What comes to mind when you first think of Amsterdam?
Windmills. Weed. Stroop Waffles. Tulips. Weed.
That’s what I thought. And so did my kid.
The last time we went to Amsterdam, he told me it was pretty boring. He said that Amsterdam is only fun for adults because kids can’t do “adult things” and Amsterdam only has “adult things”. He actually did the air quotes.
We are now in Tanzania for a conference and we had a layover in Addis Ababa on our way to here.
While enjoying my Walia beer and French fries at one of the restaurants, I noticed an alarming amount of people wearing surgical masks. Even some of the flight attendants on our way from Bamako were wearing them, in addition to gloves. I’m not used to seeing these types of things outside of our time in Japan.
There, people would wear surgical masks to not only avoid getting viruses and colds, but to also keep others from getting sick when taking public transportation. In Thailand, I would see people wearing them on their commute to avoid getting sick from the exhaust. In China we saw everyone wearing them to protect themselves from the pollution.
The longest flight the boy and I have ever taken was 16 hours from DC to Johannesburg on South African Airways. And let me tell you, if the boredom from being on a flight that long doesn’t kill you, being in a metal tube filled with germs just might.
There is nothing worse than coming back from a relaxing vacation with the coronavirus.
Flying in the air cramped with a few hundred strangers, breathing recycled air mixed with germs and bacteria, eating processed food isn’t exactly the healthiest of activities. Add to that, flying through multiple time zones and sitting in an uncomfortable seat (for those of us not living that business class lifestyle) will leave you feeling exhausted and dehydrated when you get to your destination.
I often engage in adventure travel with my son. While we enjoy museums and food tours, we are low-key adrenaline junkies and enjoy the occasional thrill.
We have zip-lined across the Zambezi River. We’ve ridden ATVs across the Sahara Desert and through a forrest in Chiang Mai. We’ve also flown in a helicopter to get a better view of Cape Town. We love snorkeling in the open ocean and riding roller coasters – the scarier the better!
When you become a parent, you’re often faced with the thought of something terrible happening to your child. One minute you can be watching your child be silly or minding your business washing dishes and the next minute a flash of a terrible accident crosses your mind, briefly paralyzing you with fear.
Traveling is not easy. And it’s not always cute and Instagram worthy. Don’t let anyone lie to you like that. You’re in a new land whose culture and language are completely alien to you. The people can be friendly or the customs confusing. The food and smells and be disorienting. Travel is an adventure and not for the faint of heart.
To date, I have been to 42 countries, visiting a few of them more than once. I’ve traveled with the boy, solo, or with friends and in each country I visit, I’ve developed a routine of sorts to help me move about a foreign land a bit easier.
Okay, so I’m really late with this post. Or actually with making any sort of resolution, so this list is par for the course.
The truth is I rarely make resolutions – mostly because I often fail at keeping them. However, for the rest of the world, this is the time of year where the innanet is flooded with reflections and “new year, new me” posts. This is because at the beginning of any new phase in our lives, it’s a good time to reflect on all that was accomplished and things we wished had gone differently. It’s a time to pause and take time to do some introspection and make wishes for the year to come.
For a lot of people, travel is something they aspire to accomplish each year. However, for some people, travel is not as easily accessible as it is for the rest of us. So, I’ve made a list of travel-related resolutions for the new year that we all can make, no matter where we are in the world.