For my last-day-of-the-year and new year’s reading, a friend of mine (the same one who sent me the link that inspired my travelling solo post) gave me this interesting article, “Busy isn’t respectable anymore”.
Which got me thinking.
I certainly have been guilty of some of the notion of busyness that was mentioned in the article. However, if there was one accomplishment that I have achieved in 2013, it would be that the fact that I still feel I am living in Singapore despite travelling out almost every month to about 10 countries in a year. That I’m not too busy travelling to actually be in Singapore.
Which is such a contrast to how I felt in 2011. I did very frequent travelling back then as well, but I felt very distanced from what was happening here. That was why in 2012, I decided to travel much more sparingly and to have longer gaps in between. That seemed to work okay until nearing the end of the year when all hell broke loose. I felt so suffocated by the lack of travel that I decided to take off for a solo trip to Europe. (Now you see how the different pieces come together? All these travels are meant to be, really).
So being the overanalyser that I am, I tried to analyse what was so different last year (yes, 2013 is already last year) and 2011.
It came down to this: I got my priorities straight.
I guess last year, I took the time to figure what it is that makes Singapore home to me. (My parents will be very upset reading this. But just to clarify, Jakarta will always be my home and Singapore is home in the sense of where I’m based and live most of the time). And after much pondering, here are my simple ingredients of what makes Singapore a home:
1. My sister
2. A select group of friends
3. My work (I know, I know…)
4. Exercise regime
So in-between my packed travel schedule, here were some of the things I did that helped:
- Took a day to rest (at least) after each trip. It is important to recover from post-travel blues and fatigue before you can do anything.
- Signed up for activities at home. One of the mistakes I did in 2011 was that I treated Singapore as a transit place and pretty much lived out of my suitcase. Nothing memorable seemed to happen during the ‘in-betweens’. Last year, I participated in a lot more activities and filled up the time gaps with excitement, from dragon boating, netball, wakeboarding, went for F1, concerts, you name it. Singapore is a very exciting place after all!
- Initiated meet ups with important friends. I made deliberate effort to meet them for movies, meals and celebrate their birthdays because I want to see them and know what is going on in their lives.
- Had a routine at home. In my attempt to live healthily (save the occasional cakes that I can’t resist), I have tried cooking a lot more at home with my sister. So whenever I’m back in Singapore, I will make sure that I fall back to my cooking routine and life feels back to normal instantly. (And I get some quality time with my sister while chopping the garlic and onion).
- Exercised regularly. Exercising helps to recuperate. And since this forms an important part of my life in Singapore, I make sure that I have regular physical activities scheduled so that I can just start it again when I’m not travelling.
- Did my work well. People spend 70% (or more) of their day at work. So when you feel accomplished in the office, those times spent poring over the Excel spreadsheets become more meaningful. I took my holidays as motivation to work hard, knowing that the reward from exciting travels would be even more felt after all the sweat.
What are some of the things you do between your travels?