Monday, August 6, 2012

A Few Things: Road Trips and Thoughts

As I write this, I’m on the road to California. I’ve really enjoyed the trip thus far and forgot how much I love road trips. It’s a little harder with a child to care for but nevertheless I am fully enjoying our time on the road.
One great thing about road trips is that it gives you lots of time to think. Quiet time in your head to loom over thoughts and ideas. That’s something I don’t get a lot of. It also gives me time to just do nothing and basically forces me to relax. To just enjoy the beauty of the landscape around you. I think that’s my most favorite part about road trips, the sight-seeing aspect. I just love going to different places and experiencing different cultures. It’s just so amazing to see how different life can be when living in a different place. Every city is different and unique in it’s own way but then again has some similarities. I love it because it gives me a chance to see things I cannot see in my own town such as mountains and hills. I don’t know why, but to me they are so mystifying. Where I live, it is FLAT. But here there are hills with houses on top, mountains that you can see in every direction and I think it is just beautiful. They just make everything so much more interesting! I wish I lived somewhere with mountains…. Or at least hills.

I also love the water. We got to go to the west coast ocean and it was gorgeous. Now, not to complain about our beach but this was the real deal! Our beach has brown sand, brown water, and a musty, fishy smell. This beach had soft white sand, clear blue waters, and a crisp, salty sea smell that was just wonderful. Not to mention, the cool ocean breeze, heaven!

And man, the succulents here grow like weeds! It’s insane, I’ve never seen anything like it. And bougainvillea! I love bougainvillea. I have some at home but here it is everywhere you turn! Also, they don’t have AC here, which would be an awesome thing. And hardly any bugs, a HUGE plus. It’s weird to go outside and not sweat your boobs off or get eaten alive by mosquitoes. 

It kind of feels like a dream out here. LA is so big and overwhelming. Just so much to take in on one visit. And it’s weird having Eliza.

Something I’ve been thinking a lot about is traveling with a child. It’s definitely a risk and outside my comfort zone. I’ve grown pretty confident with taking Eliza out and about in Texas but in an entirely different state, it’s a little different. I’ve found myself being kind of unsure and self-conscious about being a young mom on this trip. Just out of place maybe? I’ve been trying to push it to the back of my mind so as not to upset the trip but it’s definitely come up a few times. There are just so many struggles that come along with traveling with kids and you don’t really realize it until you have one. And then when you travel with younger people that aren’t used to little kids being around, it can just make you stick out even more. Like I’m supposed to be young and be able to do whatever but I have this child and am limited to what I can do. And I always have to think ahead and be prepared. I have an extra being to be responsible for and think about.  So when we are hanging out with child-less friends that are our age, it’s like “Let’s do this, oh wait what about Eliza”.  Not that it’s their fault, but for them, thinking about Eliza is an after-thought. For me, thinking about Eliza is the center of everything we do. For example, when I was with my family last week (my aunt and her kids), it was just the natural thing to think, oh how many car seats are we going to need to get here and what are the kids going to eat/do blah blah blah and all the adults look after each other’s kids and it’s no problem. But here it takes an extra effort to plan out everything involving Eliza and I don’t want to burden anyone to watch Eliza so it’s like all on me (well me and Brandon). And I have to evaluate every activity and decide whether it is Eliza friendly or not. She’s at the age where she’s kind of independent but things like going to a museum are a little difficult (too boring for her!). Our friends are really good with Eliza but also, I sometimes wonder if it’s a bore? Or maybe too much for them at times. I hate being a burden to people and can’t help but to wonder how they feel about it. I mean, they love Eliza, no doubt but kids (especially2-3 year olds) are hard to deal with sometimes.  

Of course, none of this is going to stop us from going on road trips. It’s just a realization I guess and letting out my thoughts.

As Eliza gets older and we (hopefully) have more kids this is just something I’ll have to get used to I suppose. Traveling is something I’ve done my whole life but not until I couldn’t travel anymore(when I had Eliza) had I realized how important it was to me. I’ve become very appreciative and grateful of all the places I’ve been and that we had the opportunity to travel so much as kids. It’s something I really want to give to Eliza (and also Brandon and myself!). And now that we’re semi-on our own, I’d love to try living somewhere else! As I said, was a big factor in our trip to California. It’s so far away and I’ve been feeling kind of scared about it but we really loved California overall. I don’t know, it’s not like we’re going to be moving any time soon (we have to finish school first!). It’s just something to think about. Maybe by the time we graduate, we’ll be ready to make the move. Who knows. For now, I think we’ll just enjoy traveling (: 

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