The day had come. I was really leaving my two and a half year old daughter for two weeks.
I cried the whole 24 hours before heading to the airport. But once I was standing in line to board our flight, all of my worries faded.
If we’re being honest, up until this point, I had been completely exhausted. The past year of parenting really took it’s toll on me. The whole ‘terrible twos’ thing emerged early for us around 18 months. Our daughter hit a major sleep regression when she transitioned out of her crib and into her own big girl bed. And I have personally been struggling with an autoimmune condition that seemed to gift itself to me right before I turned 30. I desperately needed a break.
Stepping onto the airplane seemed so surreal. I knew I was traveling to places I had only dreamed of, but was I really going to relax and enjoy the time away from my daughter?
The answer was yes.
During the time we spent traveling in Europe, I finally seemed to exhale. A breath that I had been holding in for so long had been let go. I laughed like I haven’t laughed in months. I took full advantage of Spanish siestas and sleeping late in Rome. You know, ‘do as the Romans do’, right? I ate what I wanted without sharing my food or having to eat in shifts. I spent real time talking to my husband about things other than our daughter. We prayed together in silence instead of one of us abandoning God to wrangle a flailing toddler. But most importantly, we loved.
I know I’m blessed to be in a strong marriage with someone who wills the good in me. But, wow! Even we didn’t realize how much we would benefit by spending two weeks with no one else but ourselves…and of course the thousands of strangers around us.
Two weeks without our girl. Two weeks without cell reception. Two weeks of just me and my husband. Two weeks of wandering the world like I’ve always dreamed of doing.
Two weeks of love.
There have been a lot of pivotal moments in my life. Graduations, honors and awards, our wedding, the birth of our daughter, illness and hardships. They all serve a purpose on this journey of life. Wandering a foreign country and getting a little lost helped me find a bit of myself that had been in hiding.
Not all those who wander are lost. – J.R.R Tolkien