I am in Prague for work this week. I traveled all the way here by way of a connection in Amsterdam, all by myself. It was weird.
Before Ike, and even before Isaac, I traveled alone all the time. I loved it. I traveled for work and for fun. I met friends here and there, I went home a lot, I did a job for three years where I traveled 40% of the time. Air travel is kind of my comfort zone.
But when Ike came along, travel became something so different from what I was used to. There was no more grab a backpack and slip through security. There was no squeeze on the last standby seat on a flight. There was no staring at the departure board and choosing “ummm there, let’s go there today”. Now travel involves: one checked suitcase, one checked carseat, a stroller, a pile of diapers, a bagful of snack, milk in sippy cups, and so much planning!
This time, here I am, all alone, with my lone carry-on suitcase and my laptop, checking around for a toddler using the airport as his personal jungle gym, but he is not here. There is no one to chase or feed or entertain, just me and my earbuds. Ha! I could never listen to music or even thing about watching TV with Ike, but I breezed through my layover with a Ed Sheran and Sam Smith heavy playlist and an episode of Justified with my feet up and a Starbucks I drank while it’s still hot.
Admittedly I was kind of guiltily looking forward to traveling on my own. I can sit in Business Class, I can sleep on the plane, I can have wine without grubby little fingers spilling it on my neighbor. But in reality, it was super lonely and a bit boring. And plus there’s no stroller for me to put my laptop bag in so I had to lug it around on my shoulder.
Traveling with kids is hard but now so is traveling without them.