I won’t be recommending places of interests in Singapore to visit as ways to achieve family bonding – there are aplenty of that on the Internet – and coupled with resourcefulness and an adventurous spirit the whole of Singapore is really your oyster if you are game to try anything!
An article I read did make me think a little more deeply about how we plan our annual family vacations / celebrate family togetherness every year
Tracking one’s expenses and aligning it with one’s values is not something new ; however, the article serves an excellent reminder of how to contain one’s expenses (budgeting) and increase savings for investment.
So I applied what this article advocated and asked the following questions about our annual overseas family vacations:
a)Does this expense align with our values?
b)What value does it align with?
c)Is there a substitute that might cost less?
Our answers to the questions were:
b)Celebrating family togetherness
c)Yes, there were substitutes that cost less (and would still honour that value)
And so that was how an article triggered an intentional spending decision : I decided to put into practice what I had learnt from the article
You see, one way in which our family bond is spending time together away from the hustle and bustle of daily rigours so that we can update ourselves on one another’s lives in a whole different setting – we achieve this via our annual family trips overseas.
But what if that annual vacation or vacations become so ‘predictable’ until our children become desensitised to its actual intention and take it as a rule rather than an exception?
“Is it possible to not travel overseas and yet bond as a family? What might be some low-cost substitutes that the family will enjoy? Also, what other family values can I impart here?” I asked myself.
So this year the family went ‘cold turkey’ and just stayed put in Singapore..
What were some gleaned wisdom?
1)Family togetherness can take place right here right now
I realised one does not need to wait for what one might think is that perfect holiday to carry out family bonding
We participated in quite a few SG50 events (there were quite a few dotted all over Singapore this year 2015 to celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday)and we did make use of those outings to spend quality time together..
We exchanged dumb jokes during meals..
In adhering to the perpectual rule of no handphones at meals which everyone cooperated we had more time to chit chat..
(unless we were taking pictures of our food..that is getting to be a very hard habit to break *blush*)
Then, other than participating in public shows, we frequented as many ‘vintage’ Singapore restaurants I had gathered on my Pinterest social media page. This was in alignment with our value to suss out ‘value-for-money’ food..
Really..we just wanted to enjoy a nice meal in a nice place and not pay through the nose for it..if the service was responsive and welcoming that would have been a bonus and made us feel over the moon…
And after all our weekend haunts,so far, we feel that the Mariner’s Corner Restaurant at 120 Cantonment Road offers the best ‘value-for-money’ set lunch courses ; we also loved the homey setting and prompt service!
2)Listening to one another
It’s not rocket science but an obvious way of awakening bonding arises from simply listening to our family members – then one will be able to pick out the ‘messages’ and feelings and from that very moment on interacting with that person based on the gathered ‘cues’ gels a relationship bringing it one step up…
This takes place any time , anywhere..
3)Attitudes are very contagious
I allowed the gravity of truth to sink into me that a parent’s attitudes can rub off on a child – so, was I influencing my children to believe they must travel in order to be happy?
Would my new attitude of embracing all that life gives to me along the way of which i must be ready to accept and receive gratefully (a much better attitude) rub off on my children?
Below is one of my favourite pictures which shows ways to be happy and grateful every day – I absolutely take a different one every other day..to carry out …crossing out the ones I have tried..it worked wonders on my despondent mood during this December holiday when we stayed put..I suspect it had also built a habit of cultivating positivity on a daily basis 🙂
4)It’s really most important to stay physically healthy
One might think gathering newer experiences whilst travelling would make one the happiest ever but during this period I have embraced the fact that waking up every day and being able to have normal vision, being able to walk and eat without any serious medical issues would be the most cherished thing ever
I no longer deny that if one is physically unwell, one can forget about enjoying any ‘quality of life’ and also any ‘lifelong learning’…period.
5)Disciplined times call for very creative measures
There was this time we ate satay at Lau Pa Sat market …kinda like al fresco dining amongst alot of Singaporean foodfare and sitting at a table nestled among overseas visitors as well as locals ..
I guess it might have been a novel experience for the children as they are seldom required to travel to Raffles Place located in the Central Business District.
And so after being shrouded in barbeque fumes..for a whole one hour ..and tucking into forty sticks of marinated beef,pork and mutton skewered on sticks and dunking each one into gooey tangy peanut sauce, that experience pretty much put a twist on a ‘festive’ treat on a Christmas eve 🙂
yes, I had found lower-cost options and applied intentional spending aligned with our family value…
I had learnt that an overseas holiday is not the only way to cultivate family bonding and create happiness…
I had also learnt that family bonding can consist of worst moods, pretty much normal in daily life occurences. However, through such storms and stresses, the family grows closer too, having experienced the worst of one another..
It nurtures patience amongst the young which is an important trait in deferred gratification..
Hence I must admit staying put this December hols offered quite a plethora of life skills, not just for the children but also for the adults!!