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My Family Went on Vacation for the First Time in 21 Years of My Life

My Family Went on Vacation for the First Time in 21 Years of My Life

Believe it or not, I’ve never been on vacation with my family – until recently.

21 years flew by just like that. And we finally went on vacation. All four of us.

You might be wondering, “Why haven’t we gone sooner?” You’re not the only who’s having the same thought. Why didn’t we? There was no reason why we couldn’t go on vacation. We could make time. We are healthy. We can afford it. We wanted to. But no one initiated it.

We think we can always go next time, when we’re older and wealthier – but we were only fooling ourselves.

My relatives and friends go on vacation all the time. I even went along with them. This eventually made me wonder as to why I wasn’t going on vacation with my family.

It didn’t seem right. It felt like we were missing an important part of our lives. We got used to not traveling as a family. We felt that it was okay not to travel together. But it wasn’t.

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Then, it was time to put a stop to that kind of behavior. Action is what we needed to make it happen. And so, we did.

The Long-Awaited Vacation and How It Happened

    It happened months before the vacation. My mum is a huge fan of k-dramas and variety shows, which led her to express her interest in going to Korea. I’ve been there once, and the food was affordable and ridiculously tasty. So, I did have the intention to go there again. My brother and dad were also opened to the idea of going to Korea for our family vacation even though my dad resisted in the beginning.

    Another reason why we wanted to go was to experience the winter period, since we live in a humid country.

    My dad was always one to say no whenever we wanted to spend time together as a family, be it watching a movie or going out to have dinner. It took us some effort for him to finally give in and hop on the plane with us. We were in Korea for 15 days, and I’ve got to say it was life-changing for us. Surprisingly, he started saying yes to spending time with us more after the vacation (I’ll get to that part later).

    What This Vacation Meant for Us

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      We had an amazing time together on this vacation – for real.

      It changed our family.

      You see, when we were in the country, we didn’t spend much time together. We may not even talk or see each other due to our work schedules. Even when we saw each other, we hardly appreciate the times we had. We took it for granted and did our own things or chose to spend time with other people.

        With this vacation, it laid out an opportunity for us to spend time together and get to know each other on a deeper level. There was no other way, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

        We needed this. It was important for us to experience this together. I wanted this.

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        Besides having a good time, it was because deep down, we wanted to connect and develop stronger bonds with one another. And this was a good start.

        After all, we’re family.

        How It Made Me Feel and Realize Things I Didn’t Notice Before

          During these 15 days in a foreign country, we only had each other. We relied on each other. We enjoyed the company of each other. We were traveling together.

          Unfamiliarity of our surroundings and the people made us united and closer than before. We saw different, new sides of each other we didn’t notice before. Perhaps we were always like this, but we didn’t know because no effort was made to get to know or understand the other.

          For instance, my dad had no idea that my brother was so street-wise. He was calm and had his composure even though we were lost and he eventually lead us the right way.

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          Traveling together gave us the time to experience things together.

            The most memorable experience was when we went hiking in the Hallasan National Park at Jeju Island on my birthday. We did something that we’d never done before together.

            It was an activity that required us to move as one, and give each other moral support and encouragement to ensure all of us made it to the top together. It wasn’t an easy journey, and wanting to give up wasn’t an option.

            Experiencing this and other moments of togetherness throughout these 15 days had a huge impact in our lives – whether we knew it or not. It’s something that no one can take away, something that will stay with us for the rest of our lives – a precious memory. And that’s the beauty of it.

            Why I’m Looking Forward to More Vacations for the Four of Us

              At the end of the vacation, we were already planning our next trip. This was a first for us. We realized that we should’ve done this earlier. We could have created more memories, developed a stronger bond and deeper connection as a family. But it’s okay. It’s never too late as long as we are willing to make that change now.

              After this vacation, we were more considerate and aware of each other’s feelings. We genuinely wanted to spend more time with each other. All of us started taking action, rather than wishing it could happen. And that’s how we make things happen, how relationships are built, and how we make the wonderful memories that’ll last us a lifetime.

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              Samantha Seah

              Content Specialist

              My Family Went on Vacation for the First Time in 21 Years of My Life When Should Your Teenager Start Dating?

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              Last Updated on August 12, 2019

              12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

              12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

              Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

              But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

              I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

              Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

              1. Nuts

              The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

              Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

              Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

              Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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              2. Blueberries

              Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

              When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

              3. Tomatoes

              Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

              4. Broccoli

              While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

              Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

              Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

              5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

              Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

              The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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              Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

              6. Soy

              Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

              Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

              Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

              7. Dark Chocolate

              When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

              Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

              8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

              Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

              B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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              Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

              Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

              To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

              9. Foods Rich in Zinc

              Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

              Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

              Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

              10. Gingko Biloba

              This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

              It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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              However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

              11. Green and Black Tea

              Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

              Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

              Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

              12. Sage and Rosemary

              Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

              Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

              When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

              More About Boosting Brain Power

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

              Reference

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