We went on our very first trip without kids last week and I noticed a few differences in traveling without kids. Here’s a list in no particular order.
1. Airline travel can actually be relaxing. I mean seriously, you find a seat, enjoy a coke or water, read a book, maybe nap, have a snack in peace, and then repeat the process. It’s lovely.
2. Eating is an afterthought. In our first 2 days of house hunting, we saw about 95 million houses and had about 20 minutes for lunch each day, which was often a late lunch, and then we didn’t eat dinner until close to 7pm. Drive down the road, go into the first local pizza place you see, order a salad and pizza, take it to go, and shovel it into your mouth in the 5 minutes remaining before you’re supposed to start again. Amazing and completely un-kid-friendly! I forgot lunch could be so quick and thoughtless.
3. You can cover a lot of ground. You go ’til you drop. We would start our day at 9 with our agent, and stop around 6:30 or 7pm every day, house after house after house, (95 million houses, remember?) until we finally found the house (and then we saw a few more just to be sure.)
4. Buckling and unbuckling carseat buckles takes up hours of of my life. Without kids, we simply hopped into our rental car or our agent’s car and take off! Zoom! Onto the next property. And when we get there — we could just get out! No unbuckling carseats! In and out.
5. Playing “tour guide” doesn’t impress the hubby. Pointing out American flags, airplanes, ducks, cornfields, and anything else mildly amusing doesn’t elicit the same excited response from a grown man that it does in little boys. I caught myself on more than one occasion starting to say, “Look! An airplane!” at the airport. Yes, I was showing an airplane to a pilot…who sees airplanes all the time. It’s a hard habit to shake.
6. The feeling your forgetting something is very strong. Traveling with my boys to the airport, we try to pack as light as we can with a few small bags for the plane, and 1 or 2 bigger bags to check. Traveling with just my hubby to the airport, I brought my purse, he had a small backpack, and we shared 1 piece of luggage to check. I constantly felt like I was forgetting something, not to mention traveling with my 3 boy circus was also unnerving. (But I got used to it!)
7. A lighter purse. Without extra diapers, extra wipes, extra underwear, snacks, water bottles and the kitchen sink, my purse was light as a feather!
8. Everything is quieter. I could read in silence. I could watch TV in silence. I could eat in peace and quiet. Shhhh…what’s that? It’s the sound of silence.
9. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Oh how I missed those boys! Missed their arms around my neck, their giggles and laughter, their kisses and sweet smiles. And I looked forward to our reunion all week long. There’s no place like home, which is in the hugs of my boys, within earshot of their laughter and bickering, smelling the gross “boy” smell after a hard day of playing, and seeing their sly smiles on their sweet “innocent” faces as they try to con me. Nothin’s better than being home.