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Have Kids, Will Travel

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Our family summer adventure starts in a few days, which means I can't focus on anything. I'm way too excited and anxious. So I thought I'd write a post about travelling with kids. The first thing I'll say is I think we've waited too long. We could have taken this trip two years ago, easily. It would have been a lot more work for the grownups, but I think the kids would have benefited from travelling. We did weekends in various cities in Europe (reason #3192 I love living in London), but we haven't taken a family road trip yet. We are all excited and looking forward to it.

I'm super anxious. I've run in my head through every worst-case scenario. Tick-borne diseases followed by permanent neurological damage. Heart attacks in the wild followed by permanent neurological damage. Wildfires and drownings followed by, you guessed it, permanent neurological damage. I suspect permanent neurological damage is going to be featured in the next book I write.

Anyways. To battle my anxiety, I'm preparing like crazy. I've never prepared so far in advance for any trip. I had lodging and plane tickets booked in February. I have lists and maps of attractions and restaurants. I have sunscreen and bug repellent and a tick-removing card and hiking boots and even shorts. I think the last time I wore shorts was when I was 14. I'm holding myself from getting more stuff because I know we won't need them and we have plenty of junk in the house.

Here's my fantasy: pleasant weather, hiking in beautiful scenery, talking with the kids about fauna and flora, having picnics by a stream, kids playing in the stream while my partner and I read or nap or chat, meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Here are things that do not feature in my fantasy but I have enough experience to know this is what it would actually look like: hot and buggy, sore muscles, mosquitoes bites (if we're lucky), whiny kids, uncomfortable beds, backaches, and weird food.

Some of these I can prepare for with sunscreen and bug repellent. Some of these I can't. I just have to accept that they'll happen and hope that we'll manage to have a good time despite them. So I'm also taking my trusted Headspace app, and my yoga routine, and my notebook. Like with everything in life, at some point you just have to say, I'm as ready as I'll ever be. Bring it on.


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