maybe it was a little too selfless

ah. japan.

truth be told, i didn’t entirely have a good time back when i was in tokyo. it was for a design school trip, and in all honesty i went because i wanted to learn more about their culture, their design influences, design styles, all the technology they use (and also traditional materials), and mainly because namira and i promised each other we’d one day go on a trip overseas together.

no, what bothered me the whole trip was not because of the flight. the flights to and back home were smooth and splendid. it wasn’t the people- they were the friendliest, honest, punctual and most helpful bunch i’ve ever met in my life. it wasn’t the food, and it wasn’t anything there.

it was me, myself, and i.

i wish someone had told me, “zue, you wouldn’t enjoy a trip if you tell yourself to be selfless, so don’t be selfless” because that’s exactly what i did.

travelling isn’t a 100% chance every year for me, be it domestic or international. my mother and father always tried their best to keep me at home, and only started allowing me to travel when hxz needed to go for shows at other states. they later on allowed me to go on trips overseas, that were only purely for educational purposes.

it’s good that way, and i prefer for it to be that way because God knows what kind of person i would’ve turned out to be if they’d allowed me to travel anywhere and anytime that i’d wanted to.


when i went to japan, my number one priority was to have a great time with my bestfriend (obviously? education comes in second this time because hello, travelling with lifetime bff for the first time ever here). i later on found that my priorities changed as i lay my foot in japan.

it was all about helping others enjoy their trip.

the whole way throughout my trip, i had a tough time. not because i didn’t have legit time to spend with her, but because i was bothered by my own thoughts and prioritized others’ ‘goals’.

“hey zue, can help us take picture?”

awak, boleh ambilkan gambar kita tak please?”

that was the one line that keeps repeating over and over again, every single day. it’s to a point that i noticed, that i hadn’t enough pictures of myself (and with my bestfriend) even, to pick from and print out. thank gosh we took pictures for each other. my bff knew me well enough to always offer to take my pictures when we had a chance to, and vice versa.

that was also a trip in which i’d focused on education yes, but because the trip required us to form teams and come up with a travellogue containing visuals that should preferably be self explanatory and if not, for it to have a VO guiding viewers, i was selfless throughout the whole trip by having to charge my powerbank every night just because i had to take lots of videos to cover up for other team members who were pretty much not as selfless as my bff and i were.

and to think that i later on had to edit every single video. me? doing the VO too? i almost considered it, but because it wouldn’t have been a fair game, i would rather skip the marks than have it all played in a snap.

the fact that being selfless for others who are not selfless, sucks. ok not really, it’s actually good that my parents paid for the trip, and true enough i did a lot of educational work so no waste in terms of finances that is, but a total waste in terms of experience.

my lecturers were informative and they behaved just like our parents, our guides were welcoming and treated us like family, the talks and fieldtrips were incredibly well-organized, but being absolutely selfless shouldn’t have been part of the whole trip.

so if you’re going on a field trip be it for fun or educational purposes, don’t let yourself be entirely selfless. as much as you love the people you’re on the trip with, as much as you don’t mind helping people around and as low as you are able to put yourself in, remember that you are going for that trip too. you paid a sum of money to be part of it, and you should do you, for experience’s sake.

don’t be like me, a girl looking back at all her photos from the japan trip feeling a mix of guilt and nostalgia. you should be able to look back at your photos and think, “i had a great time these people were great and i wish i could repeat it again”.

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