Dave and I have been on a mini “vacation” of sorts the past few days as we ALL packed up and headed to his annual teacher convention. My mom is also a teacher with the same group of schools, so she and Dave are carpooling to the convention each day while my dad stays back at the hotel to help me with the kids.
I say “vacation” loosely though — because as many of you know, traveling with 3 young children is not relaxing in any way!
However, this week has been a nice change of pace for sure, and it gave Nora something to look forward to for the past month or so. Plus, it’s not every day we get to enjoy not making the beds, HGTV, swimming inside, and delicious breakfast buffets 🙂
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a big traveler. Part of the reason I don’t enjoy traveling is because I have motion sickness. This has gotten better as I get older, but many of my childhood traveling memories are tainted a bit by feeling sick all the time.
However, another huge reason I would much rather stay home than go through all the “monkey business” of preparing for any type of trip is because I’m a self-proclaimed Type-A, Over-Planned, Minimalist Traveler!
What exactly is a Type-A, Over-Planned, Minimalist Traveler?
Let me explain…
Type – A
First of all, I don’t think I need to convince anyone that my personality is generally very “Type A” (read the Wikapedia definition here). I like routine, order, structure, and “sameness”, none of which are possible on a 4 day trip with 3 young children and a husband who is in meetings most of the day.
The days all sort of flow together, bedtimes and naps are often nonexistent, there is no real structure or routine to our days, and we eat out WAY more than we normally do — which honestly seems to have a big effect on my mood (and my digestive system!)
Because I’m Type-A and I know how crazy traveling with young kids can be, I often try to overcompensate by planning, planning, and more planning.
I try to think of everything and anything that could go wrong or that could happen, and then make sure I have a mental plan of action and the appropriate gear packed along “just in case”.
After all, it’s so much easier to have anything we might need along versus needing to make a trip to the store in an unfamiliar location to buy something we forgot, ran out of, or didn’t think we’d need.
For the most part, my planning has saved us countless hours, a significant amount of money, and probably a bit of stress — but it also tends to take away from the enjoyment of the vacation for me because I’m so worried about planning for any potential
In general, I would NOT consider myself a minimalist. I don’t necessarily want a massive amount of stuff I don’t need, want, or use, but I also have nothing against “stuff” — as long as the stuff has its place in our home and can be neatly stored and organized when we’re not using it.
However, when we travel, I have this very weird obsession with trying to use the absolute smallest suitcases, pack as little as we possible can, and bring very few extras along.
This was really easy when it was just Dave and me traveling… but when you travel with a poopy baby, a drooly toddler, a potty trained preschooler who has accidents every once in awhile, and general kid messiness, this traveling “light” is essentially impossible.
As you can see, the minimalist part directly contradicts the over-planned part — and the Type-A part just complicates things even further. It’s no wonder I’ve never been big on seeking adventures outside our home 🙂
Obviously, I’m being just a bit facetious — but there is a fair amount of truth to this post as well!
And I hope some of you can relate!
I realize that part of the reason I don’t enjoy traveling is because we don’t do it enough to get into a good habit or routine (practice makes perfect, right?) But at this point in my life, I don’t really feel like practicing my traveling skills any more than necessary!
Packing for all 5 of us seemed like SO much work. Clothes, bathroom stuff, extra diapers and wipes, all our swimming gear, all our cold-weather gear, pack ‘n play, baby travel bassinet, special blankets and stuffed animals, bouncy seat, stroller, food, toys, books, etc.
Thankfully, I haven’t let my Type-A, Over-Planned, Minimalist self hinder me from having a good time on this trip. The last few days have been busy but fun — and a great change of pace.
I’ll certainly be happy to get back to “normal” again next week (and boy am I glad my parents were along to help!) but in the meantime, I thought some of you might get a kick out of reading what my brain is thinking… and I also secretly hope some of you can relate!