A girlfriend and I were chatting a few weeks ago about the importance of travel – how it changes your perspective and challenges your comfort levels and broadens your horizons. (Fresh from a life-changing trip to Ethiopia, I couldn’t agree more.) There’s just something truly transformative about being plucked from the familiar and placed into a new setting entirely — ready to tackle adventure and exploration. But here’s the thing:
I’m terrified of traveling with Bee. I know it’s a bit irrational, my visions of frustrated plane passengers and screaming fits and lost baggage. And as much as I love the idea of teaching Bee to embrace travel, the concept leaves me paralyzed with fear. So until I’m ready to tackle the adventure myself, I’ve been slowly challenging myself with baby steps I like to call “starter vacations”– outings to summer festivals, solo trips to the park, long walks through outdoor concerts.
And you know what? It’s working. Taking mini starter vacations where the terrain is unfamiliar and I don’t have a plan is teaching me the importance of flexibility and last-minute problem-solving and resourcefulness.
I find it funny that as fast as Bee is learning these days, I’m learning right there with her. Together, we’re discovering new things every day: that people are happy to open the door for stroller-pushing mamas, that bananas are a perfect to-go snack, that music is the ultimate distraction for long lines and hungry bellies. That finger puppets are a must for road trips and backpacks make for amazing diaper bags.
And sure, we don’t have a family vacation on the calendar yet. To be honest, I don’t know if I’m quite ready to tackle it. But I do know that our starter vacations are teaching me the most important lesson of all: transition takes time, and learning takes doing.
And doing takes starting.