I’m not even going to waste time going on and on about how we haven’t travelled because of the pandemic. Not many people have. To be fair, we travelled some these past two years, but we also cancelled a fair share of travel. We are completely out of practice and we had a nice layer of dust on our suitcases, but we’re on the road again.
It’s been eight years since we travelled to Paris. The kids were much younger, and we had so much more gear to haul. I’m still a little traumatized trying to navigate the busiest train station in Paris at rush hour with a stroller and a large suitcase. I’m incredibly thankful to the young Parisian most likely on his way home from work who helped me navigate the stairs.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not the easiest travel companion, especially if I’m tired. On little sleep, I closely resemble a toddler in and out of of tears while also refusing to take one more step. Before kids, I fell asleep on a bench outside the Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam because I could not go on. Not one more step.
Traveling isn’t easy. Traveling with kids is leveling up. Do the math – add my travel behavior to whatever quirks show up in my family – there are bound to be some difficulties. And by difficulties, I mean, there will be tears, possibly harsh words and lots of apologies. There will also be ridiculously awesome memories that will stay with me forever.
THE BARE NECESSITIES
Eight years later, I still find myself stressing out about to wear when traveling in France. I don’t want to look like a tourist, but I also don’t want to be uncomfortable. Comfy shoes means less back pain. It comes down to the right inserts. Shoes that promise comfort need a little help.
ON WHAT TO PACK
While which shoes to pack are a high priority, the ultimate evolution in my travel is my ability to travel with only a carry on. I mean it’s not a small carry on, but it’s still a carry on. Over the years, I have managed to pack lightly largely in part to Airbnb. Access to a washing machine is a packing game changer.
On a similar note, I totally pulled out a shirt to pack two books. Will I actually read those books? Only time will tell.
I also woke up at 1:30 a.m. and spent 30 minutes contemplating what else needed to be removed from my suitcase. I am one warm layer lighter. I may or may not have my eye on a PSG hoodie.
At the end of the day, I’m just really excited to be traveling with these guys again.