This trip, anyhow. I am in a hotel in Singapore, hanging out until my 6am flight back to LA via Narita, Japan. As I mentioned previously, I have been to Malaysia several times, and each time, I learn something new… about myself, about my family, about life.
Here’s a little recap:
Trip 1: Age 18 months
I think I learned that I could fly a 23 hour trip, no problem. Mom and I on our own.
Trip 2: Age 11
One of the fun ones. Visited Singapore for a bit, then spent quite a bit of time with family and cousins. When you are under 13, you get along with other kids who don’t speak the same language pretty easily. Learned that verbal language really doesn’t matter… people have the same expressions and emotions no matter what language you speak.
Trip 3: Age 23
Huge gap this go round. Had to get through high school and college first. This trip was a little different- it was the first time I brought a boyfriend with me to ‘meet the family’. They all loved him. We returned, dated a bit longer, then he ended up marrying his neighbor. It was fun at the time, we went to Pulau Redang… amazing island in north Malaysia. That trip made me realize whomever I marry one day is going to have to enjoy visiting family in Malaysia. Even though we didn’t end up together, he was a great traveler.
Trip 4: Age 31
My most profound of all trips. This trip I traveled alone and met my parents in Malaysia. It was the first time I didn’t have my brother or my boyfriend as my crutch. I had to immerse myself. And I did. I was minimally fluent by the end of my fourteen days and had bonded with my aunt and cousins for life. I understood why I was me- how half of me came from this place. It all made sense.
Trip 5: Age 35
The trips I take have a different filter now… it’s the filter of a nearly middle aged adult. I know, I look young (for those that know me). Even my Malaysian relatives think I look young. I act young too. Which I realized this trip, isn’t always a good thing. I had a lot of time to think… because that is what you do when you can’t speak. You think and you observe.
This trip solidified how much I love my family… these good good people. This country that is so friendly and welcoming. It reenforced to me that there is life outside the US bubble, that there are things that are new and interesting and things that I appreciate about my LA home… one thing I know for sure is that upon my return I am going to get a little more serious… time to clean out the house… and make some strides in buying a place?
I promised my aunt that I would come back with a husband. I also told her I would be back in lima tahun… five years. I’m gonna have fun the rest of 2012…and we’ll see if that will be the case in 2017!