Summer vacation looms large in a child’s life, pretty much no matter where you grow up or what your summer vacation looks like.
To celebrate the range of wonderful summer experiences out there, we hope you’ve been enjoying our summertime reflections from the Sassy Mama team through July and August! To wrap up the series, our youngest team member, Editorial Assistant Syaz, fondly recalls school holiday trips spent in Singapore and Malaysia.
The June and end-of-year school holidays were my ‘summer’ vacations growing up in Singapore. We were a family of four at the time (my brother was only born when I turned 9) so there was plenty of focus on keeping my sister and I occupied. We’re only two years apart in age, so we were definitely a handful, to say the least!
The Singapore Zoo was a hot-spot and an easy full-day out for us. I remember visiting it lots of times over the course of my childhood and never got bored of it – the pony rides and elephant shows were my favourites!
The zoo’s swimming pool (now fully revamped into a colourful water park, far from its humble leaf-filled version in the 90s) was our main highlight and my mum always made sure to pack our swimsuits. Otherwise she would’ve been met with two very grumpy little girls!
Any overseas vacations were done across the border in Malaysia whenever my parents were feeling a little restless in our little red dot. We frequented Malacca and KL via 4-hour car rides, and I remember being super excited for these trips because I absolutely LOVED hotels.
My idea of a holiday was always to stay in the hotel in comfy pyjamas, watch TV channels we never got at home, and order room service, so I was always disappointed when my dad would ask us to get dressed to go out – how was I supposed to know that vacations were about actual sightseeing and having outdoor fun?!
None of us can remember the name of this resort, but it must’ve been a fun one if there was a wave pool (with huge floats!) and a Kiddy Club involved. We also visited the famous Sunway Lagoon a couple of times!
The June, October, November and December months have always been peak periods for weddings, so growing up with much older cousins who were getting married at the time (my dad was the youngest of his 11 siblings so we were the babies of the bunch) and a family of wedding banquet caterers made for many weekends spent at void deck shindigs.
My sister and I had a lot of fun at these because we loved getting dressed up (in identical outfits, as you can tell)! Mum had a stash of hair accessories and little purses that we’d always get excited about when she brought them out. We were also flower girls at a few of these weddings, so I’ll always remember wearing pretty dresses while holding baskets of flower petals and throwing them down the aisle!
When we got a little older my parents focused more of their attention on my baby brother, so the vacations came to a pause and we occupied ourselves more with books and toys at home over the holidays. I credit my being a homebody to that period, although any opportunity I get to go somewhere new is always welcomed with excitement! These simple holidays definitely taught me to appreciate the little things, and I hope I’ll be able to instil the same values for simple pleasures to my own kiddos in the future.
Read about ALL of our summer vacation memories below (and here’s to even more memorable adventures next summer!):
Early Entrepreneurship in England
The Classic American Summer Camp
Roller Skates and Tenerife
Frolicking in the South of France
Malaysian Road Trip Memories
Traveling the Globe as a Third Culture Kid
Out of Africa and Into the Big Smoke