Travelin’ Lite

Traveling alone can be so enlightening. Traveling alone after you have had a child, is a whole different slice of freedom.

A month ago, I decided rather last minute that I would buy a ticket to fly to California alone, for a best friend’s wedding reception. When I pressed the ‘purchase’ button, I knew that my time had come to take up the art of traveling again. The fine art of reading a book on a plane, strolling with ease from cafe to shop to cocktail hour, staying up to the wee hours and sleeping in, writing in my journal, forgetting time and duties, focusing on any old detail I please. The thought of being reunited with so many old friends, without the obligations of nap time, square-meal time, or diaper bags was exhilarating. And yet, for the two weeks leading up to my departure, there was that little tinge of guilt. What about Joaquin? I would bite my lip and I would shrug it off, knowing it was too late to turn back…but even more importantly, knowing that I didn’t want to turn back.

Since the day he was born, 20 months ago, I hadn’t spent more than 15 hours away from Joaquin before this trip. Can you imagine that? It’s my reality but it still seems amazing to me, how encompassed, physically and emotionally, I am by to my son. When confronted with this opportunity to travel, I realized that even if he is the light of my life, stepping aside for a tiny slice of time is good for us. This trip was my chance to re-focus on life “on my own” for a few days. Before I knew it, the day had arrived, big tears rolled down my cheeks when I said goodbye, Joaquin hugged me without a clue, Juan dropped me at the airport, and for the next 2 hours I kept having that flooding feeling that I’d forgotten something, or that I didn’t have everything with me. I wandered the airport a little unsure of what to do with all of my ‘free’ time. I think I called Juan somewhere between 2-6 times. Every baby cry, every little laugh, every cute kid was magnified. I boarded the plane, sat in my seemingly giant coach seat with plenty of leg and storage space, and ironically no one sitting in the middle seat. I sent a few overly dramatic goodbye messages to Juan and then shut off my phone. We had lift off, and my independent freedom journey had begun.

I’m back from my trip now, and I’ve got to say that if you’re a parent, getting away is highly recommended. It was only five nights and it got easier with each passing day until the long-awaited moment when I swooped that delicious baby back into my arms. He was all smiles, he remembered me, he wasn’t holding a grudge, and in a snap we were like two peas in a pod again. The only difference is that now I am more complete having had some time alone. I am refreshed having reconnected with my best friends, with California, and with my mom who I got to spend so much time with. I had endless conversations that didn’t include me saying “hold that thought” or “I’m totally listening” as I chased after a runaway toddler. I still woke up at the crack of dawn, but I could fall right back to sleep if I wanted to (and uh, yes, I did want to), I got to give my time helping to set up for the wedding reception, I danced all night, I drank my fair share of wine, I got to be the one who held other peoples children, and with the beauty of Skype, I could still see and talk to Juan and Joaquin whenever I wanted to. I received hilarious text messages, photos, and videos of whatever shenanigans (tattoos, art lessons, food fights) my husband and son were up to back in Panama, and whatever previous ‘guilt’ I had felt, dissolved into thin air. For me, that may have been the most liberating thing of all.

When you have children, everything changes. Most of those changes are incredibly good while some are not easy to accept. It’s true that I’ll never essentially be ‘traveling alone’ ever again but that is only because I will always have something wonderful to come home to, and I am so lucky for that.

It just makes the traveling feel that much sweeter.















  9 comments for “Travelin’ Lite

  1. sigz
    October 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    this post made me laugh out loud and get a little teary at the same time, especially juan’s text message to you about scolding and laughing at the same time. what a little goofball cutie that mister fox is. i miss and love all three of you so very much.

    • Molly Berry
      October 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      Of all people Sigz, I know you would appreciate that text from Juan abut the food fight. And of all people, you probably know us as a family, living under our same roof, better than anyone. We miss and love you so very much too! Can’t wait to do it all again in Guate??? xx

      • Sigz
        October 8, 2013 at 1:25 pm

        I think so, I’ll let you know!

  2. Marie Andreé Soundy
    October 2, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Oh so true! I loved your post! Ricardo and I are on an adult-only trip as we speak… Thank you for making sense of it all… After speaking with our little ones left behind in Panama, I will make sure to enjoy my evening glass of wine with less guilt! Thsnk you for sharing your thoughts!

    • Molly Berry
      October 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Marie! It means so much that you took a moment to comment on this post. I hope that it may have given you a little extra assurance you needed to not only enjoy that glass of wine, but your whole time away! I myself am looking forward to sharing my next trip away (whenever it may be) with Juan – that time alone together is not only necessary for a couple but consequently a healthy and important practice that benefits the WHOLE family:) Thanks for reading! xx

  3. You nailed it Molls! Lauren and I have had a few of these experiences so far and it's so nice how you translated the feelings and emotions into words. Being a parent is such a crazy, awesome journey. Bummed we missed you, but looking forward to the next o
    October 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    • Molly Berry
      October 8, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Christopher! It makes me smile to know that you’re reading! Being a parent really IS such a wild, hard, fun, 100% commitment that cannot be compared to anything else. Being at this stage in our lives, it means the world that I can share this experience with so many of my friends who fully understand from experience all the intricacies of parenting. I can only imagine what a fun mama & papa you & Lauren are…and you’ll only be cooler and more loving, patient, and connected if you continue having those little trips away together – wouldn’t you agree? I was only in Southern California this time around but next time I’m home in the Bay, one of my top stops is going to be Botella Republic, so get ready! xx

  4. Manny
    October 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    What are we, chopped liver?

    • Molly Berry
      October 21, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      If only I could express rightly, how far from chopped liver you are. To me, you’re like a perfectly aged pecorino. I completely deserve this, my dear sweet brother-in-law, no hard feelings. After housing, loving, feeding, and caring for me for 3 of my 5 nights away, I should have at least given you a “direct” nod. But, let me try to explain. When writing this blog, you may have noticed that I’m not short-winded, in any way and I’m working on that. Also, considering the sensitive fact that I went home to California and was barely 6 hours from the rest of my family whom I did not see nor even call (I didn’t have a phone!), I had to be delicate about how I worded my DELIGHT in spending time with you and not them. I guess a blog is for being balls-against-the-wall…but I don’t know, there was a way to be suave about it too, and I guess I didn’t quite hit the mark. But I know you understand. It is in no way a consolation, but I do have to be honest in saying that when I mentioned my “best friends” there was and is no doubt that you, Wendi and Gemma make up the core of that group. I love you so much and I am SO grateful and lucky that you even care enough to give me a hard time about it. Thanks for making your first ever comment on my blog a memorable one, Sensitive Sally. Besos!

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