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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 August 13, 2018

              5 Exercises To Improve Intimacy and Create a Better Relationship

              5 Exercises To Improve Intimacy and Create a Better Relationship

              Making love can be simultaneously the most pleasurable and the most stressful experience that we share with another human being. It is a natural conclusion of the ritual of intimacy we engage in with a person we find attractive on both a physical and psychological level. Yet, we are far removed from our animalistic roots, and that which was once a matter of instinct has become somewhat complex. This is a good thing; we have grown as a society, and there are many factors involved when it comes to the relationship between sexual partners. However, we have also lost a great deal of the physical prowess our primitive ancestors had.

              They engaged in a huge amount of physical activities daily — activities that ensured their cardiovascular system and muscles were in great shape, which allowed them to have healthy libidos, strong erections, and the muscular strength, limberness and endurance to maintain different positions for a long time without getting exhausted. Luckily, we can regain some of these animalistic traits with the right kind of training. Here are some essential exercises that will help improve your relationship, but making you more confident in intimate settings, which means that you’ll have more satisfying intercourse.

              Don Juan

                1. Cardio for Stamina

                If you’re out of shape, the first thing you’ll notice during intercourse is that you start to breathe heavily, sweat profusely and tire easily. This means you’ll have to shift your posture frequently and limit yourself to a few positions you feel comfortable with or significantly slow down the pace. A high BMI has also been linked to potential problems with erectile dysfunction. Cardiovascular exercises like running, jumping rope, swimming and cycling will build up your aerobic stamina and enable you to perform longer before becoming fatigued, thus having better intercourse. They’ll also help manage your weight, possibly helping performance.

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                Triathlon symbol
                  • Running – 10-20 minutes a day (1-3 miles a day is more than enough)
                  • Jumping rope – 5-20 minutes a day
                  • Swimming – 30 minutes a day
                  • Cycling – 30 minutes a day

                  The time in minutes denotes time spent actively performing the exercise, and you need to factor in a bit more time for warming up before and cooling down after the exercises.

                  These exercises can be performed every day or every other day, and the goal is to work on both endurance and speed. Don’t just go at a snail’s pace; constantly try to improve your time or add some mileage.

                  2. Strength-Training for Your Lower Body and Core

                  The next thing you’ll need to focus on is improving both the strength and muscular endurance of the hip flexors, abdominals and spinal erectors. These are the muscles engaged in thrusting and circular motions, and they also stabilize your body in a number of different positions. The legs also play an important role, particularly in standing and kneeling positions. Here are a few exercises that will help you strengthen up this area:

                  Barbell squats
                    • Heavy barbell squats – set up at a power rack at the gym and make sure you use proper form and weights that you can lift 3-8 times. Do this exercise before anything else in the gym for 4-5 sets to get big and powerful legs, as well as tighten up the muscles of the core. This is useful for both men and women, particularly if you enjoy the woman-on-top positions and standing positions. You can do hack squats on the machine if your gym lacks a power rack, but you won’t get the core-strengthening benefits

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                    Zercher squat
                      • Zercher squatsthis type of squat is a perfect way for guys to strengthen their body for standing positions where the woman is lifted off the ground. Build up a foundation of strength first, and then use lighter weights and go for 10-12 repetitions to focus on muscle endurance.

                      Glute bridge
                        • Glute bridgethis exercise is great for working the glutes and hip thrusters, and should be done for ultra-high reps —up to 100 — to increase muscle endurance. Once you become stronger in this movement, you can upgrade to the barbell glute bridge and keep the reps high — around 10 to 15.

                        Hyperextensions
                          • Hyperextensions – excellent for strengthening the spinal erectors, this exercise (or a variation of it) may be done in most gyms and even at home. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions at the end of your workout.

                          Ab wheel rollout
                            • Ab wheel rollout – this is a great exercise for strengthening the abs, and requires only a piece of inexpensive equipment. It will help you stay stable and hold positions longer without getting tired during intercourse. Do three sets of this workout for as many repetitions as you can.

                            Cross body crunch
                              • Cross body crunchthis exercise improves your ability to perform explosive twisting motions, particularly good for improving your stamina in the spoon position where you’e lying on your side. Do 2 to 3 sets of this exercise at the end of your workout.

                              Incorporate these exercises into your routine 2 to 3 times a week.

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                              3. Upper-Body Strength Training

                              Upper-body strength plays an important role in many popular sex positions where the arms are used to provide a stable base or hold onto the partner. These including missionary, doggy style, the stand and carry (with the woman holding onto the man’s neck) and others. Use these simple exercises to improve upper body strength and endurance:

                              Plank exercise
                                • Plank – while bench pressing is great for building a big chest, you will find yourself in need of static strength, muscle endurance and a strong core. This exercise is a great way to increase the amount of time you are able to hold positions that require you to support yourself with your arms. For added difficulty, straighten out your arms like at the top of a pushup and hold as long as you can.

                                Close grip pushups
                                  • Close pushups – a pushup variation that focuses on triceps, which are the first to give out during a prolonged missionary or similar position. Go for very high reps, 20 t0 50, to work on muscle endurance.

                                  Chin ups
                                    • Chin-ups – A great upper back and biceps builder, this exercise will also target the core if you try to be as straight as possible when lifting yourself up. You can jump to help make things easier, or just hold as long as you can if you aren’t strong enough to perform a single chin up. Do 3 to 4 sets for as many reps as you can.

                                    These exercises, done about three times a week, will help you develop a strong upper body that can keep going and hold you up for extended periods of time.

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                                    4. Pelvic-Floor Exercises

                                    You don’t have to perform these at the gym, although you could do them after your workout without anyone even noticing. The idea behind Kegel exercises is to improve blood flow to the sex organs and strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor in both men and women. By locating these muscles and tightening and relaxing them for intervals of 5 seconds for 10 to 15 repetitions at a time, several times a day, you can improve pleasure and performance during sex. Women can tighten their vaginal walls for increased pleasure to both them and their partner, while men can delay ejaculation by tightening these muscles.

                                    5. Flexibility Moves for Legs and Hips

                                    Lion stretching

                                      If you want to avoid getting cramps — or even worse, pulling a muscle during intercourse — you should do a few simple stretches every day. The more limber you are, the more comfortable you’ll be with more exotic poses. Here are a few simple stretches to improve hip and leg flexibility:

                                      Take a few minutes to warm up with some light running or jumping jacks before stretching, and spend some 10 minutes on these stretches. You can do them in the morning and at night, or shortly before intercourse.

                                      With just a few hours a week devoted to exercise, you can improve your relationship significantly. If you focus on these exercises, over time, you just might become dynamite in bed.

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