We had some doubts, moments of hesitation…. We wondered if we were doing the right thing, but the time had come. It is now certain, we have made a decision and there is no turning back. We end up traveling with three of us!
Yes, you read correctly. Be sure to read to the end what prompted this decision.
The times before Olive’s birth are remembered somewhat with nostalgia. Recalling our previous trips with two of us, a few thoughts come to mind: we led a carefree life, we could afford to be more spontaneous, prudent, inattentive…. We could go to exotic countries, relaxing under a palm tree, sipping colorful drinks, immersing ourselves in more books. We could easily have spent half an hour taking that single best shot. We could have risked poor hotels, or the lack of them in our itinerary, to drink local wine each evening. We were finally able to go where we want and do what we feel like doing, at a pace that suits us.
About traveling in threes
It’s all memories now, and traveling with a baby is a whole different story. And we don’t mean going all-inclusive on a Greek island and spending a week in a hotel. Ok, it’s also different traveling than with two people. However, for those who couldn’t sit in a hotel for more than two days, had a thousand interesting places to see every morning, and the morning questions weren’t “are we going somewhere today?” but “how much will we be able to see and do today?” then traveling with a toddler on board is a 180-degree reversal of travel style.
With a child, travel begins to become more conscious, safer, and priorities suddenly change dramatically. You don’t have time to read what is the trendiest or tastiest pub in the area, you just look for the one closest to you, and the selection criterion is limited to a changing table and a feeding chair. You don’t plan a day to visit museums and monuments, but you combine so that there is a park and a playground in the area. And at some point you let go and understand that now it’s the little creature that has a lot to say and is eager to express its opinion.
You know that you are not traveling for yourself, but you are traveling together and the trip should bring some value and interesting experiences for everyone. Fortunately, at the end of the day, a baby’s smile, joy and hug can defuse anything :)
So we traveled. And that’s quite a lot. While learning to travel together. There were moments worse and better, moments of crying and smiling, as in life. Now we can see that Olive is doing great on the road. She has no problem acclimatizing to a new place, she is not intimidated by people speaking other languages, she eats whatever happens to land on an exotic plate, and time zones are no obstacle to normal functioning.
However, we are only human and are often tired on these trips. There are days when we run out of strength, dreaming only of a moment’s rest. We are watching Olive grow up, trying to communicate with other toddlers, needing contact with children, and on trips we are the only ones who are that refuge, safety and basic company to play with. And you know, there is no end to the fun, even if the parents fall on their snouts in the evening ;)
On top of that, there are situations and comments that make you shy away from everything:
Where are you taking this poor child again? To the Polish sea you would go at last….
After all, your daughter is getting tired on this trip!
She won’t remember anything anyway….
Think of other travelers – not everyone wants to sit next to an infant on a plane.
What is she supposed to do on these trips? After all, he’s bored! He doesn’t even have anyone to play with, while in Lodz he at least has peers.
Admittedly, the immediate family is already less and less surprised and accustomed to our ideas, and instead of asking “are we going somewhere in the near future?” asks “then where and when are you going now?”. However, we still see in the eyes of many people disapproval and surprise that it is possible to travel with a child….
So we made a decision…
All these questions, comments, sometimes nudges gave us a lot to think about. This was compounded by fatigue, the need for rest and sleep (we haven’t slept a full night in over 26 months!).
We began to think about what we could do to make travel different, more interesting, full of smiles and joy. To wring out the extra energy we believe lurks somewhere deep within us. To make travel take on another dimension, full of challenges, but also happiness.
So we made a decision that we had been trying on for some time. A decision that may surprise many people, because it will affect not only the blog, but our entire life.
We end up traveling with three of us.
In 2019 we will be traveling with four of us! :-)