On the road alone
Ella Tan | On 29, Jan 2015
“Travelling alone is the best thing that I did,” my mom says, reminiscing about her days tromping for business to Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, and further afield for holidays in India, Nepal, China, Mongolia, Egypt, Melbourne, Turkey and the Middle East.
Now a full-time housewife, she takes care of my retired father, but even at 62, she chafes at having her wings clipped when she yearns to take off for adventure in exotic lands again.
“Being alone on the road gives you an opportunity to gain valuable experience about the world, people, food, foreign customs and traditions. You stop being ignorant and start appreciating things you might have never noticed. You open your heart. You become more of a listener than speaker.” – http://etramping.com/10-benefits-of-travelling-solo-at-least-once-a-year/
My mother would absolutely agree! What she learnt on her travels:
1. How to cook dishes from other cuisines eg from Thailand – pad Thai, 3-spice fried fish, tom yum, from the Middle-East – keema, and from Indonesia – marinated grilled beef.
2. To be open to new friendships. Till today, she stays in touch with a Thai family who have become our family friends. Every time we visit Bangkok, we visit them for a home-cooked meal, or stay at their house which is in a “kampung” and catch catfish in their backyard or fish in the river.
3. To appreciate life in Singapore. In India, the living conditions made her feel fortunate for whatever we have. She told us about a “gangster syndicate” which bullied kids into getting donations from foreigners.
4. To be sensitive and informed about other cultures, and to be aware in unfamiliar surroundings.