It was a regular work day and had a sudden lunch date with my husband which took us through unknown streets that revealed another side of our town to me.
We had an errand to run in town and so we took the opportunity to take a walk around after it was done. I lived in a small historic city called Melaka in Malaysia, Asia. Some of you may know it, but most of you won’t have ever heard of it.
We walked through the back streets of an old row of shops in our town. The front side was a popular tourist spot, while the back was used mainly by the storekeepers as a means to stock up their shops.
I then spotted a signboard at a street junction. It was a signboard in the shape of an arrow, with the words Melbourne on it, and where we stood now was 6364 kilometers away from that city.
That was funny. I chuckled at it as I pointed it out to my husband.
But the words were also insightful.
It was funny because someone thought we needed a geographical reminder of how far we were from another city that was on a completely different continent from the one we were on.
But it also made me realize then that I haven’t traveled much in my lifetime.
Not even to the city of Melbourn, Australia which was an 8-hour flight away.
How small my world seemed then.
I’ve only seen this city from videos and images on my television or my computer screen.
The same goes for other countries that I’ve dreamed of visiting such as Japan and the cities in Europe.
The furthest I’ve ever gone to was Korea, and even that was due to a mandatory work trip.
Did I regret it?
Did I feel I was missing out on life?
In my thirty-plus years, I’ve not prioritized traveling.
I’ve not been outside of my country often, I’ve not seen different cultures nor tried out their cuisines.
In my early twenties, we didn’t have the type of income needed to go on overseas travel, having recently graduated, we worked most of the time and extra money went to repaying student loans and at the same time trying to save up for our wedding.
Fast forward 10 years later, my life was now filled with work, family, and children.
Time is now a tighter resource than our income was.
So where does that leave me now?
The pandemic was over and air travel has re-opened.
The kids were older and becoming more independent.
I stepped forward to reach my husband and placed my hand in his, and decided that I would plan a trip to Japan together with him.
It may be at the end of this year, or maybe next year, but it was finally time for a holiday to the country I had been wanting to visit for a long time.
Japan, you’re up.