Thursday, April 04, 2013

Travel plans?

My Beloved and I have never been big travelers. In fact, the last time either of us was on a plane (or out of the country, for that matter) was more than 13 years ago when we went to Las Vegas for a short mid-winter vacation. We even went low key for our honeymoon, taking the train to Montreal (which was so fabulous. If you've never been to Montreal, go. Go NOW).

Travel has just never been particularly high on our priority list. Babies were.

Were.

So now that babies are not on our list at all, pretty much everyone wants to know why we don't travel. Because I guess after people have finished grilling you about why you aren't adopting, the next thing they want to know is why in the hell you aren't traveling. You know, since now you have this fabulously carefree, responsibility-free, kid-free life that parents of young children can only dream of.

Ha.

To be honest, I had to stop and think about why exactly we don't travel. For a big chunk of my 30s it was because I was immersed in the drama of trying to conceive, being pregnant, and losing babies. I had laser-like focus on family building, and that didn't leave room (or time or money, once we started visiting the fertility clinic on a regular basis--ah, weren't those the days) for planning much of anything else, especially vacations.

I couldn't wrap my head around anything except the idea of bringing a live baby home to stay. That was all that mattered.

And, of course, no babies came home. So we consoled ourselves by cocooning: watching endless hours of Mary Tyler Moore, going for walks together at night, visiting local farms on the weekends, losing ourselves in comic books (him) and yarn (me) and whatever else soothed our pain and took the ache away for a few blissful moments.

That just happened not to include travel.

For some people it does, I guess. But we were battered and bruised and just wanted someplace warm and safe to rest for awhile. And so we did play it safe, sticking close to home where our comforts are, in an environment over which we have as much control as you ever can in life.

As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing wrong with that. We all heal differently, after all. Maybe the travel bug will bite us one day. Maybe once we've healed a little more we'll get the urge to throw caution to the wind, pack our bags and run away to some exotic locale. But for now we've had more than enough excitement. Enough to last a million lifetimes, really.

Also, we happen to be content with the way things are. Maybe it appears as though we're frittering away our child-free life by not taking advantage of the kinds of things people with kids can't do as easily. Maybe the Hollywood version of our life story thus far would end with us climbing Mount Everest, cruising the Caribbean or  kissing atop the Eiffel Tower.

But right now it's just us curled up on the couch reading comics and playing with yarn.

Which sounds perfect (for us), if you ask me.


12 comments:

AnotherDreamer said...

"For some people it does, I guess. But we were battered and bruised and just wanted someplace warm and safe to rest for awhile. And so we did play it safe, sticking close to home where our comforts are, in an environment over which we have as much control as you ever can in life."

That makes sense to me. I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting a quiet life like that either.

Honestly, I'd love to travel- but I don't because I prefer staying in with a book. Plus crowds bother me, so I have that going on too.

loribeth said...

This is a great post -- I need to write my own version. It's timely because I'm actually on vacation this week -- and it's a staycation. Highlights to date have been trips to three different Chapters outlets and one of the new Target stores that just opened. ; )

Dh & I haven't travelled much either. For the first 10+ years we were married, long before ttc became a big concern, we only got 2-3 weeks vacation. And, because I live 1,500 miles away from my family & like to see them now & then, most of that time was spent travelling to & from Winnipeg, or hosting my mom (with or without dad) here. A few days or a week at Christmastime, a week or two in the summer & poof, there goes your vacation. I don't think people who live close to their families quite "get" that sometimes.

These days, we both get 5 weeks per year, but we still haven't done a lot of travelling. We spent our honeymoon in Banff & Jasper, and we've been out to the west coast a few times (along with various family members, visiting relatives there & going to the beach with them). We did spend a wonderful week in Nova Scotia a couple of years ago for our 25th wedding anniversary. And we've taken a lot of long-weekend/mini-vacations, to Niagara, Stratford, Kingston, cottage country resorts, etc.

I've never been further south than Iowa. FIL did have a house in Florida for a few years, back in the 1990s, but they always had a huge mob of people staying there with them whenever they went. Sharing a bathroom with 15 other people wasn't my idea of a vacation, so we never made it there before they sold.

I'm hoping we get to travel more once we retire (I think it's higher on my priority list than it is on dh's, though!). Europe is high on my list, & there's still so much of Canada I want to see. I was in Montreal overnight on business once 20 years ago, but I didn't get to see much outside of the boardroom. :p I definitely want to get back there soon. WITH dh.

Always great to see a new post from you. :)

erica said...

This resonates so strongly with me. It's not that I don't like travel, but I have a longing for *home* that seems to have strengthened since Teddy's death. I think that having a home where you feel safe and comfortable is a pretty wonderful thing, even if it's wonderful in a quiet way, and I love the way you write about that here.

Mali said...

I really like this, simply because it shows that we are all different. And if staying somewhere provides comfort, then that's great.

Me, I've always been a traveller. I started at 17, in Bangkok for a year. I'd be a traveller whether I had kids or not. That's just fact. It would be harder with kids - but then we'd do different things. (And yes, that means there are times when I travel when I see or do something that I wish I could share with children, the ones I don't have.)

Travel can be an escape too. I've never had an urge to get away and travel more than the year or two after I knew I'd never be a mother. But our grief, our losses, our love, they all travel with us. So there's no escaping.

So the answer is of course to do exactly what you're doing - do whatever is right for you.


Shinny said...

You do know that we would love to have you travel to Wisconsin at the end of the month. ;)
Speaking as the Hermit of Wisconsin, I talk tough about wanting to travel but when it comes down to it, there is SO MUCH PLANNING, AND PACKING AND TRAVEL involved, I wouldn't do it either. ;)
Do what you have to do, it is your life and your money to spend however you want, travel, yarn, cats or whatever. People need to mind their own business, said the blog stalker. ;)

the misfit said...

You know, that sounds pretty perfect to me. There are things I like about travel...but a lot of things I don't, too. The bustle of it is what gets me. If it could be low-key, then that would be nice. (And sometimes, it can be.) What I find myself craving is vacation days I can spend at HOME. I was so, so excited for two weeks of time off in December last year. I didn't bake as many cookies as I was planning on, and I got sick (no fair!), but I enjoyed the heck out of that time.

So I certainly sympathize. While I lean a little more in the travel direction than you, my DH is a travel NUT. To the point where I didn't want to take a two-week vacation and he did, so HE is taking two weeks off - to go to two different countries (one of which I would be unwilling to visit) - and I am taking one. I am not at ALL happy about this arrangement, but I can only fight so many things at once.

So in sum, I say: if you and your DH both enjoy your leisure and healing in the same way, then you are blessed indeed. (And put the "extra" cash away for early retirement. Travel is EXPENSIVE.)

Illanare said...

Like Mali, I have always been a traveller and A was the same. After each loss we would book plane tickets and take off as soon as I was fit enough to travel.
Since A left I'm constantly being told that it's great to be single because I can go out every night if I want to. But I don't want to, I just want to come home after work, put on my pjs and curl up with a book or my laptop and my cat.

Kristi said...

I'd like to ask you about your Random Acts of Kindness day in memory of Thomas. I'm thinking of doing something similar for my daughter, she was stillborn 6.5 years ago.

Shannon Burford said...

It is nice to see an article dedicated to this important topic. Thank you for sharing.

Herbal medicine treatment

Oana Monica Nae said...

I don't know why but it's very hard to stick up to the travel plans you make before going into a journey...

Cea mai buna alegere, cand vine vorba de achizitiile tehnologice, o reprezinta magazinele de calculatoare second hand, fara doar si poate.

George Cazacu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George Cazacu said...

I don't know why but it's very hard to stick up to the travel plans you make before going into a journey...

Cea mai buna alegere, cand vine vorba de achizitiile tehnologice, o reprezinta magazinele de calculatoare second hand, fara doar si poate.