Mike and I are not travelers. Of course, we would LOVE to be travelers. But we just are not. We have been to Mexico twice. Once on our honeymoon and a second time to celebrate our first anniversary (the best decision we ever made sans kids!). Mike spent 4 months studying abroad during his college years, living in London and traveling Europe. And we were so fortunate to travel to California together while we were engaged. This was a work trip for Mike and we also brought along his grandfather AKA “POP” and made the most amazing memories during that week. Other than that, we have done the typical “East Coast Summer Vacationing” you could call it. We have been to Myrtle beach, Maine and Cape Cod. Our years together as a family has mostly brought us to Southern Maine, our yearly summer vacation spot.
Well, we did once venture with LOTS of our extended family on a cruise. But a hurricane, a redirected route and a seasick husband didn’t make this the most amazing memory in our book. I rather enjoyed Grand Turk to be honest, but doubt Mike will ever steep foot on another cruise ship again.
And nearly 5 years ago when we were celebrating our 10th anniversary, my generous, amazing, loving, doesn’t-sweat-the-small-stuff husband SURPRISED me with a trip to Florida. Just the two of us! AND I TURNED IT DOWN!!!!!!! Yup, you read that right. I turned it down. Okay , okay, in hindsight I can clearly see the dire mistake I made 5 years ago. I mean, a vacation for a few nights without my VERY much loved and adored, but VERY needy kiddos???? A few nights to relax, stare at a beach, wine and dine with no one but Mike there with me??? WHAT WAS I THINKING???
But at the time, I was not ready. I couldn’t think of leaving the girls (ages 7 and 2 then). I do not like surprises at all! I am a planner and I was caught off guard. So we didn’t go. I think I have apologized to Mike for declining this amazing gift nearly six thousand times.
So, no, Mike and I do not really fall into the category of avid travelers. There are many places, though, that are clearly marked on my bucket list. I would love to go to Hawaii (okay…that one is probably half for America’s bucket list). I would love to see Texas, return to Southern California, spend time in Italy, Greece and maybe even Australia one day! And I know Mike would love to tour me around London some day as well.
NOPE. China never made my bucket list. China never even made it to the “it would be kind of neat to see what it is like” list. China just was never on my radar as a place to travel to, visit, vacation.
But within the next several months, Mike and I will fly 13 hours, literally across the world, to China.
This trip to China has me equally leaping with excitement and crawling with anxiety. It is even possible, although I don’t truly want to admit it, that the anxiety may be the clear winner here.
There are the blatant reasons that I would be excited to go. Ummmm…to get our BABY, of course. And I am beyond eager to learn about our BABY’s culture, make memories in this foreign country, see things we would have never seen and experience so much that we would never have done.
And there are obvious reasons I would have anxiety such as, well, picking up our BABY, a child who has never even laid eyes on us and beginning our life together as a family.
But I am also just plain nervous to travel to China!
Planes don’t bother me at all. But a 13 hour flight, well that is just LONG!!! And I don’t have a good track record for patience or long attention (remember, I mentioned in previous posts about my dad and his lack of patience he so kindly passed on to me!!!)? What in God’s name am I to do confined for this long???
Our trip to China will involve some additional travel by either plane or car/van. We will either fly directly to the province our kiddo is living (which is, of course, not known until we are matched and could be anywhere in the vast land of China) OR we will fly into Beijing for a couple days to sightsee and then fly (or drive if close) to the province. After some time in the province, we will then fly (or again drive if it is close)to Guangzhou in the province of Guangdong (in southern China) where the U.S. Consulate is located.
And Mike is not the best traveler. He doesn’t particularly love planes. And he gets car sick when he is not driving as well (are you beginning to understand one of the reasons why we are not AVID TRAVELERS????).
China time is polar opposite of Massachusetts time. Literally 12 hours different. So there is that, too! Jet lag is not something I have any experience with, and I do kind of like my sleep. So we will see how Mike deals with me and my really messed up sleep. I have my Melatonin packed already! HA! Melatonin and endorphins and adrenaline…
I know Mike is MUCH more excited about eating in China than I am, as well. Mike will eat nearly anything. I am far from picky! BUT…there are several things about eating in China that have me less than enthusiastic. But mostly, it is the gluten issue. “Gluten FREE” is not readily available or understood in China (from my research at least). So aside from PLAIN rice (soy sauce = bad for gluten free eaters!), I am currently planning how to take as little clothes as possible so I can fill a suitcase with two weeks full of non-perishable food for myself! Any advice is WELCOME!!!!! 😉
And it is not advised to drink tap water in China. So bottled water it will be.
The thought of my stomach or intestines not cooperating during this trip, as a result of either eating gluten or some e-coli sprinkled fruit/veggie doesn’t have me terribly excited. I handled caring for my other kiddos after the recovery of birth JUST FINE. This new addition won’t even have any physical recovery involved, so lets keep the gut healthy…PUH….LEEEZE!???
What about our three LITTLES? Yeah. One more cause for worry! There is a strong and valid argument on both sides as to whether or not they will come with us to China. But several reasons (can you say 3 extra plane tickets $$$$$$$ and a jet lagged toddler ) have us leaning fairly strongly towards not taking them. We are beyond fortunate to have family that will happily help us out. And the kids will be cared for amazingly while we are gone. And our family will be exhausted and need their own vacation when we finally return!!! But gosh, TWO WEEKS without any of my kids??? I can’t even imagine. I guess I really should have gone on that trip to Florida with Mike 5 years ago and practiced leaving these kiddos behind!!!!!
Okay…well that was a LOT OF WHINING! So although I could continue to list my fears and worries about our upcoming trip, I will stop here. Maybe this post would have better suited for a private journal page, eh???
Traveling to China was never something I dreamed I would be doing.
Traveling to China is a WORLD away from my traveling experience (a three hour ride to Maine with our camper in tow, a fridge full of food, and my own sheets and pillow!).
Traveling to China has me nervous and scared.
But, traveling to China has made my bucket list.
And traveling to China will be crossed off my bucket list very soon!
Traveling to China is something I am eagerly anticipating.
Traveling to China is something I am crazy excited for.
And traveling to China will make us a perfectly complete family of SIX!