We love to travel. When COVID hit, our visas were canceled 6 days before we were scheduled to leave for India. I have to admit, the kids were not jazzed for this one – the prospect of spending 15 hours in the air on one leg was a bit terrifying for them. I’ve spent months in India throughout my adulthood, my son is half Indian, and it is probably the single most place in the world where I feel total peace. Even landing at the airport in the middle of the night in Mumbai, which has historically been total chaos. The shock of that experience alone was probably going to send my kids into a panic. It might be best that our trip has been delayed until a future date, when they are older.
After COVID, we took to the streets and have taken a few road trips over the past couple of years. We even lived out of state for a couple of months. It was heaven – a decision that took less than 6 days to execute between the spark of the idea and driving out of town with a rental booked near the ocean across the country. The kids and I just completed a short road trip (20 hours + 3 additional hours when I made a wrong turn – the backroads of Kansas are especially beautiful, for real). Good times with great friends, legal fireworks, and lots of swimming to counter hot temperatures, high gas prices, and too much McDonalds.
Traveling is fun and exciting but it is also a coping mechanism for me when hard times hit. It’s a way to simplify, to let go, and to be distracted from pain, sadness, loss and grief. It’s a way to free myself from harboring resentment and hanging on to self pity and it gives me space to process and time to be present with the people who are most important to me. It’s healing. Prior to having the kids I spent days and weeks and even months in various countries, traveling by train and bus, staying in out of the way places on a budget, making lifelong friendships, and learning new languages, food, and cultures. I lived an entire lifetime before I decided to have my children and while most people my age are seeing their kids graduate from high school and college right now and mine are not even wearing deodorant yet (one should be), I’m thankful. Life is disrupted by so many things at the moment and I’m glad I’ve never waited or thought “I can do it another time when it makes more sense.”
Do the thing that makes the least sense. Now. Get on the road, book the trip, make the move, quit the job, start the new career, say goodbye, say hello, say I love you, put whatever it is behind you. Do it. Traveling is my best way to heal. What’s yours?