Saturday, June 24, 2006
Lessons from holidays
We just came back from our holiday. This trip was special also because my brother was getting married. The lessons I learnt from this vacation can be spelt R-E-S-T.
Holidays have RHYTHM. There's a cycle to it. The work day before we go off and the first day we are back at work are often traumatic. Also after a holiday we can get back into the thick of action in an instant but it takes time to get into the holiday swing. Dinah and I couldn't sleep well the first three nights of the holiday.
Rhythm includes down times. On Monday we checked out of a chalet to wait for our taxi back to the city. We called the driver after waiting half-hour. He said to wait another hour. After another hour, we called but there was no signal. He finally arrived over 2 and half hours after the agreed time. He apologised but it was so hard to speak on the trip down. We got to my parent’s place at 3:30 pm for lunch. Later my brother drove us to the hotel. The system hung as we checked in. That day was unforgettable.
Holidays have ENJOYMENT. I enjoy our annual getaway because I look forward to catching up with family. My parents, my brothers and sister look forward to our annual pilgrimage. We enjoy each other's company much more than when we were kids.
Our twins look forward to seeing their cousins whom they meet once a year. They play so well together. Last year the twins joined this party of a friend of their cousin. This year we were back at about the same time so the twins were at the same birthday party as last year.
We also enjoy the company of my in-laws. My siblings have incredible spouses. May's husband, Johnson takes us for seafood each time we're back. Stan's wife, Anthea booked the chalets this time. She even packed groceries for the cabin. We are so happy because their first child arrives this September. We got them a nice stroller for their baby. We finally met Wendy, the latest addition to our family. Harry’s a fortunate guy.
The whole family enjoyed many extended dinners with home-cooked dishes and plenty of fresh fruits followed by wedding arrangements. I definitely had too many mangoes from my parent's garden. One night we had food tasting for the dishes before the wedding banquet. We enjoyed two seafood dinners. Dinah loved the baby lobsters. My sister brought us for local beef noodles. Dinah and I spent an evening with Stan, Anthea, May and Johnson as Harry met his in-laws with my parents. Most of our lunches were with my parents at their home. One exception was on Sunday when we lunched with old friends Chiew Bong and Dora.
Harry’s wedding banquet was very grand complete with live performers. I met once again with long lost cousins, relatives and friends. My old friend Martin came with his parents.
Holidays involve SLOWING. Modern living include overload, but we can't always live in overload. I need sanity breaks. Up in the highlands, both our phones had no signal. This was a good thing. We experienced unhurried reading. I prepared simple breakfasts.
In the day we explored nature trails. Deb picked acorns from oak trees and wild mangosteens from the cloud forest. We strolled around the cool and misty botanical garden.
At the cabin, we enjoyed devotion times by the verandah with the sounds of the running stream and birds chirping. Later at the hotel, we enjoyed devotions at the room balcony. The scenery of the blue sea, islands in the background and the landscaped pool by twilight was just majestic.
Holidays are also THERAPEUTIC. They soothe the soul. We savoured the weather at the National Park. I just love the view of Mt Kinabalu. This is the tallest in South East Asia at over 4,000 metres. I've been here several times and climbed the peak once but its Dinah and the kids' first time. (Here's a photo) The 2-storey chalet we had was well equipped. We drifted off to sleep to the sound of crickets accompanied by croaking.
We spent one night at Poring. It’s the first time for Dinah and the twins here. It’s a natural hot spring where the water is supposed to have cleansing properties. The Canopy Trail was a tough climb followed by three linked-bridges that joined very high trees in the rainforest. It was scary but Dan loved it. We trekked to a water fall where we sat around throwing smooth stones into the clear water.
In the city we made full use of the hotel's Olympic-size pool. It was a beautiful hotel. In the room, the kids challenged us in board games. It must have been therapeutic for the kids to beat us.
On the last day, we were sad to leave. We miss our family already. But we are thankful for the time we had and look forward to next year. We love our annual North Borneo escapes.