Come Thursday of this week, I will be traveling, for the first time in many years, alone. Ok, well, maybe that’s not quite true. Since my first child I have taken a few trips, requiring a plane ride, alone. Without kids or husband. And they were always because someone was sick, dying, or dead. And I have gone away on local weekend getaways without kids as well. But never too far, and never alone.
I guess it never occurred to me to travel, for fun, on my own. Since having children I have always felt that if I was going to experience anything wonderful, I wanted to experience it with them. Granted, much of the “no traveling without kids in tow” had much more to do with not having anyone to care for them while I was gone, and though my husband and I often daydream about escaping to some tropical island or Europe without the kids someday, we both recognize that that day isn’t now. In the meantime however, my husband has traveled alone. A few times actually, to wonderful cities like San Francisco and Paris. And it hasn’t all been work.
And now, it’s my turn. And though at first I wondered how much I would miss them, or how strange it would feel, the realization that in 11 years I have never taken this level of “me time” seemed to amaze me, because I am such a free spirit and I love my space and independence. And I love to travel.
So even though my trip is part work-related, it is still all related to me and only me…and I will actually have some fun too. Thus, as I prepare to pack my bags, I think about how the only person I will be responsible for is me. How going through security will be so much easier. How I might even get to doze off on the flight. And though at first it all felt weird, as time approaches I am elated and excited about traveling alone.
I know I will miss my kids and my husband. But there’s also a big comfy, king size bed with my name on it. And for 3 nights, no one will be waking me up and pushing me to share it with them. No one will be calling me Mama or asking me to make them breakfast, lunch, or dinner. No one will be touching the things I carelessly leave laying around. I might even live dangerously and leave a pen, or glass full of water on the night stand and not worry that someone will draw on the bed sheets or spill water all over the carpet. I’ll only have to worry about getting myself dressed to go anywhere, and not have to add an extra hour or two before I can head out the door on time. I wonder though if I will be stuck, at least for the first day, with the sense I have forgotten something.
But the list of why this overdo experience is so good goes on and on. So even though I can’t say that this will become a habit, I will say that I will make the best of every second, of every day that I get to enjoy my trip. Alone.
Then, when I get back I will have the strength and resilience to happily make it through a 2 week road trip…very much NOT alone.