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“You must get sick of all the travelling.”
I felt this was a weird statement for my brother to make since he has been travelling for many years longer than me and has no intention of stopping.
He must have felt my confusion through the phone.
“I mean the actual getting from one place to another. It must be so hard with the kids.”
“Oh that. We sure do. It’s a hassle.”
It’s a bloody hassle.
Extra luggage, strollers, baby carriers, portable cots, car seats, nappies, bags of snack food on hand, changes of clothes in case of accidents, toys, constant demands, Savannah running everywhere and climbing over everything on moving trains to poke strangers, tantrums in restaurants, on planes, and the tantrums both unleash at the same time on crowded buses.
And that’s just the travel part.
Combine this with the fact we are travel bloggers juggling all that whilst trying to take photos, notes, and video and updating facebook, tweeting, instagram, foursquare and networking when necessary.
Does my head in.
Sometimes I want to scream when childless travellers complain about the hassle and the lack of time.
“WTF? You have no idea how much time you do have and how easy it is!!” ( and you really don’t)
But then before children, I used to complain about the hassle of travel too. Back then it was arduous journeys, the high price of beer, and sleepless nights. (WTF? You never knew how much sleep you had girl!)
My hassle now is kids. I don’t know what someone else’s hassle may be. It might be a gummy knee, anxiety issues, chronic fatigue, crohn’s disease, or any number of things that slow us down and make life challenging.
We all have our challenges. The point is are you going to let them overwhelm you so they stop you from living your dreams?
“That’s it. I can’t do this anymore. It’s too much hard work”
Somewhere along the journey now with the kids, I will seethe this statement. And I am serious until a few hours time when the stress melts away into the moment when I experience the joy of exploring the world with my children.
The plays in the park, our relaxed family bond as we hold hands wandering the street, me answering Kalyra’s incessant questions as she discovers the world around her.
Me enjoying seeing the world anew again through my children’s perspective.
Seeing my girls have interactions as special as this
My heart filled with wonder, joy and total gratitude as my inner voice bursts out a Thank you for my life with each step.
You can’t focus on the hassle, you have to focus on the why. Why are you doing this and what will be the greater gift once you get past the sacrifices and challenges?
It is that simple.
So I know when Savannah is wriggling to get free on a train, at the same time I’m trying to stop the pram from toppling over (and instragramming it at the same time), what will soon come.
Priceless memories and total joy.
If you can have that at the end then the hassle is worthwhile.
What is at the end for you?
Many people don’t allow travel to enter into their life because they don’t want to deal with the hassle, even if it means driving an hour away for a short break.
They’d rather spend their free days on the couch watching TV, with a glass of wine and maybe a foot rub from their partner. And then after that it’s ticking off the odd jobs and household chores.
And that’s ok if that’s what makes you happy.
But for most, before they know it, work rocks around again and they return to the grind, unconsciously aware of how much they are letting their precious time here on earth slip by.
And purely because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of getting from A to B, a hassle that could only be an hour long, but an hour, that at the end of the journey, returns freshness and control to their life.
Control that says, “This is my life and I intend to live it the way I want.”
Most people are missing out on this because they are focusing instead on what it takes to get what you want (and this always involves hard work and sacrifice).
Trust me; I totally understand the hassle, more than anyone. We travel non-stop with our two young children and run a business around it.
It’s a bloody gigantic hassle.
But I know that if I don’t suck it up, I’ll be stuck in a rut, miserable on the couch living a life that is less ordinary to me.
And no one deserves that.
Check out our 25 tips for travel with kids
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