I took off on my family for a few days to do some solo travel and went to the most bizarre places - places with seemingly no connection to me - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (with a side excursion north of Prince Albert) and Edmonton, Alberta. Neither place I had ever really been too before unless driving through with my parents as a teenager counted and they're not exactly balmy or somewhere I'd ever choose to vacation in. I wanted to find the aurora borealis, but struck out sadly. Truthfully, I felt like I needed some space, space from arguing kids, space from tension with my spouse, space from a messy house that is almost finished renovations, space from my over extended work life. It doesn't make me a bad person or a terrible parent. And I'm also not a stranger to travels without my kids. I needed an adventure and here's why Mom should get away and travel solo once a year:
- We need to go away to be missed. Sounds shallow, right? What child wouldn't miss their parent?For real, get away for a couple days and they figure out exactly what it is you do, you're not just the snack getter or milk pourer. You're the nurturer, the bedtime story reader, the boo boo kisser, the hugger, the pant leg fixer, the morning alarm clock, the afternoon comfort.. get where I am going here? When you come back from being away on a travel, they show you how much they have missed you. And honestly, how much you missed them.
- You get to read, to think, to Facebook on your phone UNINTERRUPTED... or only if you allow interruptions.
- SLEEP... Who doesn't need some zzzz's without your children or your spouse around? I starfished hard one night - on a king size bed, closed my eyes and didn't stir for a good 7.5 hours. Amazing.
- Meet new people! Hey - why not? On my flights, I sat beside a construction worker, a border security specialist and a federal judge. All of our conversations were amazing. These were people I never would have met otherwise as we never would have crossed paths. I exchanged business cards with two of them as we discussed ways in which our paths possibly would cross again in a professional type manner. Never would have met them if I had not travelled.
- See somewhere new that only you would appreciate! Your kids don't want to stop at that historical site on the highway or eat at that burger joint. You get to do it without them and without quarrel... YES! Travel on!
- Catch up on conversation with old friends and family members without being interrupted a zillion times for snacks, pooh pooh, shoe laces, sibling rivalry... you get it, right? How many times have you been to brunch with an old friends, had to bring your child (or children) and well, there wasn't much opportunity for meaningful conversation? Yes, good old conversation.
- Airport time is a breeze with just your carry on bag and your online check in complete! Travel hands free, no stuffies or extraneous bags with granola bars in hand. Oh and on the plane - you can watch whatever movie you like because you're not refereeing an argument between your kids. Or between you and your spouse or your spouse and the kids or between you and the kids.
Convinced to travel solo yet?
And I have not convinced you yet, I'm not sure how I can convince you any further? I suppose if I was a spa and hard core self-care gal, this would be what it's all about. For me, this particular trip was mental, not about getting pampered. And because I am a woman and essentially I was heading off on my own, I had done a little bit of research about where I was going and what to expect. I knew I would be safe and return home to my family... refreshed and with another excuse to head back on my own again next year; I still haven't found the northern lights.