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!