As mentioned in my previous entry, my recent visit to London was quite a last-minute decision – a detour appended to my planned holiday to Prague, Bratislava and Vienna. Now that I’m sitting here reflecting upon my entire trip, I kind of see the London portion of it as a segment that helped towards replenishing the energy required by my extrovert self. And the latter portion of touring Prague, Bratislava, and Vienna as quality time for the introvert in me.
“What do you mean, introvert in you? But you’re such an extroverted person!!” I hear some of you say.
Ahaa… now this whole general (mis)conception of extrovert/introvert as a distinct “personality type”, and that a person can only be one or the other, is actually a tad misleading. The more accurate definition behind introversion and extroversion relates to how we replenish our internal energy from – how your brain recharges and how one gains emotional and mental strength. Some of you may already be aware of this, and for those who don’t I won’t go into a rambling explanation on a topic I’m no expert at, but you can Google it yourselves for further reading, or take a look at this and this.
To cut it short – there is a touch of introversion and extraversion in each and every one of us.
I personally perceive myself to fall right halfway down the middle of the extravert-introvert spectrum… perhaps just leaning a teensy-weensy bit heavier on the introverted end, which some may find surprising because I am outgoing. But I do believe that I garner more internal energy from my quiet alone-times, than I do from more my social activities. I love spending time alone as much as I love being surrounded by friends and family. I get moments when I feel a strong need for detachment from a group, or a crowded place. I have never, however, felt boredom out of being somewhere quiet, or alone, for long periods of time. I may love the hype and excitement existent in most crowds, like at a concert, sports event or festival – but I get uncomfortable and agitated from long-term exposure within big, crowded cities. I manage my own discomfort and agitation well though, so it’s nothing that overwhelms me.
London however, is perhaps the only big, crowded city that I absolutely love. I can’t really begin to explain why, but it’s to the point where I feel more at home and comfortable in it than I do in Kuala Lumpur. So I keep revisiting it every chance I get – and having plenty friends and family living there helps make it a convenient trip to do.
Eeek wait, I am digressing left right and center here! My whole point from 5 paragraphs earlier is this – the entire 4 days I spent in London on this trip was purely centred on me spending time with my friends and family, which I believe served the purpose of boosting my mental and emotional happy levels. Since it wasn’t my first visit to London, I had no big ‘To-Do’s or ‘Must-See’s, thus I focused my entire self into purely spending time with the people I cared about. And it felt great 😀
4 days was still a very short period of time, though, so I was careful to plan my days in order to be able to spend equal amounts of time with friends and family. Since I’d arrived in London ahead of my family’s arrival from their respective flights from the US, I got to spend the first couple of days catching up with good friends.
I know that with technology and social media today, staying connected with friends is made easier – there’s Facebook letting you have a nosey peek at your friends’ pictures of their daily lives, trips, work, holidays… there’s Skype or FaceTime allowing one to make video calls… there’s Whatsapp to send daily texts or voice messages for that instantaneous random update which needed to be sent…et cetera. I, however, personally find actual meet-ups and physical, social gatherings to be important. There’s a different vibe to it. I’m in constant “virtual” touch with these friends I met up with whilst I was in London, but getting to see them in person brought a whole different wave of happiness and sense of connection. It is not that I felt lonely without them, but more of gaining added fulfilment from getting to be with them. Like I said earlier – a mental and emotional happy boost! So a big huge hug of thanks from me to them all for making time in their busy daily lives to fit me in… it truly means a lot to me!
And then, of course once my family arrived it was full-on Quality Family Time! The last time I met my parents was when they came to visit me back in April (which, my mom would insist, feels like a lifetime ago), but I hadn’t seen my brother, sister-in-law and niece since I left home for this job in Oman. 6 months being away from my 3-year-old niece, that made me miss her to the point of aching!! So you can imagine how ecstatic I was to get to see her again, if only to make sure she’s not forgotten about her nomadic aunt (she hasn’t).
Soundtrack: The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Take Five
Location: Dibba, Oman
Random thought: I think I’ve finally rid of my Candy Crush addiction. I’ve not opened the app in over three months now, but am unsure if it’s influenced by my strong willpower to leave the game be, or the fact that I was stuck at a seemingly impossible level for days and days and I’m not bothered to finish it anymore (which, in a way, can be seen as giving up, but I refuse to admit it is so).