In a few short days we’ll be packing our bags and heading to the other side – of the planet, for 3 weeks. After about 35 hours of
torture traveling we will exit plane number three and plant our feet on Norwegian soil.
Oh how exciting? Yes!! And… a little bit… No.
It’s been 4 years since I went back to visit the motherland. The last time I had the total of 1 day to just go with the flow, no plans, no stress, and it was the day I came out of the hospital after surgery. This time we’re going as a family, and introducing Anakin, which adds a whole other circle of hoops to jump through.
Don’t get me wrong, it will be absolutely wonderful to see friends and family, of course it will, but it will be a marathon. And absolutely exhausting. Between what we want to do, what we have to do and what’s expected of us, there’s not much, if anything, left.
This time we have had to write down a daily schedule, every day is divided between our two families (and the very occasional friend here and there), and every single day is planned. Where to sleep, who to see, what to do. We’ve done this to reduce the amount of stress on ourselves and prohibit as much tension as possible. I am certain it will be the best thing we ever did in preparation.
Besides the obvious stress factor, the unknown of flying with a toddler, the potential horror of dealing with a jet lagged kid out of his routine (and one who is so totally dependent on it for smooth sailing), my need to continue my research and thesis writing, and my partner’s work, there are some absolute gems waiting for us, both in form of people and places.
We’ve lined up some escape time at family cabins where all we’ll do is eat, drink, fish and run around in the woods and surrounding nature. Definite winner. I can’t wait to sit down in the sun with no cars, no tv, no phone and just breathe. We’ll be taking some of our very best friends with us there, both from Norway and from Australia. I’m so excited about this I’m all giddy. We’ll be going to see wolves and lynx, stuff our faces with the world’s best strawberries and eat until our buttons pop. There might even be some swimming if the water is nice. Anakin can run around in the buff and discover his pagan viking heritage.
I’ll finally be seeing a very special someone I haven’t seen in 7 years, which I can’t even begin to explain how happy makes me. Then there’s catching up with siblings, friends, new babies, new family members, grand parents, parents, aunts and uncles, and even going to a concert or two.
Will it be wonderful? Yes! Will we need a holiday once we get back? Yes!
But first there’s a whole lot of organising and packing to do. Oh how I loathe packing. I can never figure out exactly what to bring and I always bring heaps of things I never use.
Anyone got any handy tips for traveling long distance with a (walking) toddler? Things to bring for the plane, advice for baby jet lag or just a few comforting words of wisdom?