end your travels early

Why should you end your travels early?

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There’s always good reasons to end your travels. Sometimes it’s because you’re broke, sometimes it’s because you’re having a horrible time in a new country. The number one reason to end your travels early, however, is because your family needs you. We are going to miss the Chinese family in Hong Kong, but the American family needs us right now.

family photo, Chinese family, smile
Auburn and her Chinese family, Grandpa, Grandma, and half-brother

Help Those In Need

This is the case for my daughter and me right now. My mother is relatively old, not in great shape, and has long-lasting injuries from a horrible car accident when I was 14-years-old. She was very lucky to survive, but the crash did damage that lingers, nay, worsens to this day. If your family is ever is need, I implore you to also end your travels early.

I flew to Asia in February this year, not sure of how long I would be staying. I knew I wanted my daughter to experience new countries, new people, new food, and she has. Even better, she’s gotten to spend a lot of time with her Chinese family over the past 6 weeks. I know they are always thrilled when we can come to Hong Kong and this certainly will not be the last time we are here. For now, with the difficult decision of which family member(s) need me and my daughter the most, we will be saying goodbye to the Chinese family about 30 hours.

Returning to Home Base

We are heading back to the home I lived in during high school, the home my mother has owned since 2002, squatted in the middle of the woods and nowhere near a city or outside entertainment. It’s never difficult to stay extended periods of time with your parents when you are my age and have your own child. The dynamics are annoying and I like to be alone 90% of the time (except for my daughter) so living with another person, even family, is always hard on me. This isn’t about me, though. It’s about making sure my mom recovers from a recent injury. She fell, broke some ribs, deflated a lung, and hit her head quite hard. She’s not doing well, but hopefully with my help and my daughter’s laughter in the house, she will be strong by the end of this summer.

So what does a wanderlusting man like me do when I’m home? I have some plans. I will put together my mother’s garden again, planning to build a floating dock for her pond, and will work on a few books that I am currently writing: one on how I make myself a better parent, and another on how I ended the ignorance/intolerance of my mind that I grew up in (no offense to my parents, they are just from another time and weren’t prepared to raise children through the age of the internet). I can’t imagine what it’s in store for me raising my daughter through whatever world-shattering technological advancement is next. I’m sure I will be wholly unprepared for it and Auburn will have to outgrow my ignorance of it someday as well.

Prepping to Say Goodbye

For now, we are packing our bags, getting ready to give our last hugs, and spending as much time with the Chinese family as we can before we leave. It’s very difficult to leave Hong Kong and the love that I feel for Auburn from her Chinese family. Both her grandparents get huge smiles on their faces every time they see her. Her Aunt Toni is an incredible person who loves Auburn to no end and is one of the best people I know for keeping Auburn laughing and having fun. Sometimes I think Auburn loves her Aunt more than me! I guess I’m just not as silly and fun and she is.

Aunt and Auburn, family
Auburn and her Aunt swimming and playing

This has been the most rewarding time in Hong Kong for me yet, we had a blast in Thailand (Songkran Festival I hope to meet you again!), and I’m excited for what the future holds for us. The most important thing now, (and the number one reason you should end your travels early if you find yourself in a similar situation), is that we help my mother recover and get healthy in whatever way we can, even if it means ending our travels and returning to home base for as long as that takes.