrived in Dublin 10 days ago and stayed at the same hotel the whole time. I know many come to Ireland and travel, hopping from medieval town to the next, a couple of nights here and there. I love that idea, I really do. But I also really loved coming back to the same place every night on this trip.

Here’s a list of things I learned about staying in one place in Ireland:

1. I really got to know the place (hotel) you are staying. You get to know the staff, who works when, when they will knock on your door, who gives the towels at the gym, who runs the elevator to the rooftop lounge. I got to try basically all the food at the hotel, which I have none to complain about.

2. I really got to know the neighborhood. The Marker Hotel is new to the Dock area and the Dock area is the newest neighborhood in Dublin. It houses many internet and financial companies, new condos, cafes and hotels. It’s pretty accessible to downtown but really has what you need in the area.

3. I learned to feel content. In July I began to put this into practice when I was in San Diego and continued that content-ness here. Feeling present and content in each experience by doing what locals do – having a morning routine, running routine, activity time and quiet time.

4. I learned that it’s okay not to do everything. Yes we were out everyday exploring, but it wasn’t this sense of crazy rushing around. Okay, so we didn’t make to the Cliffs of Moher because of a poorly planned Saturday, but I’m not sweating it. We went to Galway, Kilkenny and Dundalk, so it’s not like we didn’t see the countryside, cows, sheep, stone walls, rolling hills. Again, this is something I am continuing to learn, and for those of us who are always on the go – this is hard! Learning to be present is hard and takes time to get used to! Planning ahead is inevitable but it’s also nice to not plan sometimes too, letting events happen organically.

5. I learned that I really don’t like eating all the time. I didn’t eat a lot each day, but my body really just wants my veggie and hummus dinner back.

I value my time away, and when you are away, make sure you really enjoy what you are doing – even if it means doing less.

:)

🙂

 

Guess Whose Birthday Is Tomorrow?

Comments 2 Standard

Chances are.. not yours right? Nope! But let me tell you a story first before we talk about this birthday.

So, I was out with Monica (friend/co-teacher) and her daughter at their summer club, Bay Terrace Country Club, in Bayside Queens today. We played some tennis, swam around in the cool water of the surprisingly mostly unpopulated pool, laid on the chairs, chatted.

As Monica and Savannah went for a second round in the pool, I sat under the umbrella reading and listening to the voices around me. Voices that are quintessentially Long Island voices. Italian. Nasally. Semi-loud. Voices that make me chuckle a little.

As I listened and read, watched people jump in the pool or walk for their frogurt, I was transported to the setting of the movie Way, Way Back that I saw last summer with my movie buddy Tina. I thought about the boy who took a job at the summer club to escape his mother’s horrible boyfriend. For some reason I could relate to him. Not because I was escaping my mother’s awful boyfriend, or even a hard-to-deal-with family member. It just made me feel like a typical American on summer vacation. You know, the family (or some of them) goes to the country club, they enjoy their time doing summertime activities day after day. Days filled pools, beaches, reading books, playing cards, bonfires, late nights outside, enjoying the perfect weather.

But alas! I am not American! I am Canadian! And although I have been enjoying American summers for several years now, these summer days are different from my summers in Alberta. Not good or bad different, just different.

Yes, I enjoyed my share of lake days with Jill, boating, playing cards, drinking, dancing, walking in the river valley, attending festivals, and so on. And today, sitting there, at the poolside of a summer club in Bayside Queens, listening to those nasally Long Island voices made me think of the celebrations that proud Canadians will be attending tomorrow. Wearing their red and white, eating poutine, drinking a double-double, a clam-eye or a Caesar or maybe Molson. And I want to be there… but I’m not… so enjoy my fellow Canadians!

It’s Canada’s birthday.

blog.tedactive.com

blog.tedactive.com