Fun times come in all (economic) packages
We all dream of DisneyWorld. The happiest place on earth they say. And in reality I can't wait to take my kids there as soon as I'm able to. But I want us to have fun in the meantime.
I don't want to live or raise a family that just waits for the Best thing to happen while we do nothing in the present.
The thought of 'just waiting for the big prize' makes me feel like I'll decompose on the inside.
I think I get this zest for experience from my parents. We did 2 vacations every year. One was work combined with sight-seeing and the other was family time. Even if it meant just going to see cousins and spending time at an aunt's place.
So I grew up learning that we could live in the moment and take a lot of pleasure from the beach and pani puri. Those moments were no less than memories I made as when I had fun frolicking in the snow at Kashmir.
For me as a child, I remember bringing in half the beach home in my underpants 😜. I remember being in awe at the Jew Town Synagogue in Cochin.
And then I was just as awestruck when I landed at Changi Airport and drove into the city.
The matka tea at Lalkuan, Uttarakhand, is etched in my memory and so is the tea and cookies at a bistro in London's Portobello Road Market.
I wonder now though if my kids and their generation are losing this awe for the smaller details.
It increasingly is becoming about things, and thrills. Short term gratification, and the next best video being posted.
To be fair, the internet does make for a good baby-sitter in a lot of times. It's just not fair on the kids to be dragged around town on some days, and I do give in and let them do their own thing as long as we get to be under the same roof.
I have to keep reminding the kids to get their heads out of their phone screens and look out the window and observe people and landscapes.
That a trip can be made without hoarding on things, is still a pill not quite being swallowed. But they're sweet tiny humans and so they try hard and agree later that they actually did enjoy it, once they gave it a chance. Of course that's sometimes followed by, 'but you still owe me those shoes next time'🤪
That the times you spend with your friends trying to find everything on the treasure hunt list and painting at your best friend's home, or racing against each other in a video game is to be cherished too. And thankfully, I have a few like-minded friends whose homes are a safe and fun haven for my kids.
So I'm trying hard to keep the spirit alive. Within myself and the family. The spirit of awe and happiness.
And understanding that when I can, I'll unabashedly do the fancy. I'll take pictures and feel emotions and try and stretch the day to its fullest. Buy the airiest fabric and the 'glitteryiest' bracelet. Appreciate all the glitz and the smell of luxury. Sit back and bite into a gourmet macaroon at Laduree.
But when I can't, I'll watch and see the details in that not-so-fancy situation too!
Take pictures of detailing on the wild flowers and roadside Sunflower fields.
Smell in the fresh crisp air and see the camels huddled together alongside the highway.
Enjoy the burst of flavours at a roadside stall.
Fall asleep on the lounge chairs at Colva Beach and then wake up to chase after our slippers
being pulled in by the waves.
Feel my heart soar at the sound of my kids finding a new baby crab or rummaging for gently-used stationery at GAWT Charity Shop.
Kiss my husband and kids at random mile markers or new places.
My point is summed up really well by Marty the Zebra from Madagascar, "I don't care where we are. As long as we're together, it doesn't matter to me."