Monday, February 25, 2008

Traveling without kids

Tomorrow morning, (Tuesday) Heather and I board a plane to Portugal. We are traveling without our kids.

Traveling without the kids is always a bittersweet experience for me. Before we leave I try to think of every last detail I need to take care of to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Now that the kids are older, those details have changed quite a bit, but it’s still a brain-bending chore. I have moments of “I don’t wanna go four days without seeing my kids” and “What if something happens to us while we are traveling?” Honestly, I think one of the worst things in the world is thinking about someone else raising my kids.

Once all the prep work is done though, and I’ve actually said goodbye and left the house, I start to enjoy myself. Here, in random order is a list of things I’ll be looking forward to while we are in Portugal this week:

  • Navigating an airport and only worrying about my own personal belongings.
  • Sitting on a plane and not having to get out someone’s backpack/tell them not to kick the seat in front/tell them to stop messing with their tray table/window visor/seat position.
  • Meals where I can eat what I want without having to make sure smaller people are eating too.
  • Not having to answer the eleventy billion “Moooooooooooooooms”. (Well, maybe once a day on the phone.)

By the time I’m eating my Egg McMuffin© in Terminal 4 (the only place in Spain you can get them as far as I know) on Tuesday morning I’ll be ready for the four days away.

This sounds morbid, but Heather and I always think “What if” when we travel without kids. Specifically: “What if the plane crashes and our kids are left orphaned?”

We made plans before moving to Europe in 1998 as to this question. Currently our kids would go to a couple that we love dearly, but whom we feel our kids hardly know now, so our existing plan worries us a bit. Over the past year or so Heather and I have often said, “We really need to update our will, and renew what would happen to our kids in the event both of us die.”

The problem is we always imagine someone taking care of our kids and we think we would like someone who would do it like us, but we realize that, no matter who we choose, that is just not going to happen. Nevertheless, it makes the decision that much harder to make.

I must say, however, that traveling without kids is much easier than traveling with kids. It provides us with a nice break to just be “Heather and Troy, husband and wife”. I will…

-read a book uninterrupted or
-just hold Heather’s hand or
-tell her some jokes.

In each of those cases, Heather will be my counterpart:
-scrolling on her PDA to read her book (see our post on Gadgets) or
-holding my hand or
-rolling her eyes (see Heather’s #3 here).

Guess I’ll stick to simply holding her hand. That suits me just fine.


paulo said...

we'll miss you, but i'm glad you have this time to recharge.

The O said...

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm going to hold on to the image of you two holding hands.