J & L Want You To Know...

Travel is a Need…

For me, Travel has become a NEED. In a society of Wants vs. Needs, I think most things can go into the Want section of our lives. It seems silly I can place Travel in the Need category, like it is as important as the air I breathe. But… It is. It is the way I reconnect with my husband and make memories with my kids that will last into the Eternities. It is how I take a break from everyday life, and experience new things. I can test my ability to grow and learn, conquer fears, empower myself, and just breathe. Breathe from the everyday monotony that I sometimes feel is taking control. It is my chance to win, to feel joy, and to find out more things about who I am, and who my family is. Traveling gives you TIME, and that is a gift worth fighting for.

For me, it all began with the realization that I was stuck. I live in a great neighborhood, have great friends, my kids can play outside, I drive carpools, and work in the school. I workout, make dinner, go to birthday lunches, etc, etc. I was living life, but I was not experiencing life. I knew all about the people of Arizona, but I sure didn’t know about anyone else.

For work, my husband travels.  He travels all over the US, and he travels all over the world.   He had been to dozens of US cities, Europe, Brazil, and China before I even started to question why I wasn’t going with him.

Why wasn’t I????  Easy Answer,  I was too nervous.  Nervous to fly, nervous to be somewhere I wasn’t familiar with, nervous to leave my kids, nervous they would get sick, nervous the sitter would get sick of them, nervous my house would be messy, and on and on and on.

I could come up with a million reasons why I was to nervous to go, but I couldn’t come up with one reason I shouldn’t experience this part of life with Jared!

I realized that with, or without me, he was going to travel. Did I want to traveling to be part of our story? How important was it to me? I knew I wanted to see new places, and I knew I had the opportunity to go.  I just had to figure out how to overcome all the negative reasons I could create to not take a step and move forward.  I was holding myself hostage with fear of the unknown.  I had to break free of this, and the only way I knew was to commit to a trip!!!

I told Jared, whatever the next overseas trip he was going on, I was in!!!  I hoped it would be Europe… but nope, it turned out to be Asia.  I will be honest, my heart sank!  Asia??????  Don’t they eat crazy food, and not have real toilets. Isn’t there millions of people who all want to stand right next to you???  Is it safe, will I survive, how far do I have to fly???

The doubts started creeping in, but the best part was.. the decision was made, I was going!  Now I had to embrace it, and figure out how to enjoy it!

In truth, this trip changed my life. Looking back, I am so grateful that Asia was the first place I went overseas.  I experienced so many cultural differences, and really learned how to embrace the adventure. It is a destination like no other. It was so far from the comforts of my own home, that I had to force myself to find comfort in my new surroundings. By the end, I learned to LOVE the difference in their way of life. I loved meeting new people, the history of the areas we were in, the stories of the people in their own neighborhoods, and I loved learning about their religion.

My visit to Asia has given me a desire to travel the world.  I want to see how other Moms, just like me, are living in their communities.  I am fascinated by all the different ways I see laundry being done (I do a lot of laundry, and so this speaks to me).  I am fascinated by the way they care for their kids, how they get them to school, and how the kids are surviving in such different economic and social situations.

Before I left on one of my last trips someone said to me, “How do you leave your kids?  My kids are my everything and I would never leave them like you do”. (this really happened)

My response to that after a lot of soul searching was, “How can I not leave my kids!  How can I not teach them to embrace the world, and to not live in fear of what could happen, but live for each day as the gift that it is.” 

It has taken me a long time to find the courage to actually live life outside of my comfort zone.  As I travel with my husband, with my kids, and with my friends, I change. I find beauty in the time, adventure, scenery, and experiences we have.

I also love my husband, and  I want my kids to know that.  I want them to see that despite my busy life as their mom, I have time for their dad.  Marriage is amazing, and marriage can also be really hard.  I have a good one. I picked a great companion, and still somedays are torturous and brutal!  Life can be brutal, but these trips, they are magical!!!!

I have decided to relax. I try to just love each minute of where I am, and the time I have with my husband and family.  When Jared and I get to go alone, we talk uninterrupted, we get to see things, we experience where history really happened, and make memories that are just ours.  I love my time with him, and although I still work at calming my nerves, I plan to travel anywhere he will take me.  

I hope that I can ignite a desire in every mom to travel…. I know I am blessed because of the line of work my husband is in. It forces travel. I am learning quickly though, that there are so many resources and ways to travel with your family on a budget. I truly believe anyone can see the world, you just have to decide that it is important to you. Don’t take no for an answer, and Make it happen, I promise you will be happy that you did.

Travel Notes:

Decide where to go… What place has always been a…. “Someday I will go there place?”

Asia is Amazing for so many reasons, Do not Immediately disregard it because it seems so different.  Difference is what makes it so beautiful!

Look for the GOOD in the Journey, of preparing to Go somewhere. Sometimes the greatest pleasure comes from the hardest work.

Take time for you, and your significant other. If you have to justify it to yourself to take a step forward, justify away!

Take a Step, book something!!! Book your flight, book a hotel…. A step forward will solidify movement, and definitely cause you to keep walking! Relax and Be Happy. Life is to be lived, not Endured.

Loves,

Jen.

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