The kids and I are about to pack our bags and have a few adventures for the next four months... maybe longer. My husband won't be joining us. We are not separating. Neither is this a trial separation. We are a family of five and someone has to be bringing in the pesos. Daddy has to work.
Throughout my twenties and early thirties, I travelled. Several trips a year. Sometimes spending month after month living out of a backpack. Mostly alone, hardly ever lonely. The anxious feeling before a big trip was always swept away by the invigorating wave of exhilaration once I flashed my passport.
I haven't used my passport in almost four years. For various reasons the past year was a difficult one for me. Until... Until, we had our children's first passports issued. When I had those three immaculate travel permits in my hand, I felt light again. The call was heard. Let's go travel!
Wait. Daddy has to work. It's not the kind of job where he can disappear for more than two weeks. I need more than two weeks away. We need more than two weeks away. I'm not just talking about those who are about to jump on a plane. I'm also thinking about my family in England who haven't seen us in over four years. I'm thinking about my sister who hasn't met her niece and nephews. I'm thinking about her children who haven't met their cousins and auntie. I'm thinking about my grandfather who said "goodbye" to his wife last March. My grandfather whom I promised I'd see soon. My grandfather whose health is failing him.
So, I'll be travelling solo... with the three kids. Are you imagining mature, responsible, well-seasoned travellers between the ages of seven and 14? I'm talking about twin boys, who've just turned five, and a little girl, barely two. They are newbie international explorers and I am mad. Or so the eyes of those that call me "brave" are actually saying. Being called "brave" doesn't sit well with me. It's just not accurate. I'm not scared of doing something and doing it anyway. I'm doing something I need to do. For me. For them. I'm excited by this. I'm energised by the thought of introducing this love of mine, discovery through travel, to my thirsty, young, trio.
The treasures about to be unearthed on this new island, and other foreign lands, will glisten in their hands and hearts for years to come. How they choose to spend these gems will itself be gold. I hope I'm there to witness those exchanges, to watch those pieces o' eight pile up. To mark the spot with an 'X', a kiss on the forehead.
However, in all this richness, there will also be a layer of sadness, as someone is not there. Daddy has to work. Those last four words have been heard many times before, but when bedtime comes around, Daddy is home. Over the next four months, four new words shall be repeated, and repeated, and repeated. Four words whispered as I tuck them all into bed, reassuring little hearts they are loved from far across the ocean. "Daddy loves you, lots."
For now, I can't, and don't want to dwell on that aspect because I'm too blooming excited!
All senses are about to be delighted by exotic sights, smells, sounds, tastes and textures. I will revel in watching eyes sparkle with wonder. Take pride in vocabularies flourishing as torrents of questions overwhelm me. Swell as connections evolve between my children and the generations who came before them.
Our inaugural voyage has yet to start, but I foresee us plotting further adventures once we find ourselves in the doldrums once more. Whispers will be made, "Daddy has to work; Let's go travel!" (Though, I have a feeling he'll be joining us for that next adventure!)
Would you leave your partner to the daily routine for an extended period, whilst you follow your dreams? Let us know in the comments below.
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