Guatemala, Scotland and the Greek islands filled my twenties. I traveled multiple continents built some embarrassing memories, some family-friendly ones too. Even found myself bored in Paris, seriously. Kids changed my life and like most moms, I wear many hats now. Between my duties as family cheerleader, disciplinarian, vacuum de-gunker and sous-chef, I rarely have 5 minutes to spare, yet I will travel.
Where’s the suitcase? Much less the time? My trips like hard knocks come when I never would expect them. They require some fast footwork to finance, but they always come around. I find that motherhood requires a sort of steady, predictable flightiness if Mom wants to fly the coop. Examples:
A few weeks after starting a new job as a general afternoon howdy-girl at the local kids’ museum, the director called me into her office. She wondered if I would be willing to represent the museum at a conference–in The City by the Bay. She wanted to make me their science coordinator and this con would give me credentials. Of course it took some shuffling of kids to my mom’s, but one 8-hour drive followed by a 5-hour flight and I found myself on an all-expense trip with busy days but wide-open nights.
Friends didn’t use their time-share and invited us to come to Orlando, condo paid. Since I used to work for Disney and still had friends there, they rounded up some free park tickets. Then I researched fares, chose driving, and found that my sister would pay half the gas if she could join us. Five days at Disney and we only bought food.
Angkor Wat, Prague and Instanbul
I booked to these places, literally, by book, between laundry, picking up kids, going to my night job and going to doctors. I hosted a little visitor last year, a brain tumor, and have been unable to traverse too far from my specialists. Vertigo makes driving, much less flying, unbearable … for now.
There’s a writers’ residency someone asked me to apply for–in Paris. I wouldn’t be bored now. And an old friend who invited me to visit–in New York. I could write off the travel expenses since I’m a small business–that is when I can drive or fly again. Until then, my Kindle will do the trick.
I refuse to lose my wanderlust. I refuse to set aside that beautiful feeling of coming home after a trip when this place, these people feel all sparkly fresh again. I can enjoy my Oklahoma everyday for the rest of my life–
Yes, I will travel.
Lucie Smoker is the author of the crime novel DISTORTION. When not traveling, Lucie blogs at reverse perspective.