A Mother Reclaims Her Travel Spirit

This is a post from Tasia Grzecka – wife, mother of three, licensing specialist for adoption and foster care, fellow blogger and my older sister. (Yes – you've already been graced with my twin sister's post and now you get another!) She also just so happens to be the one who sparked my interest in travel at a young age. As she traipsed across Thailand, Loas, Nepal, American Samoa and Honduras (places we've yet to visit aside from our time in Bangkok!) before starting a family, she opened my eyes to the world outside my own – and for that I am forever grateful.

 

In which a married mother of three attempts to recapture her love for traveling

I’ve always been fascinated with how completely different people can live their lives on the other side of the globe. Ever since my first trip to Mexico to build houses when I was in high school, I was hooked. The cultures of the world captivated me and I couldn’t get enough. I even majored in Global Studies in college. Along with my love for learning about people and their way of life I was also blessed with the gift of worry. I get it from my mother. {Thanks mom} I worry about EVERYTHING. Fortunately, the worry was masked somewhat by my youth and carefree attitude and therefore didn’t affect my traveling ways when I was in high school and college. I was able to ride on a elephant through the jungles in Thailand, fly in a ten passenger plane through the mountains of Laos, and live with a Nepali woman I couldn’t speak to for six weeks. No worries.

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Enter in three children and almost ten years of marriage and now I can’t hide my worrying ways anymore. I worry about all the mundane decisions I make as a mother. Am I teaching my children to make healthy food choices? Do they watch too much television? Will they grow up with a good self-esteem? You name it, I’ve worried about it. Motherhood for me has become an endless mountain of worry. Add to that the fear of what will become of my children if something were to happen to me – I literally worried about dying in Peru. Will my children be okay? Of course I’m never gonna not go because of that. I’m a rational person and I realize the likelihood of that happening is slim and that we can’t live our lives that way. But i’m telling you I worry nonetheless.

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Anyway, since TBT started this little trip of theirs, it got me thinking about traveling again. My mother offered to take the kids for the week. Although I worry about them, I still can’t wait for the next chance to get away from them. Such is the plight of parenting I suppose.

My one goal on this trip was to avoid worrying; to avoid decision making altogether; to leave my children 3,500 miles away in the loving arms of their grandparents and not worry about it. Be in the moment. I put my fate in the hands of TBT. They decided everything from the credit card I bought to get me and the hubby to Peru on miles, to deciding on where we would eat for dinner. I refused to make decisions. I make decisions everyday for a family of five. It was refreshing to let it go; to stop worrying. I believe it was a little frustrating for TBT, but it was awfully nice for me.

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I did discover though that when you’re in a different country, speaking a foreign language, all the planning in the world can only get you so far. In the end, you have to be flexible. You have to be okay when you take an hour and half train ride and a two hour cab ride to a bus station to catch an overnight bus to your next destination only to find out the tickets you thought you had were never purchased. You can’t worry about it. You have to be okay with a six hour flight delay. You accept the airline apology, take the $200 credit on the airline you don’t plan on flying with ever again and you eat the airplane lunch they provide while you wait. You can’t worry about it. You can’t let it stop you from experiencing what the world has to offer.

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While I can’t shake the motherly voice inside that’s in a constant state of panic (I’m still a nervous flyer and I still made sure our trust was in order before we left just in case we bit the big one), I can choose to not let it it keep me stuck in the familiar. I can choose to get out of my comfort zone in spite of the worry. It’s good for a person like me. It reminds me that I’m not really in control and I really don’t want to be. It gives me a new perspective on life. It’s addicting. It allowed me to walk the streets of an authentic Peruvian Market. It enabled me to take a picture with an alpaca and two traditionally dressed elderly Peruvian women. It made it possible for me to ring in the new year with complete strangers in the middle of a town square in Cusco surrounded by fireworks and raining champagne. It brought me to a mountain top where once an entire civilization thrived many years ago. And it granted me the experience of sharing all of that with some of my favorite people in this whole world. I can’t wait for the next trip. Thanks TBT for making all the decisions and doing all the worrying for a week. This married mother of three is thankful you rekindled her adventurous spirit.

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