Tuesday, November 12, 2013

6 great things about travelling childless (when you usually don't get to)

I've always rather liked travelling solo, even though I haven't done it nearly as much as I would have liked, but since my son arrived three and a half years ago I haven't had the chance to do it at all. Heck, I barely get the chance to go to the shopping centre by myself, let alone hop on a plane! But when I decided to attend the recent Problogger conference on the Gold Coast in Queensland, I got four plane trips all to myself. And a room in a holiday apartment all to myself. And four days to look after nobody but myself. So, for all those parents out there who haven't had the chance for a recent solo getaway yet - or who are perhaps nervous about leaving their kids for a few days and need some encouragement - these are my favourite things about (occasionally) travelling childless.
View from my peaceful (single) room
  1. Flying without having to entertain a small child is incredibly peaceful. You don't appreciate it, of course, until you've had to spend numerous flights with a baby or a toddler (or perhaps both) but no matter how well-behaved Mr3 was on our recent long haul flights, the peace of having nobody else to look after other than yourself is incredible. In my case, it was a luxury to pull out my computer and get a dozen blog posts drafted between Perth and the Gold Coast and back - others will love the luxury of a movie or a book or simply just sitting quietly.
  2. You can wake up naturally, without a three-year-old telling you it's breakfast time. I know there are parents out there with children who sleep later than mine but it has been almost four years since I could just sleep until I wanted to wake up. I had forgotten what it feels like to wake up, wonder what time it is, have a look, and then decide to roll over for a bit more sleep, even though the sun's already up. Bliss.
  3. Nobody steals your food. And you can eat a sweet treat without hiding in the corner because you don't want your toddler to eat said sweet treat.
  4. On the plane, you can sit in the extra-space emergency exit row. You're not allowed to sit there with a child - the people in that row, you know, have to be physically capable of wrenching the door over the wing open in the case of an emergency - so this was an incredible luxury. So much leg space! Wonderful!
  5. An airport delay just means you have a bit more reading and writing time. An airport delay with a toddler is Bad News, but as a solo traveller - it's just a small hitch. (Yes, I had a two-hour delay when the toilets on the plane I had boarded were deemed irreparable).
  6. You can put your lipstick on before you leave your accommodation because you won't be attacked by a toddler wanting (to give and receive) lots of big kisses. (Okay, I kind of missed the big kisses.)
Zigazag's Jo Castro and I all dressed up, with somewhere to go, on the Gold Coast
Of course, I also missed my little boy terribly, and often wondered what he was doing, and enjoyed the fact that I could use Facetime to see and talk with him each day. I even found myself photographing some of the local rubbish bins for his benefit. And it was great to get home again. But now that I've had a taste, I'm looking forward to doing some more occasional childless travel.

What's your favourite part about leaving the kids at home every once in a while?

10 comments:

  1. I love travelling with my kids but nothing beats some time alone in new surroundings every now and then. Here's some things I love when I'm away without my two little ones…

    * Remembering what it's like to sleep through the whole night.
    * Waking up and realising I have enough room to stretch because two little people didn't climb into my bed during the night.
    • Leaving my things all over the hotel room because there's no little hands about to steal my phone, face powder or underwear and put them in the toilet.
    • Packing a small handbag because I can leave the hotel for the day with just my purse, phone and sunglasses, rather than resembling a bag lady carting around spare changes of clothes, snacks, drinks, nappies, wipes etc etc etc!
    • Last but not least, enjoying a few too many drinks without having to worry about the kids seeing mummy tipsy and acting weird.

    I think you and Jo should fly to Sydney for a girls' weekend. Now that could be fun! :)

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    1. Ooh, now a girls' weekend in Sydney is an excellent idea!!!
      And yes, I agree with your entire list. Especially the having a couple of drinks!!

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  2. I can't imagine how relaxing a flight would be these days sans child!

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    1. I couldn't imagine it either but it was HEAVENLY!

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  3. I got to do this recently for the first time since I had kids (nearly three years ago). My husband and I had two nights and three full days in Broome while my mother in law looked after our nearly three year old and 15 month old. I was worried that I'd feel guilty and miss them too much, but I didn't - I missed them just the right amount! It was the perfect little break for us and although I took some books to read, I ended up spending most of my time staring into space. Pure bliss.

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    1. Ah yes, having time just to spare into space is quite delightful, isn't it!! At least when you haven't been able to for a few years ...

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  4. And then one day, Booff! They're gone! The funny thing is that I reverted to doing all the things you mention in time, without much ado, but still long for the big kisses and smudged lipstick. But I get it, I really do, travelling alone is a time to reflect, write, ponder, and cogitate - as long as the person sitting next to you isn't a chatter! Ha Ha, that photo - I remember it now :) Somewhere to go, a rooftop with a tropical party as I remember!

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    1. Haha yes I came across that photo by accident while I had this post in draft!

      Totally agree about having the chatterer next to you. I was so determined to totally enjoy my flights to the Gold Coast and back that I didn't say more than hello to the people next to me just in case they didn't stop talking. It was hard for me, I like talking!!

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  5. Ah the joys of having children, I certainly do not miss travelling with young children! How exciting that you attended a blogging conference.

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    1. I love showing Mr3 new places but I don't like the getting there part! And yes it was wonderful to go to Problogger. So inspiring!

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