Travelling is fun. Exploring new places, meeting new people and getting out of the usual dull routine bring bliss. It is easy to travel while you are a couple, but once you become parents, the entire scenario changes. Instead of enjoying blissful, carefree vacations, during those days, we parents face temper tantrums, travel sickness, brawls among siblings, unexpected delays, tensions of missing kids and hunger pangs.
I loved travelling as a kid and every year I went on short vacations with my parents. Those were the times when I squeezed out maximum care from them, made them dance to my tunes and acted like a spoiled brat. They would never scold me unless I did something unforgivable. My food preferences decided the menu, my sleeping habits and laziness delayed our journey. During long bus trips, they struggled to get a proper sleep cramped into the seats allotted to us, while I slept like on a proper bed keeping my head on the lap of one parent and legs on another. I made my father carry me when I became tired even though he might have been equally exhausted. I did all that and believed that it was my right.
Now I cringe when I think about my thoughtlessness, but I understand that what goes around comes around. These days, I am at the receiving end of exactly similar treatments.
Nevertheless, the magic of travel has not gone, instead it has become extra special. Be it the presence of a twinkle in my son’s eyes because of the beauty of scenes that he behold or be it the small games that we play together to pass time on long travels, the enchantment of our time together has become more. I remember the things that used to excite me as a kid and guide him to enjoy similar things.
We make sand castles and draw doodles on the beach together, for the ocean waves to takes away. We feed the hungry fishes in the temple ponds. We count sheep, trees, cows and houses on the way to our destination and try to identify the various landmarks.
Not only has the size of our luggage increased, but also our travel destinations have also changed. Impromptu tours and treks have become extinct. We double-check accommodations, the mode of travel and the climate of our destination. We take care that we visit child friendly places that will ensure our child’s happiness. His bag is packed with utmost care to cater to his needs, the climate and his happiness. His bedtime storybooks, his tablet with game apps installed, travel documents and emergency medicines find a place of importance in our luggage.
My hand bag size has grown significantly to cater to his demands and the majority of the space inside my bag is occupied by his things- his tablet, wet wipes, snacks, extra dresses, towels and sometimes even his favorite toys.
Answering the innumerable questions that pop up, inventing new games and discovering new things together bring immense joy. Be it a short trip to a nearby beach or a month long vacation exploring new places, the moments together become precious pearls woven into the tapestry of memories.
Capturing snapshots of him enjoying the vacation both on camera and in the mind’s eye is another favorite pass time. After every trip, we return home a little more closely bonded as family and a little more rejuvenated.
We begin planning for the next trip and are eager to embark on our next one. When moments become cherished, trips become memorable.