I got tired of not travelling anywhere because I'm a single mom.
Other people travel with their kids. They make it work. I decided I could, too. Last week I bought several travel magazines and scoured the pages for interesting destinations and unique adventures I could have with my kids.
"Boys," I said to them, a stack of travel magazines on my lap, "pick anywhere you want to go. Anywhere at all."
Nothing seemed to interest them until I happened to see an ad for Prince Edward Island. "Hey, what about PEI?" I asked. "We can trap lobsters, go clam digging and fishing . . ."
"Yeah!" they shouted. "Let's go to PEI!"
I'm not even sure they'd heard of PEI, Canada's tiniest province, but they sure were excited by the ad. In fact, it's the only place in the world that excited them. I opened my laptop, scrolled through the PEI tourism site, and within a day, I had booked the flight, car, tours and even a photo shoot on a beach. The more I read, the more excited I got. It seems like a perfect -- as in manageable -- trip for a small family.
It's about two hours away from Toronto by plane, its capital, Charlottetown, is small enough to explore by foot, and our farthest fishing trip is about a 40-minute drive away from our hotel. I'm not sure how much the boys will enjoy fresh lobster and oysters, but there is the Cows ice cream factory and the Canadian Potato Museum. I'm sure they'll find something there!
Why go to such lengths and expense? I want my kids to get a taste for travel. I want them to experience life. To not be afraid to try something new. I want to have memories with them. I want to have done things. To have a bucket list and check each item off slowly, one by one, year after year. Why should I allow my personal situation (being on my own with two boys) scare me into not taking a risk? To spook me into making enough excuses to forgo getting through my bucket list until they are older or off at camp?
No, this year, the excuses end here. I will travel with them. I will transport them safely around a new city. I will build memories with them. We will have adventures. I'm tired of putting off plans. Of staying put. Of being afraid to go it alone. I can do it. And I will.
And while we're on the topic of bucket lists, I recently decided to jot down a more personal list of goals. Travel might not be in everyone's budget or even on their list of things they'd like to accomplish. I also have more things I'd like to do than clam dig and trap lobsters, fun as this sounds. Creating a to do list is a good way to assess your goals, stay focused, and visually see how many things you've checked off by the end of the year.
On my list this year: Have an essay published in the New York Times Modern Love Column. Apparently the chances are 52/3000, but I will try and try again.
I'm working on a book and would like to secure an agent by the end of the year or early next. Again, I'm not sure how difficult this is to achieve, but setting my sights on this goal helps me work backwards.
I'd also like to keep freelancing, adding new clients to my portfolio. I put effort toward this goal every day.
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