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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

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              Last Updated on March 13, 2019

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

              You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

              Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

              1. Work on the small tasks.

              When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

              Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

              2. Take a break from your work desk.

              Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

              Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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              3. Upgrade yourself

              Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

              The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

              4. Talk to a friend.

              Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

              Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

              5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

              If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

              Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

              Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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              6. Paint a vision to work towards.

              If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

              Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

              Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

              7. Read a book (or blog).

              The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

              Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

              Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

              8. Have a quick nap.

              If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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              9. Remember why you are doing this.

              Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

              What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

              10. Find some competition.

              Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

              Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

              11. Go exercise.

              Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

              Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

              As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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              Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

              12. Take a good break.

              Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

              Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

              Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

              Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

              More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

              Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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