Parents-Only Vacation: Flying Without Kids
“Flight attendants, please prepare for takeoff.” What runs through your mind when you hear this phrase? The engines rev up and you can hear and feel the wheels gaining speed. You’re forced to sit back and “relax”. Is there anything special you do during those first few moments of takeoff? Has it changed since you became a parent? Have your thoughts of flying changed at all?
Vacationing without Children
My husband and I went away last week for a getaway for my birthday. Just the two of us, leaving behind the two most important (and most vulnerable) parts of our lives…our children. We booked the flights months prior but it wasn’t until a few weeks before the trip that I started to panic a bit. Why hadn’t we, like friends just the month prior, booked separate flights? What would happen in the event something tragic happened? What if?
One thing that did give me a sense of calm was knowing we had finalized our last will and testament a couple years ago. However, since we finalized our will, things have changed. For one, we bought a second home. Our second home has brought far more happiness to our children than I could have ever imagined. It has opened them to experiences they would never otherwise have. So the weeks leading up to our trip, if you saw me, I was surely telling you, my friends, family, really anyone who would listen just what I wanted happening to the second home…in the event.
Our flight to our final destination was a little bumpy. As we took off, I said my prayers, I squeezed my husband’s hand tightly, I got choked up. I once again wondered why we didn’t book separated flights. I thought the horrible thought of the alternative and how different my kids’ lives would be. Once we were in the air, I breathed a little easier (why is takeoff and landing the worse part!?) By the time we made it to our destination, I was just happy to be on the ground (well…I wasn’t completely happy as it was downpouring in our final destination of the Bahamas).
This trip was the longest one away from our kids that we’d ever taken. Four nights. The length primarily driven by the fact that in the “off season” we couldn’t get a direct flight so we had two almost-full travel days. Thank goodness for FaceTime since texting and phones calls were off limits given the international rates. Seeing their faces daily was certainly the highlight of each day. Although seeing and hearing a little sadness in their voices was also a bit of a challenge. I was honestly shocked by how just much they missed us. We both travel for work (my husband far more often than I do) but to have us both gone…that was definitely hard on them.
As the trip came to an end, we had to once again board the plane. Two takeoffs and two landings, due to connecting flights. “Flight attendants, please prepare for takeoff”. Anxiety once again set in. The return flight wasn’t as difficult emotionally. Do you ever find that? The flight away from home is often the hardest, while the flight returning to home brings a sense of calm.
Looking back, safely from my home, I wonder if next time, will we book separate flights. What would you do?
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