We recently came back from summer holiday Down Under this year. As usual, Mei and Min Min were great throughout the 8 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, Australia. Seasoned travellers, the girls have been flying on planes since they were 3 weeks old. The girls were thrilled to be back in Australia.
We’ve had some warm, blue skies days and the odd cold days there (well, anything less than 28°C/ 82°F is cold for me!) The air is so pure and clean, and the ocean breeze is so invigorating. I miss it now that I’m back in smoggy Kuala Lumpur. We all caught a cold whilst on holiday, most probably from the flight filled with sniffy, coughing travellers. But a mere cold and cough isn’t going stop us from enjoying our holiday. I’ve brought along my stash of supplements and remedies as usual.
We haven’t been back to Sydney for a couple of years, so it was really interesting to note the differences between this trip and our previous stays. Mei is now so much more sociable and engaging, easily rekindling old friendships with family and friends, giving everyone a kiss and a hug and joining in effortlessly. Everyone commented on how much the girls have progressed.
Min Min used to be scared of the beach. The sound of the crashing waves, the rolling surf, the feel of the sand – it was sensory overload for her. I remember watching Mei and her father playing on the beach while Min Min and I watched from a distance. But now, Min Min happily plays in the surf, making sand castles and enjoying the ocean air.
I find that we are able to do so much more now compared to our previous trips. Previously Mei’s low energy levels, frequent bouts of fatigue and low muscle tone meant that we needed strollers everywhere we went. By 3pm, she would have no energy to do anything else for the rest of the day. The flagging energy levels were also a precursor to meltdowns and temper tantrums. Now, with her improved health and stamina, Mei thoroughly enjoyed her Aussie adventure as she calls it. I made sure we brought along RevitaPops or MB12 lozenges to maintain our energy levels.
We visited a farm where the girls spent the day feeding sheep, riding ponies, bottle feeding baby goats, cuddling baby chicks and ducklings and milking cows. We went to the Blue Mountains and explored the caves. We’ve been to barbecues and picnics, the girls even ate a lamb chop each! Mei and Min Min aren’t big meat eaters, preferring carbs to protein. So it was a big deal indeed. We attended a Christmas concert on the beach and the girls sang and danced along with the music and enjoyed the fireworks. Previously Min Min was terrified of fireworks, but you should have seen the look of pure joy on her face this time. We walked to the beach, the park or the playground every day. Best of all, no temper tantrums, meltdowns or episodes of rage. It was simply the best vacation we have ever had.
What a huge difference two years make. On our previous trip to Australia, I found it demanding and exhausting. The girls were more challenging and still displaying some autistic traits. And I must admit, I was not at my best either. I was carrying around too much grief and anger, not taking care of my physical and emotional health, still too stressed out and unable to enjoy a family vacation. This time around, we were all much healthier, happier and relaxed. We were able to do so much more on this vacation compared to before. All that hard work has paid off.
I couldn’t have imagined such a wonderful vacation 2 years ago, it just goes to show that things do get better. Also, I must remind myself to occasionally take a step back and reflect on the gains, to enjoy the rewards, to always be present and be in the moment rather than just get through the day. 2012 has been a good year for us. Here’s hoping for more fabulousness in 2013. Happy New Year!