I’m at the airport, waiting to board a flight-my first non-work solo flight since Diego was born. I’m flying to Dallas for very brief (less than 36 hours!) girls weekend with Kelleen and Katie. I’m so excited.
A week ago, exactly, we were at the airport in Maui, gearing up for our long, long post-vacation flight home.
Diego had a rough week in Maui-a cold, teething, heat rashes-but was surprisingly chipper at the airport. He crawled all over the terminal, giddy at all the open space after a week in a hotel. I naively assumed his good mood indicated an easy flight ahead.
Ohhh was I wrong.
I felt every minute of that 4 hour, 40 minute flight. Once we (finally) arrived in Oakland, David and I laughed at the absurdity of all of it: Diego, hardly sleeping, the food service running out just before our row, the fifteen lap babies squished into the back few rows-at least one (including ours) screaming, the poor but remarkably kind stranger who got stuck in our row, reassuring us of our “great parenting!” as we slowly fell apart.
A week later, I feel like we’re still recovering from the trip. I admit, I was entirely too confident about our capacity to travel as a family. The week in Maui (in Maui!!) was far more exhausting than I anticipated. It’s a weird thing to be in such a magical haven for restoration, staring at sparkly, clear-blue water, and think, ughhhh….I’m so drained.
When we got home, I felt kind of rattled by the experience. If we can’t hack it as a family in Maui-at a gorgeous resort-will we ever travel as a family? Of course, some of it was (hopefully) unique to this experience: hopefully Diego won’t cut a molar on future trips, hopefully we won’t all get hit by viral bugs-but maybe traveling with kids is way more tiring than I thought? And if that’s the case, is it even worth it?
All week, David and I joked that here on out: no big family trips. One hour drive or less. But I can already feel that creeping wanderlust in the back of my head saying, noooo….we can do this! We have to keep traveling. It practically our responsibility as parents.
Realistically, we probably don’t need (and can’t afford) to do another big trip like this for several years. Diego won’t remember it anyway. But when he’s older…I hope we re-commit to travel (and to exposing him to places beyond beach resorts).
I’m thinking of all of this at an airport, on a day when travel thoughts took front of mind. The first thing I saw this morning was news of Anthony Bourdain’s death. His loss hit me in an unfamiliar way. I generally think about celebrity deaths when they happen, or come up in conversation. They rarely provoke a sense of, wow, but my life wouldn’t be the same without that person. But it really wouldn’t.
When we went to Dublin, our bus ride from the airport was diverted due to protests. We spotted a restaurant we recognized from Bourdain’s No Reservations, and jumped off the bus to check it out. It was a highlight of the trip. In Istanbul, I remember following David, as he navigated us through the crowded madness of Taksim Square, on a search for Durumzade, another (incredible) Bourdain find.
It’s been interesting reading about his impact on so many. He wasn’t preaching anything revolutionary-just be curious. But it certainly hit a nerve, and is a perspective I’ll miss:
“If I am an advocate for anything, it is to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.
Anyway, thinking about all of this as the season of summer travel begins. Maybe it’s the time distance from the vacation, maybe it’s all the reading about adventure, but it certainly wants to make me reconsider our travel hesitation. Maybe. But only if we get Diego a seat. Definitely don’t want to do any more long haul flights with a lap baby!