I’ve Changed

I realized during this family vacation that what I look for when we travel is no longer the same as late as say 4 years ago.

I realized that I much prefer the slow life, going out of our rental or hotel at slightly before lunch and preferring to stay nearby. None for me now the thrill of seeking new places, photos of landmarks or even shopping.

And I used to laugh when I heard how some older people spent their vacation, visiting familiar places, doing familiar things, relaxing by the pool, reading a book … I think I am getting there.

No city tours this time, no hop-on hop-off. No guidebook of where one SHOULD go and eat. Our schedules are very flexible.

I worry my children are not as curious as I was at their age. I remember after university, with our railpass, me and my friend averaged one town/city a day. We took a lot of photos, we walked a lot, we muddled along.

But my kids seem not to be interested with seeing landmarks.

They say they are enjoying themselves. I console myself with the thought that they are learning something by being exposed to different cultures. Otherwise, it seems pointless doing this kind of vacation. We might as well stay home.


Booked on the last flight home, I was prepared for a longish wait since evening flights are ALWAYS delayed. I settled in the pre-departure lounge with a magazine when I heard loud English voices. I looked up and made eye contact with one who was trying to be funny about opening a bottle of beer with an ice pincher. He raised his bottle to me and I smiled at him and went back reading.

I was midway through the magazine when I heard someone say, Excuse Me. I ignored it but it seemed near and so I looked up. Turned out, the loud guy with his younger male companion were in the sofa behind me.

He made small talk. A very loud and funny but not obnoxious Englishman from Nottingham who was in flip-flops and who was putting his bare feet on the low table. It was unnerving and told him so. And he joked that women loved his feet.

Turns out he is on vacation in the Philippines, visiting his nephew, the younger companion. I don’t know if he was flirting with me but he was funny in a very overt sort of way. And the fact that he just got married a few months ago, as pointed out by his nephew, was glossed over in his jokes.

I did not take him seriously. He was too obvious to be taken seriously.

Boarding for their flight was soon announced. His nephew said his goodbyes, introduced himself and we exchanged pleasantries. Uncle on the other hand asked for my number. It was so unexpected I burst out laughing. No, I told him, no number. He was just sooo obvious, I couldn’t stop guffawing. I told him to hurry up or he’d miss his flight. He bussed my cheek, I didn’t mind. In my part of the island, bussing each other on the cheeks is an accepted form of greeting.

And they left, with him flirting with the female servers along the way. 🙂

He actually made my day. Thank you stranger. I forgot his name.