My Family

I’m leaving for Laos in four days.

My children and husband are not going with me and while I will miss them terribly and they in all likelihood will miss me too, I’m still travelling with family. My mother is half Laotian and she is showing my youngest brother and me her country. Through her eyes. It’s a gift.

We’ll meet distant relations. We’ll visit my grandmother’s village. We hope to see the house in Vientiane where my mother grew up. My brother and I will take a 3-day trek into the mountains. ~ Family ~

The word family has figured strongly in my thoughts lately, more so than ever. Call it a sign of impending middle age – by my calculations that should be once I reach 60 since living to 120 sounds like a solid plan – or maybe it’s the inevitable changing of the seasons; the New Year that brings with it the joy of unchartered territory and the chance to begin anew, and yet carries a certain melancholy at time passing. I’m firmly in the ¼ melancholy to ¾ excitement camp. It’s how I’m built and I’ve stopped fighting it. Like it or lump it…which is pretty much my 40s approach to life.

2013 was tumultuous and fun and full of new experiences. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. So many opportunities and relationships happened because I leaped. D is my compass for all that leaping and I’m thankful for his support. It never wavers. Nor does my family’s. But now I’m ready for the new that 2014 brings because it will build on what I had the guts to go for last year.

nieces, daughter, girls, rocks, Pacific Ocean, Vancouver, British Columbia, exploring ocean, seaside, summer

Hunting for treasure.

2013 was also the year we four went on holiday to British Columbia with my brother, sister-in-law and nieces. To sum it up: it was perfect and there will be more such trips to come. It was fun watching my kids and nieces discovering and exploring together. I love my nieces with the same fierceness as my children. The nuances of that love vary by person, but all I see when I look at them is family, and family is more than the sum of the people living under one roof. I hope my children learn this lesson. Then in October we (the Canadian contingent of our family) reconnected after 20 years with one of my cousins and her two daughters. The general consensus was that none of us had changed, of course. All along 2013 was a year of focusing on family and 2014 will bring the same.

And that brings me back to Laos. I’m leaving D and the kids for three weeks to discover roots, to better understand my heritage and to learn more about my mother.


Vientiane, Laos, family, photograph, house, travel,

Formerly my mom’s house in Vientiane and the post office during colonial times.

  • Tam

    Enjoy your incredible journey! We will be thinking of you! Much love

  • Pam

    What an incredible adventure. Fun travels, Kat!

  • I feel the same way about the importance of family in my life. It has always mattered, but somehow being in my 40s has made me more aware of roots and connections with loved ones, and more grateful to know these wonderful people. Your trip with your mom and brother sounds amazing — enjoy yourself! 🙂

    • At this point we’ve gained a bit of perspective, right?

  • What an adventurous way to start off your New Year, K! Stay in the moment and soak in the experience. Safe travels, my friend 🙂

    • Thank you. I plan to do as much soaking in as possible. 🙂


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