Saturday, December 17, 2011

Home for the weekend :)

Waking up to takeaway chicken rice are the stuff dreams are made of. Just read the International Herald Tribune on my flight home and this article spoke volumes to me. It was entitled Time, Distance and Clarity and it started off about the sky looking bluer than it does almost anywhere else in Rome. I concur. And I continued to peruse the rest of the article. I've gotten used to traveling since I was young what with my mother's line of profession. And I'm blessed by my widened perspective of the world with my travels. But travels are for short periods of time. You get home before you really miss it. Then there was the exchange programme.

A chance of a lifetime (well, it is if you only applied for it once in your life) to McGill. No, it wasn't my first choice. UBC was. And I haven't heard of McGill before. And what a mistake I almost made not wanting to go. So I went. For two whole months all I saw was the side gates of campus and home. Tears more than threatened me in the day in between classes and boy did they overwhelm me in the nights. I called home daily. Even if conversations revolved around the weather and my meals. Fall was pretty with its colours. Life was good with pasta and potato meals. Good lecturers, even getting to make some friends. But. I still wanted to go home. One day after class, I took the main gates out and walked myself to Chinatown. The discovery of preserved radish, Chinese longevity noodles and packaged moon cakes were a turning point. I skipped home. Buildings looked great. I read up on the places to go, I even accepted an invite to the tallest bar in town for Halloween. Life was good. I just never noticed nor appreciated it. The sorrow of having wasted two months lies there. The writer hit it spot on when he wrote, "But it is also true that we're often plain oblivious to the scenery right in front of us. By being closest, it's farthest away."

Then there was Ponte Vecchio in Florence. I read up the guides, found it as one of the top ten things in Florence to see. I wanted to go. I had to right? Then here comes my brother. "why are we looking for this? Just because it's a World War Two survivor? What about the Kranji War Memorial, Fort Siloso. Those are from the WW II too and I don't see anyone rushing to see it?" then it got me. It's a tourist thing. I mean I've seen these sites since I'm taking national education/social studies in school. But what if I wasn't. Would I visit them? It's like a responsibility of a tourist. See the top ten. Do what everyone else has done. As if it was a trip requirement. I'm kicking myself for missing the Sunday markets just to go to the malls with my mum.

But at the end of the day, I'm thankful for every trip that I've gone on. It's never the same. Might be the company. Might be the sites. Could be the weather. Would be largely based on my attitudes. Bangkok year on year is never the same. Travel while you can. I know I'd do that as long as my legs could carry me. Hey, you can't carry money to the grave. Might as well spend it seeing the world. Living the life of a global traveller. So much to see, things to do, places to go. I'm looking forward to Bangkok on Monday already :)


steph said...

Were you in Canada the past 2 months? Lucky you! Reading your post makes me miss my exchange semester in USA. The carefree days of being a student! :) Mcgill is a pretty established university!

min~* said...

hey you! :) nope i just got back from italy a few hours back. everyone should have a chance at exchange. it's imperative for growing up :) lucky us! yeah i only knew that it was the harvard of canada AFTER i went. :p