Updated: Oct 11, 2019
Earlier in the year, I wrote about traveling solo with my children. As I remember, it all went ok overall, but of course they were the normal handful and it was definitely not relaxing. I did it, and would do it again, but I'm happy I can finally draw a comparison between a trip with and without my kids this year!
Recently, my husband and I got back from our first big trip in a while, minus the kids. It was my husband's first trip to Europe, which I seriously never (EVER!) thought would happen. We had the opportunity to go to the Netherlands for his favorite sport, Motocross. All I ever want in this world is to travel, so I'll go anywhere, even if dirt bikes are involved! Needless to say, we had the absolute best time. The weather stunk and rained the whole time, but that didn't stop us. We stayed in Amsterdam and it is soooo beautiful. If you haven't been, go! It's not a long flight from New York and everyone speaks English. The food is amazing and the culture is phenomenal. A great first European destination, for my non-traveling partner.
To elaborate on the experience of sitting, just the two of us, traveling without my small children, reminds me of the feeling...you know how it feels when you first take off ski boots after a day on the slopes? Or, after a crazy long day and you finally get in bed. Relief! The relief of only having to be responsible for yourself, knowing they are in great hands, and all you have to do is have fun. It is the best feeling. Don't get me wrong, the prep and logistics of planning everything to be away and get ready for a big trip is a TON of work, but so worth it when you are sitting on the plane, just you and your mate.
Also, my kids had the best time with their awesome auntie and amazing grandparents. They barely realized we were gone and everything went great, thankfully. If you haven't traveled without your kids, I highly recommend it! To reset, get a break and some rest is essential, in my opinion. It'll make you better parents and give you a new sense of appreciation for your spouse and life.
If you are anxious about being away from your kids, or being too far, or that they will miss you or whatever...all I will say is, leave them in trusting hands and they will be safe. Same as you do every other day when you drop them off at school, or leave them with a sitter, or send them away to college! You hope and pray all will be fine and it will be. Don't limit yourself to close proximity or fear the unknown. It will all be ok! If there's an issue, you'll address it. Or get on the first plane home, or deal with whatever the situation is, however you normally would because there's cell service almost everywhere or wifi, thanks to technology. If you have the means, the safe environment for them to stay in, with capable hands to help...do it! They will be fine, so will you, and it will be soooo worth it.
As my mom would (and did) say, "Just do it!" and start planning now!