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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Next Stop: Second Honeymoon?

Feeling very excited as I type on this keyboard in the still of the night at 2.25am. Everyone else is asleep at home, and I'm here sitting at my work desk trying to complete as many tasks as I can before we jet set this Saturday! 🛫

I've briefly shared on Instagram Stories and Dayre about our upcoming trip, but haven't officially mentioned anything on Instagram or the blog yet cos I've been just so swamped! Very motivated by our trip to work hard now so I can enjoy later!

Before I go into the details, just a little background story about Boon and I, 
and how we feel about travels.

Prior to getting married, we never really went on holidays alone together as a couple, because my parents set really strict rules for me, and also because we personally felt it would be more meaningful to travel together after we're married too. So one of the things that we REALLY looked forward to was travelling together. After 8 years of dating, we tied the knot and then began our travels as a married couple.

As compared to others, we may not have travelled the globe as widely as they have (individually maybe, but not really much as a couple). We've been to Bali together for our honeymoon (which was just amazing- first time travelling alone together!), and then Sydney and Melbourne for a friend's wedding where we spent a little more than a week there, Bangkok for my work trips every other quarter for 2 years plus, Tokyo for our 10 days in heaven lol, Sydney again for Hillsong Conference, and then Sydney again for Babymoon at 4 months pregnant, and then Sydney one more time for Color Conference hahahahaha. Until a point Boon banned us from going to Sydney in the next 5 years 😂😂

Our last trip abroad just the two of us was our Babymoon in Sydney, which we're glad we made happen (though it's to Sydney again hahaha sorry la I choose one). You know how they always say, "Go travel as much as you can before the baby comes"? We took that advice, and made it a point to just enjoy our last trip as a couple before we become a family!

Some pics from our Babymoon in 2015.

Looking back, I DID have that pregnancy glow! Now all I have glowing are oil on my forehead from all the stress lolol kidding! But yeah now no glow edi la hahahah.

Tyler thanks for making me glow 😂✨

Things you never knew you'd miss- just simply strolling slowly, stopping by to see things, take pictures, just chat and laugh at each other.

Nowadays? With an active toddler, no such thing man. No strolling (it's chasing now), no stopping by to see things (cos the boss won't let us stop yo), no taking pictures (it's too difficult a task now), no just chat and laugh (cos we'll be too focused on chasing Tyler before he disappears into the crowd) 😅

Another thing that we miss?

Eating slowly and peacefully 😂 Nowadays it's feeding Tyler first, then it's keeping him occupied and well-behaved with his books and whatever not we can find that may amuse him for a bit, while we quickly chomp down out food and leave before he's bored and begins fussing.

Can you spot my 4 months old baby bump here? Tyler inside! 👶

Another thing we miss? (OMG seems like we miss a lot of things! Hahaha)

Just looking into each other's eyes, and really enjoy the company of each other. Just us in a foreign land where nobody knows us, and we know nobody. Just us exploring and getting lost, finding new sights and eats together, making memories in that simple manner.

Nowadays we only look into each other's eyes when Tyler is asleep, or when he hasn't woken up hahaha. When Tyler is awake, the only eyes we stare into are his (when we lecture him for being naughty) 😂😂

Of course, don't get me started on out Tokyo trip in 2014!

Look at how youthful we used to be...dewy skin and all...before our sleep got ruined forever 😂

Hahahaha just kidding this photo was taken with some beauty filter one hahaha. We never looked this flawless in real life, we still don't and probably never will 😂

Train rides going anywhere.

Squeezing in the rush hour with other people's armpits in our faces and laughing our asses off about the entire experience.

We tried train rides with Tyler before! LRT, BTS in Bangkok. In which he would go and touch other passenger's bags, shoulder, and want to run around which is a nightmare la. So we'll hold him tight to which he will fuss and scream. Doesn't seem like the Tyler you see on Instagram right? Hahahaha this is real life yo. Every toddler is liddis. We just no hands and no mood to Insta anything when he's throwing a tantrum.

Don't get me started on Tokyo Disneysea. OMG don't.

Recently I received an interview question that asks,
"What are some of the the happiest moments of your life?"

My answer was:
"When I got married, when we were in Tokyo Disneysea, and when Tyler was born."

This was how much I enjoyed Tokyo Disneysea. I was so happy, so free, I was like a kid in a candy land, running around with Boon without a care in the world.

To be honest, after one and a half years of being a mom (plus 10 months of pregnancy), I do miss feeling and being carefree. Now that I constantly have someone I'm responsible for, I can never feel 100% carefree cos I am always worried, especially if Tyler falls or injures himself. Ever since becoming a mom, I've become a paranoid and imagine things in the worst case scenarios and scare myself all the time. Cos...prevention is better than cure right? So that has changed me quite a bit.

Don't get me wrong though. Reason I'm sharing all of these things isn't to rant or complain about life as a mom. As much as many, many things have changed around and in me, I am more than happy and blessed to be a mother to Tyler. He's a gift that we prayed so hard for, and he's such a joy to us (not so much when he's being naughty la hahaha) and we love him no matter what.

It's just that there are days that I miss feeling free, and not having to look out for a little person all the time. Days that I miss just devoting all my attention to Boon and fall in love again and again like youngsters do lolol. Days that we get to really rest and feel truly recharged the next morning. I've been feeling tired for as long as I can remember seriously. It's like a tiredness that never goes away. Probably only when Tyler and his sibling(s) start going to uni 😅

That didn't stop us from planning another trip with Tyler though, this time a long distance trip some more! Without thinking that much, this brave couple bought tickets to London with a one and a half year old toddler, and was excitedly looking forward to spending fun, family time together! London is one of my bucket list destinations so I was really looking forward!

Until one day...

...when I went back to my parents' place for a meal and my dad started persuading me to leave Tyler with them, while me and Boon take this trip as a second honeymoon.

At first it was straight on no for me. 

"No laaaaaa, we want to spend family time together! It's a family trip!"

"No laaaa, it's okay we already expected not to be able to see or do a lit with a toddler in tow."

"No laaaaa how to leave him for 12 days? We will miss him terribly and you guys will have to take care of him for so long!"

I was giving all the No's, until I ran out of them and my dad started to convince me further that Tyler might not enjoy the trip as much as we think he would.

And that struck me. I never thought of it that way. I always thought that all three of us will really enjoy our family time together! Taking pics with the Big Ben, Tower Bridge, picnic at Hyde Park, etc.. I never really considered the long haul flight and how Tyler would be so restless that he would want to run up and down the plane, binge watch his shows and fuss cos he can't move around during landing and take-off. I never really considered how he would want to walk everywhere by himself and refuse to follow our lead, and we might end up just not seeing anything on the streets or in the museums. I never really considered how tiring or boring it might be for him.

I realised that I was naive to only imagine the best case scenarios, and not the worst. I kept telling myself that he will be fine, he will have fun with us, and he will behave.

And then I was reminded of our trip to Bangkok- 4D3N short trip which tired me out more than anything. To be fair, Tyler wasn't difficult during that trip. In fact we think he was pretty well-behaved. But as much as he was a good boy, he would still fuss when it's too warm, when he can't come down to run around, etc.. It got to a point where I was desperate to let him just run, that we paid an entrance fee to a kids play land for all three of us, and just let him run and crawl and tumble to burn his energy for 3 hours, and hoping he would nap well after. He didn't like the places we went to eat cos they were warm, most places didn't have baby chairs, and he didn't like being stationary in the BTS. All in all, it was a really exhausting trip and we ended up needing another vacation right after (which we did not take, of course). It was fun having him around but when he fusses it's no joke. We made some nice family memories, but the results are two very tired out parents who took turns falling sick after the trip, an a toddler super happy to be back in the comfort of his home.

It was then that these realistic experiences surfaced and opened my eyes to see that perhaps, just perhaps, my dad was right. I didn't tell him that right away. I told him okay we'll consider, and texted Boon about what happened.

As expected, his first reaction was, "Huh, nolaaaaa it's a family trip, etc". Same same like me. Cos we both had the same ideal scenario playing in our heads, a smiling, happy Tyler taking family pics with us at Big Ben. Happy, laughing Tyler enjoying picnic at Hyde Park 😂 But we decided to just sit on it and ask parents around us.

And guess what, out of all the parents we asked- those who have brought their toddlers abroad and those who went alone as a couple- 99% said just go on our own. Their reason is that we may not get this opportunity to do so anytime soon when our second baby comes long. It'd be harder to leave two kids with the grandparents and by then Tyler will understand things better and enough to not let us leave. Many of them also said that they wished they also had someone volunteering to babysit their kids and ask them to go honeymoon, and told us to grab hold of this golden opportunity 😅

One of the reasons that struck me the most was this. One of our friends said, 

"I never knew I needed a trip away with my husband until we were on that trip. We see each other every day, and we did't think we would need this marriage time, but turns out we did. It did more for our marriage than we imagined it would."

Which brings me to this other thing that my dad said. I told him "No laaaaaa I cannot imagine leaving Tyler for 12 whole days! He may not miss me but I'll miss him like crazy! I don't think I can cope."

And my dad said this, "You have your husband already why would you still need to miss your son?"

At that point I was like, "Huh that does not make sense!" But I knew deep inside what my dad was trying to say. I knew he wanted me to put my husband and marriage first, prioritising them above my child, which should be the right way.

I guess my parents are concerned for our marriage also la hahaha. Cos to be honest we don't get the privilege of spending a lot of time together as a couple. Boon's been travelling for work frequently for the past 8 months or so, and only comes back as a weekend husband weekly. While me, I've just been keeping myself occupied with Tyler and work, and more work. Life's been really just crazy but it got to a point that we're used to it, which may not necessarily be a good thing.

When I told Boon what my dad said, he said, "But I think our marriage is fine ah. I really like how we are, honey. I think our marriage is awesome! I'm very happy with you baby." That last line touched me more than he knows, and sometimes it still rings in my head and I would melt a little 🙈

But when we heard our friend say that we may not think we need marriage time until we actually have it, we thought okay, maybe this might be a good time to sow into our marriage. Sow time, effort, money lol and just enjoy each other in this trip. I don't know how much we actually need this marriage time, but I'm excited to see how it'll improve it that's for sure!

So we told ourselves, alright, we keep our options open now. Since we already bought Tyler's flight tickets, we can still bring him at the very last minute if we want to. In the meantime, we just see how he's like and make the decision as we go along.

Over the past month, we've been just observing and we realised that Tyler is far happier and well-behaved when he's at home. When he's comfortable, able to move around freely, when he's with his toys and books, and favourite shows, when he's having the freedom basically. Perhaps in this toddler age, being able to move about freely means a lot to him. Whenever we're out- even for just a quick meal, he'll get agitated quickly, fuss and not enjoy himself.

So we've decided- to not bring Tyler along with us in this trip. After asking every parent we can find, after deliberating again and again, after all the observations and contemplations, after all the dilemmas and guilt and what-ifs, we have FINALLY made a decision.

We're going on a second honeymoon. Just us. No baby. 
Just us as Careen and Boon again.

So yes, we'll be heading to these three spots, and we cannot wait!

Istanbul is for our long layover, and Paris was a last min addition to the itinerary since we decided not to bring Tyler along. Boon isn't too fond of Paris due to his bad experiences, but he knows it's my dream to visit, so we'll be covering Paris too!

To be honest we've not really done an extensive research on our itinerary yet cos we've just been so swamped, so if you have any travel tips for Istanbul, London or Paris, please leave a comment or drop me a message of IG/FB/email (! Would greatly appreciate your recommendations!

Will be updating more as I go along, hopefully with some time to do so during our trip too (since no toddler to put to sleep at night) 😛

In the meantime, I'll be updating on Instagram and IG Stories so follow me there at @careentxy!

'Til then!

Love, Careen.
This post is filed under Personal, Marriage, Travel

1 comment:

  1. your dad is spot on... you defo need time with Boon! my philosophy is this. you have to know who the holiday is for. if for kids, then do all the stuff kids wanna do. if adults, (ie museums, parks, long walking, shopping) dont bring kids!!! coz all will end up frustrated. kids will be bored and tired walking and whiny, parents will be frustrated not enjoying the peace, food, presence. ahaha. so good call. go enjoy!


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