When I was recently in London, I was lucky to spend an afternoon hanging out at Coram’s Fields with Victoria Wallop and her son Dickon. (And you can tell, by the way, that we were two solo moms trying to cram about three days worth of conversation into part of an afternoon while watching our kids at the same time – did I think to snap a photo of us together? Of course not.) Victoria writes a blog called It’s A Small World After All and she is about to embark on a 9-month trip that will take her, her husband, and their three children (8, 6, and 4) from London to such far-flung places as New Zealand, Thailand, Japan, and Disneyland. They leave this fall and she seemed remarkably calm and pulled together for someone who still has to find someone to rent her house while she is gone. Oh and for someone who will spend the better part of a year in the constant company of three people under the age of nine!
Victoria isn’t the only person I know who is about to start a travel adventure with multiple children. Looking west I see Michelle Duffy of WanderMom who in a few short weeks will be leaving with her husband two tween boys to explore Bolivia, Laos, China, and possibly Egypt (just to name a few of their planned stops). Michelle literally wrote the book on traveling with kids and she and her husband have been biding their time in high-tech jobs while just itching to hit the road. I’m very excited for their family that departure is now imminent. (Again, I spent lots of time hanging out with Michelle at the BlogHer conference in Chicago last summer but we were too busy gabbing to take a picture apparently.)
When Matt and I sold our house and one of our cars and hit the road seven years ago, we were mostly traveling domestically; the farthest we were heading from home was Italy. More significantly, we only had one child. I smile now when I think how complicated and difficult it all seemed at the time. I’m sure Victoria and Michelle would smile too to see how stressed out Matt and I were about things like making sure that Tommy had his own dark and silent bedroom or what would happen if he missed a nap. The two of them have trips planned that make our jaunt seem strictly minor league. Trips that involve things like vaccinations and schooling on the road.
Anyway, today I’m dreaming not of our previous trip, already taken and well catalogued, but of a new extended adventure that Matt and I have just begun to discuss. This one will possibly take us to the far side of the world from where we live, to places like Hawaii, Australia, Korea, and India with school-age children who expect more from us and from the world than a toddler ever could. One of our friends recently brought one of these luxury homes in Egypt for sale and we keep meaning to fly out there and visit her. Maybe we could start our trip there and then venture further into Africa. The possibilities are endless. It’s more than a couple of years away and only a gleam in our eyes at this point, but it’s there, a golden possibility. A perfect Monday Dream.
What are you dreaming of on this fine morning? Or perhaps you are already living the dream of extended and distant travel? Either way, I hope that you will share your link below. And I do hope you’ll check out Victoria’s and Michelle’s blogs – I know that their stories are going to inspire me until I can follow in their footsteps. What I love about both of them is that they are taking their trips for a very pure and simple reason: They love the world and want to explore it with their children.
(Questions about how to participate? See About Monday Dreaming.)
Photo courtesy of atomicShed via Flickr.