I was in Vancouver last week to attend a funeral of a family member. It was a hectic few days but all the ceremonies were very well-organised and dignified. I was glad to catch up with every one despite the occasion and the jet lag, and also see a little bit more of the city since I was last there over ten years ago. I even managed to have a quick run in Stanley Park after waking up too early in the morning. Vancouver is a beautiful city and has seemed to stay that way after so many years (whilst Hong Kong has become more polluted and crowded).
On the way back I was on the same flight as several of my cousins and we met up at check-in at midnight for the 2am flight. Interestingly we were all in different sections of the plane, and I only reflected on it this in the middle of the flight after several episodes of Arrow and a simple dinner of tomato pasta. It suddenly hit me that even though we were seated in different sections of the plane, we were all just trying to get from A to B. Like life, we can each take different paths and move at different speeds in getting from A to B, and for the majority of the time, it does not matter much what we do as long as we are aware that we are moving in the right direction and enjoying the moments. I guess what I want to say is, as long as we know our destination and how we want to get there, it may not be worth our while to worry too much about the day-to-day details. Positively lowering our stress levels whilst dealing with our daily lives would actually help us see more clearly where we are going and be better in choosing the right path, as we are taking the time to focus on the big picture. We can afford more compassion towards ourselves and others as travel companions, as we are all in this together, navigating our way from A to B.
The other thing I find is that flying on a long-haul flight often gives me the space and time to think and reflect. Even though I am amongst a plane-full of people, with my headphone on and the cabin darkened, I can become calm and focussed enough to enjoy and indulge in some ‘me time’ - a luxury – as I’m physically removed from the hussel bussel of my daily urban life (with no where to go for more than a few hours and no interferences from phone calls, emails, whatsapp etc). It is often during these times that I am able to distill my preceding days and reflect on my experiences, to draw some learning from the reflection and decide if I want to change anything going forward. I cherish my “me time” very much and I hope you can find yours too.