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.
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
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.
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.
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.