Nerves vs. a First Time Solo Traveling Mom
I wrote this the night before I left on my trip to China and Japan at the end of April 2011. I never got the chance to post it, but I thought it was interesting to look back on what was going on in my head.
Every time I travel, I get a little flutter in my stomach. Domestic not so much. Usually when I’m traveling domestically we are going to visit family. It’s all very routine and there are rarely any surprises.
The flutter really hits a few days before an international trip though. It’s a little nerves plus a lot of excitement. What will we see, what will we do, how will we get from point A to point B? Yes, by now I should have this all figured out, but honestly, usually I don’t.
For this next particular trip, all of the planning came together in a matter of 5 days, as I found out I needed to fly to China for work a week before I needed to be there. I have not had a lot of time to get into the nuances of every step of the trip. I do know we have a flight, a hotel when we land, and how much the taxi will cost once we get there. I’ve been to Hong Kong before, so it’s a no brainer at this point, at least the first day of the trip.
Each time I travel with my son, I’ve had his father along with us though. Those extra two hands are really nice. Extra shoulders for carrying baggage, while I look at signs and consult paperwork, is also nice to have around, and an extra body wrangling our son is indispensable. So why am I taking on this trip alone? What could possibly possess me to want to go to the other side of the world with just my toddler and me?
Well, it’s a few things. First off, I don’t have much of a choice on this one. The trip was last minute, so there was no time to figure out childcare. More importantly, I have always loved to travel. That’s no secret. I love the opportunities I have had to expose my son to the world as well.
I’m also always up for a challenge. If someone tells me I can’t handle it, I generally like to prove them wrong. True, I will not be skydiving anytime soon, but that is more of a choice, although it is becoming more appealing the older I get. Going to Hong Kong by myself may seem crazy, but remember, tons of Chinese moms and other moms from around the world take their children abroad to visit family every year. Dads aren’t always able to take off work to travel with them.
So here I go, off to tackle the world one 15-hour plane ride at a time. Part of me is terrified, don’t think I’m not, but most of me is unbelievably excited to see how this will turn out. Fingers crossed we come back with all our toes and a hint of sanity left in tact.