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A picture says a 1000 words..., Africa, Culture, Europe, Interviews, Projects, South America, Travel

Fears of a Travel Addict… Right of a wo(mb)man

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There are many factors of travelling alone I’m fearful of, yet I rarely voice them- not even to friends or family. The last thing I need is a scenario confessing to a member of family my fears on the potential dangers I could face coming Brazil alone for 3 months, or how insecure I was made to feel in Buenos Aires, questioning why I bother to travel to countries where people don’t look like me.

I can imagine my aunt patiently listening to my pitiful doubts while attending to pots of soups and stews bubbling on the stove, lifting each hot lid with her bare hands immune to the burn of the steam, to pinch a taste with her signature wooden spoon (my aunt’s an amazing multi-tasker and, goes without saying, cook)! And when I finish speaking, she’ll wipe her hands on a tea cloth and simply say;

“Then why do you keep going? Stay!”

So with that scenario in mind, I would rather keep my fears to myself than to ruin my protagonist ‘fearless black girl travels the globe’ tag in neon lights I’ve adopted for myself!

I may not openly call it ‘fear’, but in many of my posts I’ve highlighted some element of ‘concern’… The closest I’ve probably got to admitting to another F word that isn’t failure!

As a travel addict for over 5 years, I’m extremely lucky to have the support of my family. Now don’t take this the wrong way. My family in no way contribute financially towards my addiction- that would be adding more fire to the fuel (though I beg to differ)! Their role is to simply answer my skype calls, and to be there for me when I return home taking the plunge into the pool of reality, hitting the bottom hard- post-travel depression.

When I mention to my Aunt that I’m off again, she simply gives me a few words of advice and encouragement (long gone are the days of a full on lecture)! I know secretly she is waiting for the day I get married… The day I sign away my beloved free-sprit into a retirement institution and welcome stability and routine.

(Insert F word here)!

But surprisingly, I want that!

I want the whole package that comes with blissful married life, and a nice home (because despite my love for travel I’m no nomad. Home is where my heart is… and its also the solid volt I store my travel memoirs), a good job (as a travel journalist of course)… And kids.

I’ve been in and out of broodiness during my travels for a long time- favouring a pregnant bump over a wash board stomach. But during this trip to Brazil, broody is away minding its own business because having a baby isn’t top of my ‘to do’ list for a while!

How do kids fit into the life of a female travel addict? Because lets face it, even when Miss Free Spirit goes into retirement, I’m still going to be travelling for work. And, no! The only hand luggage I want to be carrying with me is my handbag- not a baby!

But I do want kids! I feel it’s my right as a woman, to have them. To satisfy my instincts from childhood playing with dolls that one day I will have my own real babies…

But is this enough to justify wanting kids. Do I want them just because I have a womb I should use for the sake of it?… Just like I use up all my twitter characters for the sake of it?!

The truth is, I don’t feel any real connection with babies before they are at the age of knowing their please and thank yous! Yes I find them cute and I give some attention when I can, but for such small things they demand so much (a little selfish if you ask me- joke!… not)!

Despite this kids seem to love me!… Whether its waving at me from the bus or playing a 10 second hide and seek with their hands, making me wonder why I am the chosen one?! I wave back and usually always get a big smile in return…

This melts my heart! To think one day I can wave at my own kids and make them smile this way… Surely that isn’t my only reason for wanting kids?!… To wave back at them?!

Today my pregnant host (airbnb) excitedly showed me the outfits that her baby growing in her womb will be wearing in a few months time. The excitement in her eyes as she displayed the pinks and yellows of the different tiny outfits was one of a proud mother-to-be… But sadly I couldn’t relate and simply ‘oh’ed and ‘ah’ed out of politeness.

I felt as far dis-attached from the baby outfits as I do to my womb… Is being a travel addict over-taking my natural right as a woman?

Let me know your thoughts please!

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About @makingkai

Life is a bit more colourful since I discovered blogging! thanks for following my journey! www.travelmakerkai.com www.theefedstudent.wordpress.com

Discussion

22 thoughts on “Fears of a Travel Addict… Right of a wo(mb)man

  1. Great read kai. Keep on the good writing.

    Posted by lobojuan | February 17, 2013, 11:49 pm
  2. If it’s of any consolation, keep in mind that most people that end up having kids can’t imagine their life without them. When you are single, you can’t imagine having to wake up at 3am and change diapers and deal with the screaming and crying. But when you have a family you wouldn’t want to be without them. Though of course I’m sure you’ll still yearn for some personal time and space.

    Posted by Chris | February 18, 2013, 12:20 am
  3. I was really drawn in by this post. First your opening description of your aunt reminds me of my aunts and grandmothers. Second the topic was something that most women have been or will go through. I really enjoyed this one. There was the right balance of description and information. Bravo!!!
    Now as a mother of 7 children, I can tell you that before I had the first one kids were cute but that was it. As long as I could send them on their way within 5 minutes I was good. When I became pregnant with #1 (and again with # 2) after the initial excitement, my brain shut down for the first trimester. When I reached the stage of actually feeling the baby move, I was terrified. I saw all of the worst case scenario’s. I dreamed that I would be a horrible mother who would forget her kid(s) at a library or convenience store. By the third trimester, I alternated between abject horror and manic excitement. On the day I delivered my oldest child all fears and excitement left. It was replaced by a deep and overwhelming love. After 21 years of frustration, confusion, pride, happiness, joy, disappointment and that same love, I would not change a single moment.

    Posted by The Phoenix | February 18, 2013, 10:21 pm
    • Hi The Phoenix,
      I took your suggestions of adding more description and I have to admit it was great fun particularly as my aunt is so meaningful to me…. I could have got carried away with even more description!

      Thank you for sharing your own experience- 7 children wow you are super-mum!

      Who knows, I might be writing a post in the near future called “The Joys of being a Wo(mb)man… Becoming a mother”!
      I hope you’ll be part of my blogging journey towards that stage!

      Kx

      Posted by @makingkai | February 19, 2013, 1:49 pm
  4. I would love to have a kid too! As a solo female traveler like you, I’m also apprehensive what would happen to my lifestyle once I have a baby. However, I take inspiration from the many travel bloggers out there who are also traveling with their children. If they can do it, why can’t we? ;)

    Posted by Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com | February 19, 2013, 1:17 pm
    • Yes, I too have heard many great stories about travelling with children… Though it really doesn’t appeal to me- I would no longer be a solo traveller in that case!

      But what I want now, and what happens in the future could end up far different from each other!

      Posted by @makingkai | February 19, 2013, 1:54 pm
      • Life is a constant change. Whatever you decide today will turn against you in another situation if you do not change your mind …. Life is like that; decision after decision … and this is according to circunstancies you find yourself in since we have the capability to adapt ouselves to changes!

        So, whether solo or accompained… I enjoy reading each of the speeches in this blog.

        Parabéns para você

        Posted by Asso Aivinar | August 18, 2013, 9:32 am
      • Hi Asso, thank you for your comment! Life is indeed a constant change; adaptation is vital!

        Its a pleasure to share with you my journey.

        Muito obrigada,
        Kai

        Posted by @makingkai | August 18, 2013, 10:12 pm
  5. Btw, is that you in the middle pic, Kai? If so…wow. ;)

    Posted by Chris A. | February 20, 2013, 6:33 am
  6. You’re a fantabulous writer & I’m in the exact same boat so no solutions here; I’m just waiting for the best answers like you!

    Posted by Dee | February 25, 2013, 4:52 am
  7. You forgot one detail Kai, in order to have a baby you need a father, but I supose that you want more tha just a father SO you need LOVE ;) This person will have a important role in the dynamic of having a baby.

    Posted by Marcela | February 26, 2013, 2:08 pm
  8. Hey Kai,

    Loved the blog!

    Well I guess I have a little to contribute to this topic.

    Having had my son at 21, it was well in a word ‘overwhelming’ , let’s just say that if it was not for my mother I don’t know how I would have coped.

    I found the first year really hard and emotional. I found myself wanting to walk away all the time, form the stress of the demands from a little baby, it seemed crazy.

    I love my son, but sometimes when I think about it, if I had the chance to do it all over again would I?

    Well sometimes the truth is NO!

    I lost my freedom the day he was born, I no longer mattered. It seemed childish to think about it now but people would ask how I was the would half listen and then ask about him. I almost became invisible, my needs no longer mattered.

    And yes he is amazing and I love him, but I did loose myself in the delivery room, a selfless young me that I will never get back.

    I do feel as though I have missed out on some life experience, especially travelling with my best friend and doing the things we dreamed of doing when we were younger.

    As much as I love what you do and am immensely proud, I am jealous that I’m not there next to you to smile and share the wonders that the world has to offer.

    So my advice to you, take it as it comes and live it for as long as you can.

    Fan numero uno

    Posted by eritrearose | August 17, 2013, 11:31 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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