Second week of August has been the biggest struggle I have ever entered in my whole life. I anticipated to consume the largest spending in my entire life. Not the sending of my son to start his university study in the US, but rather it is the trip I accompanied him there. Before coming to this stage of life experience I was struggling whether I have make the right choice to spend that much on a trip to accompany my son to begin his study in the US. Would it be better to let him go alone so that he can learn to grow up? Many parents have done that, why can’t I do the same?
For the sake of travelling, I have been to numerous places outside the country, but those trips were mostly either sponsored by individuals, social or charitable organizations. I had seldom made any decision for personal travelling trip.
Being Frugal or Money Spender
Not long ago, there was an offered to make a study trip to Taiwan, and the trip was fully sponsored financially but I turned the offer down and pass it over to others. Partly because I refused to spend unnecessarily for pocket money no matter how small the amount may be as I was anticipating to sponsor my son for his further study very soon. Secondly I had been there numerous times though this trip has a different purpose.
I have recently heard some young people who just started working for not many years, but were able to make their global travelling trips. It amazed me for their ability but at the same time, I was also wondering whether they have made the right choices for their financial futures. Would it not be better for them to make such travelling trips after they achieved financial freedom? Would those trips just added some experiences in their lives or would it upgrade their lives for further heights?
Being used to be a person who has always been careful and frugal in spending, the inner struggle could come from whether this decision is the right spending decision. I must admit that I always enjoy seeing money grown for the sake of growing money, but not for any future worthy objective. Possibly I was looking for financial security alone. This could be the main unhealthy mentality I need to learn to change. I have always enjoy saving but not spending. So much so that I have even neglected to spend on worthy expenditures like dental health care etc.
For the first time, that struggling feeling eased away was the time during an airport transit where the next flight was delay for 3 hours and we spend 4.5 hours in front of the airport counter settling the following flight connections. It was verified by my son that it was good to have me with him sorting out that unpleasant flight rescheduling moment.
There were many last minute adjustments and cross Atlantic communication to be made including airport pick up at the final destiny. If I were not with him, I would have felt guilty and anxious at home leaving him desperately loss at the airport.
Later on my trip was verified a worthy spending when I spend time helping my son to settle his banking issues particularly in the area of how to make future money transfer from Malaysia with the cheapest and the most efficient way. It turned out to be more complicated than I initially thought of. Banking system in the US is much different than Malaysia system. It took us several days to finally straighten out the flow.
We also have our final financial education on how to use his new banking accounts to control his future finances. I was very glad through practical steps in action on the field, mutual understanding and cooperation with my son on his future finances had been deepen.
Life Changing Moment Acquired
Within these few days, my personal interaction with the local people especially among the Chinese there had been very inspiring. I have never experienced being with groups of people that I enjoy so much in the past. This is only possible when I have personally come to visit US.
Furthermore, personal observation of the campus where my son is going to study has also been very suiting and comfortable. With ground interaction with local campus official personnel and some of its graduates or students, it turned out to be very encouraging. I might even been contemplating, if God’s willing, to take up my second graduate degree there too. Possibly this trip could turn out not only a trip helping my son settling down his future study, but a life changing trip for me for my entire future destiny.
Finally, what I fear the most about the large spending trip has turned out to be surprisingly very minimum. We have discovered not everything in the US is always more expensive than Malaysia. Some of the consumer goods like fresh milk, vegetables, fruits and others are even cheaper than Malaysian products. Eventually we have actually spend 60% below our original budget for living there for 10 days through proper financial management. I am very glad that I have made this life changing trip. It was all worth of my spending, especially when it can turn out to be a possibly life changing event.
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