Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Wanderlust

Jardin du Luxembourg, July 2011
Now that I'm not teetering constantly on the edge of a nausea-induced black hole, I've been thinking a lot about what life will look like once the bambino arrives.

Although I am a general lifestyle journalist, in the past few years I've been doing more and more travel writing, which is something that's given me great pleasure. Since I've mainly worked for myself over the past 5 years (or as a part timer for publications that allow for a good deal of flexibility), I've been able to pick up and go with very little notice and to do the sorts of things (hiking in the jungles of northern Thailand, for one) that might not be deemed infant-friendly.

While I'll fret to an insane degree over a purchase of clothing, even when my jeans are on their last legs and it's more of a need than a want, I am happily, wildly reckless when it comes to travel. My reasoning has always been that an experience will last a lot longer than the jeans.

For obvious reasons, in 2012, our travel plans are looking a lot more, well, like plans. This summer, though I've been invited to a number of weddings in far flung locales, I'm a little hesitant to be the guest whose contractions begin during the e.e. cummings reading. Those trips are, for now, definite maybes.

We are, however, planning a trip in late March, when I'll be around 20 weeks, to do something we've been talking about for years. Will is an avid sailor, and last spring, I completed a basic certification in keelboat sailing on the Hudson (dodging supertankers and cruise ships with every tack.) So this spring, along with Will's sister and brother in law, we're chartering a sailboat around the British Virgin Islands. Before the trip, we'll be doing some "glamping" at a spot called Maho Bay on St John that I visited years ago with my mother, and afterwards we'll spend a few days on Tortola soaking it all in.

The long term goal is to bare boat charter, but this time, in light of our little stowaway, we've decided to do it with a skipper, so that Will and I can get more confidence in the Caribbean waters and eventually do it with our young family. The Swiss Family Robinson fantasy in all its glory.

Part of me is wary that once a child comes along, I'll transform into a mass of worries and be reluctant to do this sort of trip. But I'm determined to start the tradition now and to stick to it down the line. Predators, mosquitos, practicality be damned.

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