WTF is wanderlust?
All the Cool people are doing it. And I wanna too! But I’m not one of these IG Models who just throw a few bikinis in their overpriced carry-on and go.
No, Thankfully, I’m a Mama with a family in tow. And it’s a bit more complicated.
It always involves packing a bunch of shit, probably too much shit, then forgetting the shit you need. Carrying all the crap around the airport. Flight delays, stinky people, grouchy people, stoic airline employees, waiting more waiting. All the side-eyes at the lady traveling with the toddler. But traveling with a toddler means that we get to board the plane before everyone else! Yipeeeeeee!
And now let’s take a moment to appreciate that after 8 years of parenting, I finally learned the FAA guidelines and carried the car seat on the plane to buckle dat baby in… RAISE DA ROOF, mom-win. Remember: you only do better when you know better.
And now, despite years of travel and weeks of mental preparation, the aviophobia kicks in. For those of you too lazy to google it, its the fear of flying. Its a thing. Its an uncontrollable physiological response. I’m the lady, who, with every adjusting engine sound, or change in altitude, starts to panic. “What was that! Is that normal? Is that supposed to happen?”
And my husband, bless his heart, will always tell me calmly “Yes, Kelly, we are going down.” And I laugh. And that makes me feel better for 5 minutes. They actually make pills for this kind of thing. But I can’t take then because I am responsible for the toddler kicking the back of your seat.
So we eventually don’t die, we arrive. More bags, more waiting. A fun little rental car bus with amazing air conditioning that you don’t have to buckle your seatbelt in. This is probably my favorite mode of transportation, really. It feels like you are on the home stretch.
And then comes the rental car place.
This can be pretty intense. At this point, everyone is OVER IT. Its been a long day. For everyone. And here we have one last line that seems to be the slowest of all.
But not for Jon from Denver. No, no, he paid $25.00 more for express check out and he gets to cut the line. Everyone hates him. Especially Gertrude from Portland. She is behind me and she wants everyone to know its 11pm her time, an hour past her bedtime. Everyone is unhappy. And tired and dehydrated. Except for the toddler, who is what we call over-tired and we all know what that looks like.
But thankfully you have the extremely friendly and overzealous rental car employees greeting you and trying to get $25 more out of you a day for a small SUV. Which, BY THE WAY, for 4 days is $100.00, I did the math. But actually, I only did the math just now. At the time it sounded like the deal of the lifetime. But guess what? They are suddenly out of small SUVs yet have minivans for just $5 more (than the $25 more). So, 30 x 4 = $120, I see what you did there.
Finally, you are in your mid-size-compact-rental-car, you are HOME FREE! You just have to drive to your hotel, valet dat bitch, check-in and order a Long Island ice tea and put this day behind you. And after what seems like months of hurricane humidity, you are like, so excited to sleep in 36 degree air conditioning. This alone is worth the travel ordeal, am I right?
But guess what? Guess what? The A/C is broken. The resort A/C. For real. But they have fans. FANS! Oscillating fans. OR you can get back in the rental car you valeted and drive to the sister resort 20 minutes away. Am I on punk’d or a Travelocity commercial? So you shrug and accept a bunch of comps and tucker in your room and drift off to the sound of the fan. Exhausted. Thinking this whole wanderlust thing is over rated.
The sun is shining, the ocean is churning, the mountains are glowing, your stomach is rumbling and you know just the spot for fresh coffee and a mango scone before you strap on dat kini.
And later in the day there’s that moment where every little trifling worry back home either makes sense or means nothing. There is something very refreshing about viewing your life clearly from a distance. And your heart is full.
Maybe you will seek out new adventures and places, or maybe you won’t go beyond a 15 mile radius of the resort. But either way, you realize that this amazing place is a gift that you will slowly unwrap for the next few days, like the precious taking apart of the most beautiful gift wrap. The present within is a fresher, happier, newer you. Not to mention happy, sun-kissed kiddos, and family memories for a lifetime.
The hectic half-day of torture? That is travel. It’s a necessary rite of passage, really, to this wanderlust thing. Kind of like everything in life, you have to go through some tough things to get to the good stuff. And it’s rough. But worth it.