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some travel reflections

Hello…

hello…

hello…

Is anybody out there??

Apologies for simply abandoning this blog the moment my last law exam EVER was over.  All I can say is that getting my affairs in order and packing was more time-consuming than I thought and since coming back, it’s been ‘pedal to the metal’ (hope I’ve used the expression right!) with Christmas preparations and what nots.

Though a mere 11 days, my overseas trip was both life-changing and life-affirming.  I’m still working through the lessons I’ve learnt along the way but here are a few reflections to begin with:

1. I’m a lot more independent and street-smart than I get credit for.

I know many people who already did the whole backpacking through Europe multiple times since finishing high school but this was the first time that I’ve ever travelled alone.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure how I would fare but I guess you never know until you try, right?  I realised along the way, that my parents have taught me pretty well and I’m actually quite comfortable getting around a foreign place once I get a hang of the transport system :).

2. Church = Family.

When I met new believers for the first time, usually they will say that when they first enter a church, they feel a sense of God’s love for them and it feels like they’ve come home.  For perhaps the first time in my life, I experienced that for myself as I attended churches or life groups miles away from my own home church.  Each time I joined a new group of believers, conversation just flowed so effortlessly and I felt at ease almost instantly.  I was starting to miss home a bit after leaving Singapore and arriving in HK, but the moment I walked into a church service on Sunday morning, I felt the overwhelming presence and love of God just wash over me and I felt like I had come home… There’s really nothing like being part of the family of God :).

3. I really love my heritage.

During my trip, I found a new sense of appreciation for the inventiveness of the Asian race.  From little things like the ‘S’ shape hooks that were used anywhere and everywhere to hang things in your household to how incredibly efficient their transport systems were  – as an aside, I have a newfound understanding of why people complain so much about Melb’s transport system: when I was waiting 30 mins for a delayed train at Richmond station last Weds, I thought, “This would never happen in Singapore!”

However, the drive to be more efficient and productive also has it’s drawbacks.  People are working longer hours and often on the weekends.  Relationships suffer as a result – a friend told me that the divorce rate in HK is apparently double that of Australia: somewhat odd I would have thought for an Asian/Western country comparison.  When I heard that, I silently thanked God that I live and will be beginning work next year in a nation known for being ‘laid back’ and in a firm that values and advocates for ‘work-life’ balance.

As I was lining up to board my flight back to Australia though, I encountered a bunch of young men who were very rowdy and rude, sniggering and making jokes about a mother and her baby who were also in line.  I could tell from strong accents that they were also from the country I called home.  The swell of pride that I had of being Australian that I had before, slowly deflated and I was left with the revelation that no matter what culture you grow up in, there will be the good and the bad.  Hopefully, having an Asian upbringing in a Western environment means that I can take the good from both cultures and live a purpose-driven life with but knowing when to take it easy, living with honour, respect and integrity.

I think that’s enough for now hehe

More to come, I’m sure ;).

– Ames – 

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