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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 December 9, 2019

              5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

              5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

              Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

              Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

              Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

              1. Get Rationally Optimistic

              Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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              This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

              In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

              The result: no more mental stress.

              2. Unplug

              Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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              How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

              It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

              Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

              3. Easy on the Caffeine

              Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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              Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

              4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

              That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

              How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

              • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
              • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
              • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

              While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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              5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

              This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

              The result: mental stress will be gone!

              So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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              Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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