There’s a long list of stuff I want to do in Singapore. As I said in my travel planning post, I managed to fill four pages in my notebook after half an hour of research.
But none of the museums, landmarks, cultural centres, foodie spots or tours are the real must dos for me.
What I’m actually most excited to do in Singapore is spend time with my mom.
Sure it sounds cheesy, but it’s true!
A Travelling Family Connection
I’m literally only in this country to visit my mom after not seeing her for months.
Travelling the way I do, with very little foresight into where I’ll be in a few months, makes it hard for people to catch up to me. Thanks to technology, I’m able to call my family weekly to ensure them I’m alive and catch up on the latest family gossip.
But that’s not the same as being with them.
Many of my family members can’t or don’t travel. My little sister won’t go outside of a 24-hour driving radius of our house. My dad is a workaholic who owns his own company, so it’s hard to step away for a trip.
My mom, luckily, already travels for work. She always manages to plot ways to find me across the globe. When I lived in Italy, she moved to London so she could visit easily (and so she could live in London, because who wouldn’t want that!). Last year, we met up in Prague and Morocco after work trips to London. And now that I’m in New Zealand, she’s managed to meet me in Singapore (or I was able to follow her to Singapore, more accurately).
Getting to see my mom when I’m travelling makes me feel like my family isn’t that far away. (Facetime definitely helps with that, too!)
Travelling with a Purpose
Travelling with a purpose that isn’t actually to travel is sort of weird.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t still make the most of the opportunity to visit a new place. But it means that my focus isn’t on milking every ounce of adventure. I don’t want to burn myself out running around the city to do everything (especially because it is so crazy hot here!). I’d rather go at a slower pace so I have the energy to spend my evenings with my mom.
It’s really different than my usual travel style, where I often end up back at my AirBnB by 6pm, exhausted from exploring and full from dinner to pass out by 9pm. I don’t really talk to people beyond pleasantries. Often, I just lay around watching Netflix until it’s a reasonable hour to sleep.
The differences mean that it does take some work for me to find my rhythm with the travel portion of my trip. I still want to see what I can and learn about Singaporean culture. But my “must dos” are now waiting to have breakfast with my mom and making sure I’m back at the hotel when she finishes work.
Catching Up > Everything
I can’t wait to spend this week with my mom, catching up after being away for 5 months (have I really been in New Zealand for that long??). It doesn’t matter that the weather forecast seems to be an endless stream of lightning bolts. Or that my jet lag is INTENSE (I blame working full time … and not sleeping on the 10 hour flight).
It just matters that I get to be with part of my family for the week.
So, I’m going to focus on enjoying my time with my mom this week. Even if it means seeing a few less sights or waiting for her to finish work in our crazy nice hotel room (the sacrifices I make for her! :p)
Because, honestly, what I’ll most value from this trip is the time I got to spend with her.
How do you connect to your family when you’re away?