Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Irony of Travelling as a Parent

The day before we travelled has always been stressful as far as I could remember. There are always so many last minute errands to run and things to settle. Packing has always been done hours before we are to leave for the airport. I must confess that most of the packing is done by my better half, who would meticulously write down a checklist to ensure that every necessity are packed and taken care of, down to the quantity of every shirt, every pants and underwear packed. I, for one, am the careless one. Packing to me would probably take a fraction of the time that she would need but then again, please do not ask me the exact number of collar t-shirts I have taken, round neck shirts I have tucked away nor the exact location of my toothpaste or my shaver.
Instead of careless, I would rather say that I am more carefree. I am happy just travelling with as little luggage as possible besides my camera and my lens. To me, travelling, especially if it is for leisure and not business, got to be more spontaneous and carefree. As long as my passport and all necessary documents are in place, who cares if I should run out of shirts while I am away? Who cares if I bring back exactly the five pieces of underwear that I brought along? But then again, that is me.

However, now that I am no longer unattached nor have the privilege to travel alone like I used to, going on a holiday, or I would rather said, preparation to go for a holiday has become a totally different story especially when my children are travelling with me. I would love to be carefree but I can no longer afford that luxury. Besides making sure that I have enough milk powder to last through the journey, number of pieces of diapers, I have to ensure that all the necessary medication for any possible emergency are taken along, nasal spray, nose drops, paracetamol and the list goes on. With Chenya travelling as well, I would have to make sure that baby bottle special washing liquid, brush and sterilizing steamer are packed as well.  I will make sure that if we ever have to bring Ryan (when he was below 3) or Chenya now, I would avoid flying or taking any type of transportation other than my MPV. If I can not park my MPV in front of the hotel to unload all the stuff that I have brought along, you would NOT see me there. If I can not unload all the luggage and bags that I have skilfully fit into the luggage compartment right in front of the hotel so that the bell boy can take over, I am not going.

I used to enjoy travelling and being away from home for weeks and if it is a dream holiday, for months or never coming back to the reality. But with Ryan getting older and more attached and with Chenya growing up so fast, surprising, we find ourselves missing home the moment we left home without them. That is a deep sense of relief, to our disbelief, on the day we checked out.

Relieved, knowing that soon we will see our two little precious one that we have left home, soon. Relieved, knowing that soon, we could have them in our arms, and we showering them with our kisses and hugs. Relieved, knowing soon that Ryan will be running into our arms, yelling at the top of his lungs, “Daddy! Mommy! I LOVE you!” and Chenya waving her arms frantically in the air shouting “Aaeyyyyyeeeee!” with her cheeky smile. Relieved that soon we will be seeing Ryan jumping off the sofa and we will be shouting at him at the top of our lungs, “Ryan! STOP! You will break your leg!”….

OK…I need another holiday soon……


chinnee said...

haha....travelling with kids is totally a different thing. Holiday with kids is fun but even much much more tiring than staying at home.

MeRy said...

Travelling with kids is always not easy,alot of things have to prepare .However, it was a fun experience for parents.

Lisa Hz said...

I’ve always love your writing. The journey that you have gone thru with that 2 charming kids is more or less just like mine. And I just can't stop smiling while reading every line in this blog. You are such a nice daddy!

More Pictures on Jeju Island Coming up NEXT!