Trips are our kids
Some people don’t seem to understand my desire for travel, especially the extended trips and slowly moving around a place. They see it as a vacation or a short break from “normal life” and don’t quite get when I say that I want the travel to be the “normal life”. I offer the following metaphor as explanation.
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Imagine you have a person you love dearly. A child or a partner. Then imagine that you are only allowed to see them a few weeks a year. You get to see pictures of them, playing on the beach, hiking in the mountains. They are just having a good time, but you can’t see them due to a job.
Certainly there are people that do this. They only see their loved ones every so often, but think of how hard that is. Then imagine what it is like to have a manager hmm and haw about giving time off to spend time with that love or a company say “no, sorry”. Of course, this happens as well.
Travel is more than just a time to “vacate” from normal life, but a time for me to reconnect. Reconnect with myself and my interest in the people and places around me.
Travel is our children
Ali and I established very early in our relationship that neither of us was interested in having children. That experience is just not one we want to get into. To quote Eat Pray Love, one of the motivation movies we have watched recently, “having a child is like having a tattoo on our face, you need to be fully committed.” We aren’t, so there is no reason to go down that road.
The act of travel is what has become our children. We just want to spend time traveling. We spend our money to make the travel a happier experience. We learn from the travel as I imagine parents learn from their kids. Maybe different things, but still that is how we want to learn from the world, by traveling in it. I try to travel with the child-like wonderment as much as I can.
By the way, I am in no way saying that it is either/or with travel and children. There are plenty of people that travel with their kids and good for them. Seriously! Children need to see the world and be taught to not fear it and others. Travel just fills the role of children for our lives.
I don’t remember when I first ran across the term “furkids,” but I like it. The idea that pets can be like children. I wonder if “tripkids” will ever become as popular? Probably not, but oh well.
If we had organized our life to have free time to spend with children and family, it would likely be seen as a wonderful thing. But building a life around travel and freedom to go elsewhere somehow draws questions. Are we seen as selfish and irresponsible? I have no clue. I don’t really ask, but it does make me wonder what others think about us.
I have pictures of my tripkids on the cube wall at work. I write blog posts about how wonderful trips went and how I am learning so much from them. I am happy to share pictures and stories from tripkids with others. I don’t think I would be a good parent of human children, but of travel I think I am a fine guardian.
November 29, 2013 @ 12:16 am
I love it. My husband and I don’t want kids either. I actually count Eat Pray Love in my childfree books. Even though it isn’t specifically written for that purpose, there are several parts in it where she mentions not wanting kids. I agree with the tattoo comparison. I don’t get to travel as much as I’d like to, but it’s more than I think I would (or could afford) if I had kids. We also get more of what is called in the movie, although I think it’s said slightly differently in the book, “dolce far niente”/the sweetness of doing nothing.
December 2, 2013 @ 10:54 pm
Yeah, EPL is an interesting story. It epitomizes the idea of “seeing what you want (or need)” for me. I have seen the movie and read the book once. I see and take away different things each time.
There are certainly people who travel quite extensively with their kids. It takes another level of dedication and planning to do so, I imagine though. It is amazing though to show kids the world in a free way.
December 18, 2013 @ 10:36 pm
It is a good story to pull what you want/need out of it at the time.
It is nice that people can manage to travel with their kids and a great experience for them I’m sure.
P.S. I shared this post via twitter and got a notification that it was included in The Childfree Times which is kind of a directory of childfree relevant articles. I can’t seem to find the original post but if you notice any hits coming in from this address http://paper.li/Nyxks/1309538343# that’s what it is 🙂
January 19, 2014 @ 7:30 am
Thanks for the RT. Interesting that there are “Child Free” resources, but I guess for every niche there is something.
We are off traveling again and realizing even more that we treat our trips like our kids. They can be misery inducing, frustrating and expensive and yet we still love them. Most of our stories rotate around them as well.
Off to Berlin - Grounded Traveler
September 30, 2013 @ 9:45 pm
[…] you see my latest post about Trips are our Kids? If not, go read it. I am really proud of […]
September 19, 2013 @ 11:30 pm
I don’t have kid either, and there’s about 99% chance I won’t ever have kids, which is fine with me. I know some writers will refer to their work as their kids, but I never really thought to apply the analogy to traveling. I like it, and I’ll support the use of the term tripkids, because I don’t have furbabies either.
September 20, 2013 @ 11:55 pm
I didn’t think about the idea that writers talk about their books as their babies. It totally fits though.
SO many things can fill that role in one’s life, they don’t necessarily need to be actual human children.
September 19, 2013 @ 11:16 pm
I never thought of that. Tripkids: things we rarely see, but have lots of photos of. I think once we’re ready for kids, they’re going to go on a lot of trips with us. Sorry, but we’ll be those parents with the crying baby on the plane. But, to be fair, I’ll try to keep them quiet. =)
September 20, 2013 @ 11:54 pm
Yeah, the more I got into the metaphor, the more it fits. The stories we tell that noone seems to want to hear about but we are SO proud to tell.
I don’t like flights anyway. Crying baby aside. But thanks for keeping it quiet. 🙂 And definitely take your kids traveling. There is something about travel that makes people more tolerant and happier.
September 19, 2013 @ 1:21 pm
Tripkids…I love it!
September 20, 2013 @ 11:52 pm