Throughout the time I've spent in South East Asia, I've learned a lot of lessons. Some of which I'm too embarrassed to proclaim to all, but there are some in which I think some may benefit from.
My whole life I've been a dreamer. I love thinking about all the places I've never been and the things I have to do and see. I've just always enjoyed traveling and all that comes with it. Adventure! Excitement! Pictures! People! And so on...
Before I got married I thought that marriage would tie me down and that I'd never get to do and see all the neat things this World has to offer. I feel like people and the media tell you, "once you're married, it's all over." Even the message in "Eat, Pray, Love" is that you can't find yourself unless you're "free." Which, is a Huge Lie.
I traveled a bit over North America with my Family before marriage, but it wasn't until after I got married that I really started to go places. It all came due to my Husband's job. Every year he has the opportunity to earn a trip with the company he works for. Which for me, has been a huge blessing, because I love to go places. It just shows me that God cares not only about my basic needs, but also the desires of my heart.
The next great lie that people, and media tries to feed you is, "once you have kids, you're tied down like a dog to a chain." But since we were blessed to have our son, we've just started bringing him along with us on all our trips. I've never once felt like he tied me down from doing what I want to do with my life. Wether I want to go somewhere, learn something, or do something I just adjust my schedule accordingly.
I guess, I subconsciously changed my priorities once I had Thor. He hasn't made me feel "tied down" because I became less selfish once I had him. My world revolved around him (and James), yet he lives in my world the way I want my world to be. It all just blended together in a perfect balance. I can still be me, but he's apart of my every moment, everyday.
I think another lie that comes from having children is that people look at stay at home Mother's as unaccomplished nobody's who chose the "easy" road or "lazy" route. Many people label Homeschool Mom's and stay at home Mom's many things, but most of the things they are labeled as aren't seen in a positive light. People for some reason look down on stay at home Mother's. Yet "The hand that rocks the cradle, is the hand that rules the world."
Motherhood is the hardest job out there. No sick days. You're on duty and on call 24-7. You're the spiritual leader, teacher, disciplinary, chef, maid, groundskeeper, interior designer, etc. And you're the one and only Milk Producer in the home for all the new recruits (newborns). You have to sacrifice you're sexy hot body to stretch marks and flab just so that you can spend every day wiping bums, noses and sticky fingers.
Anyone who has never done it themselves, who diss on Motherhood are, to put it simply, extremely ignorant, and live a selfish and unfulfilled life.
Anyway, to stay on point, when we decided to come to South East Asia, we decided to not bring Thor. There were just too many dangers to bring him along. We talk to him via facetime twice a day, but as time wears on I'm missing him more and more. If we had decided to do just two weeks, no problem. Three, ... Ok. But we chose to do 5 Weeks! I guess I thought that if I wanted to come home sooner that we could pay $200 tops to get home sooner, but apparently airlines have gone out of control with their fees and we literally can't come home early without paying $1,000!!! Yeah... I don't have that kind of money. We could have brought a third adult for that kind of money!
It literally makes me furious at United Airlines because I know that they can waive those fee's, but they refuse to because they WANT customers to ditch tickets so they can pocket billions each year. The only way out is for a dead Family Member or if THEY (the airline) cancel the flight. It's completely absurd. I just freaking want to go home 1 to 2 weeks sooner. I'm flexible for them, they need to be flexible for the customer.
Lesson learned? You better not change your plans even with unforeseen circumstances unless you plan to pay financially for it.
And I guess I'm learning the hard way that 5 weeks away from my son was more than I thought I could handle. I think if I had to leave him again for a week during an anniversary or something would be fine, but I would recommend, when leaving children for vacation time to keep it under 3 weeks.
So, yes. You Can still travel when you have kids. With or without them. But you may miss them more than any pet you've ever left at home while you're away.
I thought that traveling was my "feeling of importance." That by seeing the world that made me somebody. That, that made me important because traveling meant that I was doing something with my life. I'm so great because I've been places, and I've done things. But I'm starting to think that there's minimal truth to that. Yes, I've been places, and done things but it's not about where I go or what I do. It's who I'm with. Without Thor here with us I feel a little more empty, and sometimes a lot more sad.
I've met all kinds of people here in Asia, and some are trying to find happiness through traveling while others are already happy, and have a family but travel for fun with their family. I guess from my perspective, the happiest traveler is the life traveler. The one who knows what life is really about before they get out of bed each morning, no matter where they may be. They know where their priorities lie, and are willing to make the tough choices even when the easy choice sounds more appealing.
It's easy to think only about yourself. It's easy to be selfish and live life with no responsibilities and the "freedom" to go and do whatever you want, whenever you want. But living the "easy" way, isn't a very fulfilling life. I mean, when you're living that life you think you're life is more interesting and great than anyone else's. But it's never going to bring you the joy you get from marriage and children. Where you're life becomes about others and not just about yourself.
To travel and enjoy life are both wonderful things. Because you can enjoy life even without traveling. But the happiest times you'll ever experience are the times that involve family. Especially the moments when you are forming and growing your very own family. Births, marriages, first steps, graduations, hugs and kisses and everything in-between.
If anyone knows how we can get home sooner without the crazy fees it would be much appreciated.