Today is day two on my 'five days as a stay at home mom'. I'm being a little dramatic about it, because I am loving it! It's the perfect time of year to be off - the days are long (it's almost 10pm and it's still not dark), the kids just finished preschool and are in great moods, and today was the first day of the season for our local wading pool. Everyone is so happy to be alive - happy to feel grass under their toes and the sun on their faces. I do remember those long winter days stuck at home with a newborn and a toddler... but today - there is absolutely nothing I would have rather done.
Another dream of mine, other than being a stay-at-home-mom, has always been to live abroad for a year, with kids. I just love hearing stories of people who pack up and take on an adventure. I'll sometimes browse websites looking for work opportunities in France or England, and imagine the four of us living in a quaint French apartment for a year - preferably around the corner from a bakery:) My dreaming intensified today as I read that one of my favourite bloggers / instagrammers, is taking a year off to travel the world with her four children. A family gap year, is what she's calling it, and it sounds absolutely amazing to me.
The best part about it would not be the travelling itself, but rather the time gained to slow down, and enjoy the little things in life. Today was a perfect example of that. Me and my little ones didn't spend any money, and we didn't venture far from the house. Yet I was totally immersed with them. We slowly wandered down the street, stopping at not one but two parks. We had no agenda, no place we needed to be. That's one of my favourite things about travelling - the luxury of knowing that you don't have to finish laundry or pack lunches. While some might suggest I take on this type of attitude in my every day life... I find that nearly impossible to do. I can't 'shut-off', unless I am truly removed from my daily life.
When I had some free time in Prague recently, I felt so relaxed as I wandered through the beautiful streets. I knew that I didn't need to plan dinner, clean the bathroom, or pay a bill. I had an entire afternoon free to just explore! To enjoy a cappuccino and a piece of cake at a cafe, while people-watching for hours. To turn left, and then turn right, and then stop for a beer just because.
When I have a free afternoon at home, I physically cannot do nothing. I can't ignore my daily life, and while I kind of want to, I also don't. I know that I'll feel more relaxed once 'everything' is done. And yet, that rarely (if ever) happens, so those moments of pure relaxation don't really happen.
Which is to say, in a long-winded way, that travelling for me is simply the best. I look forward to trips for months before they happen, and when I'm stressed I think back to simple afternoons spent leisurely exploring a new city. I'm not saying my existing life isn't great - because it really truly is amazing. But my happy place, my special times, are spent travelling. And I would love, love, love to get to do that with my family one day. Summer days are great for dreaming. And sharing banana-chocolate chip muffins:)