Swapping a passport for burp cloths

It’s 9 pm and I turn to my husband saying, “Do you hear that?” We both smile… complete silence minus the hum of a glider. As our sweet angel drifts off to Never, Never Land, we decide to forego a few minutes of cuddling (which undoubtedly causes new parents to conk out in a narcoleptic state of sleep) for personal quiet time instead.

There we lay, he on one side of our oversized couch and me at the other, both of us fully absorbed in a bubble of meaningless, monotonous and quiet activity that we hope will drown any stress accumulated throughout the day and allow for some decompression.

I watched my husband doze off and found my thoughts wandering. It was in those few moments of silence and remembrance that I found peace. You see, last year I took the trip of a lifetime with two of my closest friends. In my heart I knew that if we didn’t commit to the adventure then it would never happen… not because we wouldn’t want to stay up late researching the endless possibilities and planning our daily routes with a glass of wine in hand; rather, we were at a crossroads, one that inevitably was going to lead the three of us in very opposite directions. And so we did it. At 28, 29 and 30 years old, we left a boyfriend, fiance and husband at home and backpacked across Ireland, made our way to Edinburgh, explored London, hopped a bus to Stonehenge and finished in Bath. It was everything we imagined it would be and more – the good, bad and ugly of being on the road, as my fellow blogger Noodles says.

Understandably, life did put some distance between us after that trip. One moved eight hours away, two finalized wedding plans and my husband and I learned we were expecting our first bundle of joy. While I’m temporarily swapping my passport for burp cloths, I wouldn’t trade my current adventure of mommyhood for anything. If there’s one thing travel taught me it’s to live in the moment because you never know when it will be your last. That trip and this lesson made me a far better friend, wife and mother.

So what are you waiting for? As this blog suggests, set your sights on something, do it and conquer. No matter how challenging, put yourself out there. Make yourself vulnerable for the sake of the experience. And make some memories that can survive any crossroad.

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