Nothing extreme, mind you - I wasn't a solo backpacker criss-crossing the globe and becoming a bartender at random cities that struck my fancy (though I did fantasize about it). Instead, I was a more intense version of a college student with a Eurail pass. I lived in England in my early 20's and I explored all of Europe, many times over, and then I added in a bit of Egypt, Southeast Asia, and Australia. When I wasn't traveling, I was researching and planning my next trip. It was my passion, my hobby, my avocation, and seeing the world - at least part of it - made me feel humble and free.
Slowly but surely, adulthood crept in, and instead of traveling internationally for months at a time, my trips took the form of week long beach vacations, visits to family, and Disney World expeditions. It's not that I don't appreciate or enjoy these holidays, but they are for relaxation and fun, instead of discovery. At times, when I would really think about it, my lack of ability to travel the way I used to would depress me, or leave me feeling trapped. But I would quickly remind myself that those days are over. My life, now, is my kids, and that's okay and wonderful and someday I will travel again, if I even want to by the point I am able.
Then last year, I went to London for a long weekend without the kids. It was my first time abroad in nearly five years, and it absolutely invigorated me. Being there - in my old stomping ground, so far away from home - reminded me of who I had been before motherhood had taken over me. It was like a breath of fresh air, and I returned home determined to not let it go so long ever again. It was a first step in a journey of reclaiming me again, and one that is ongoing.
But what about the kids? Though London for a weekend was wonderful, I yearned to do a longer trip where I could actually get over the jet lag. And who is going to watch my three kids for 10+ days? And could I really be without them that long anyway?
There's only one solution - take them with us.