I have not taken “my annual leave” for two years, and had accumulated over 28 days of holidays, therefore, we have decided to take a summer holiday this year.
We have been roaming around the US and Canada for about a month, within this month, we have visited New York, New Jersey (for “Day Out with Thomas”, a must if you have a 5 years old, who has over 100 pieces of Thomas the Tank Engine toys), then we headed to Orlando, Florida and spent 9 days there. And we flew up to Toronto and visited Hamilton before coming back home to Hong Kong. Air mileage accumulated 57,460km/ 35,690miles. We did quite a bit of driving as well.
As things settled, after two weeks of jet-lag mainly due to my son waking up consistently at 3:00am, everything is pretty much back to normal.
After 2 weeks of school. School has started for my son, and it’s his last kindergarten year, senior kindergarten (random thought: it makes it sound so old… what does that make me?), I feel like things are getting stagnant again, my “wanderlust” is racking up. I keep thinking about “where to go next?”, I had the urge of going to visit Aussie Land, down under with my son, around Christmas, but it seems like Christmas is too far away. (I am setting my countdown to Christmas, and it’s 105 days away!) That makes me think, as we human became more urbanised, and we no longer need to physically wrestle and struggle with their game, or grow our own crops or travel with herds for nomads, there seems to much higher need to travel.
I was reading the Happiness Project during my trip, as I mentioned in my last blog. I have decided to start my own happiness project. And it made me think about what would make me happy. Travelling definitely makes me happy, but what was it about travelling that makes me happy, I wonder? Going through customs sure doesn’t make me happy. Lugging around heavy luggage sure is no fun, okay, call me weird, but to be honest I like packing. Visiting friends and catching up, yes, but they have their lives too, so you can only do that every so often. Visiting touristic sights, amusement parks and staying at resorts, yes, but is that what makes me happy? Or is it the human connection? When my son and I go on thrill rides together, the exchange of anticipation seems to makes us happy, therefore we don’t mind the 50 minutes plus wait (Thank you Disney, for coming up with Fast-pass!) What makes Disneyland/ DisneyWorld, the happiest place on earth? I remember the genuine smiles and laughter of my son on every ride, although some were quite thrilling, but we seem to enjoy that too. I think Gretchen Rubin is right on, when she wrote that being happy makes people do good.
I remember this little scene from our trip. My son and I were waiting for the train that takes us from Main Street Disney to Fantasyland. And the ride was super packed that morning. There was no empty rolls left, so a ” happy” looking lady asked her family to scoot over to fit my son and I in her roll. It was very kind of her, I am not sure if she was happy therefore she was kind, or her kindness made her happy. But her kindness towards us made me happy. I expressed my gratitude and we started talking about how pack it was that day, and my son and I was there the day before and the train was pretty much complete vacant. As we enter into Frontierland, the recording on the ride tells us how the natives living in the area lived, and how animals of the forrest lived in this part of the woods, fake deers. All of a sudden, both me and the “happy” mom, both spotted a real living deer wandering into the area. We both exclaimed that “it was a real one”, and we were both amazed, and it was purely a magical moment for the both of us. (Hindsight: I had seen that same deer the day before, lying down in a very natural non-disney manner. I wasn’t sure it was real, but seeing it the next day confirmed, I wasn’t seeing things.) Thinking about this magical moment surely made me happy.
I wish to say “hello” to that “Happy” Mom. And thank her again for letting us on the ride and sharing that happy “deer” spotting moment with me!