I have a secret travel list.
After losing my younger sister 8 years ago, I experienced a whole bunch of firsts. The first time retuning to Taiwan without her, the first time walking out of my parent's Taipei apartment without her, her first birthday without her there, the first new year as a family of four, there are countless other firsts. Even until now, there are still things I haven't done again without her next to me. For example, I still can't bring myself to go to this traditional dessert shop in Taipei and order her favorite.
When Lisa was born, finances in my family took a great turn, so our first ever overseas trip was for a family of five. When she got older and became a teenager, Susan my older sister, Lisa and I would travel together. And the few years before she left the world, the two of us traveled together quite a bit.
This brings me back to my secret list. It's a short list of five cities - Boston, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Florence and Honolulu. These are all the cities Susan and I went with her once she turned teen. The list is so short, because she passed away at the tender age of 23.
Starting from 2008, I had set a goal to visit these 5 cities again. But of course whenever I had vacation, I visited Taiwan to spend time with them. I plan trips with Mr. Si as well, to our dream destinations. So I never really pushed for these 5 cities, I welcomed the trips as they happened.
in 2010, before our wedding in Taiwan, I asked Susan to join me for a short trip. in Honolulu. It was always our favorite place, and I wanted to have a last sisters trip as singles before I tied the knot with Mr. Si. The same year, I also went to Hong Kong, that trip was short and quite painful, as I wrote in the Pork Chop Bun post back in 2010. In 2013, I got to go back to Boston for a wedding for Mr Si's cousin. Last summer, in 2016, without prior planning, Meow asked us to join them on a trip to Tuscany on a whim. And yes, I got to visit Florence again after 10 years. This coming February, I am going to check off all 5 boxes on my short secret list. Mr. Si and I are going to Tokyo.
I am actually very excited about this trip because I can feel how much I have grown as a person and spiritually. No longer am I crying myself to sleep, I think of Lisa now with good wishes, and remember only the best the most loving memories. With this mentality, I want to get to know Tokyo again. Last night, I got to chat with my old friend Pei about this. Before I forget, I wanted to write it all down.