This week I officially became Empty Nest TravelingMom. I’ve been in count-down mode to the empty nest for years now. The jolts of sadness happen along with some occasional feelings of relief. Let’s face it, most teens make it easy for you to want to travel without them. That stubborn independence is normal, but it can wreak havoc on the family travel experience. Sleepover camps, summer programs, and the college departure of my first child, has helped prepare me for our permanent empty nest this coming August. There are so many things I will miss and a few I really am happy to leave behind. Here’s my list…
What I’ll Miss and What I Won’t 

I’ll miss seeing Disney World, water fountains, and dolphins through a child’s eyes.
I won’t miss the stroller.

I’ll miss their colorful back packs, tiny sandals, and crazy sunglasses.
I won’t miss the blood curdling ear pressure screams on the airplane. 

I’ll miss the teens who easily make friends with strangers on vacation.
I won’t miss the teen pouts, refusals, and vacation-related cell phone charges. 

I’ll miss the thrill of finding the perfect souvenir that they cling to as they sleep.
I won’t miss the diaper bag or those germy changing tables. 

I’ll miss the road trips where we blasted disco songs and sang together.
I won’t miss worrying about whether a hotel babysitter is a good idea.

I’ll miss the amazing cruises and my kids’ youthful enthusiasm.
I won’t miss trying to coax a tween out of his cabin or into a family photo.

I’ll miss the grilled cheese, mac and cheese, and cheese stick requests.
I won’t miss the food whines that kept us from enjoying amazing restaurants.

I’ll miss the ability to vacation with our entire family on my terms and schedule.
I won’t miss packing for a family of four.

The empty nest may be bitter sweet, but the ability to travel as empty nesters can be just be plain sweet. So join me every week, as I explore the opportunities and adventures of empty next travel. We’re in this together. No diaper bags allowed (unless they belong to a grandchild). Bon Voyage.