This year we decided to try something new: what if Drew did various adventures, and I stayed home (albeit overseas) with the baby? “Okay, let’s try it,” we said. When he did his 10 day silent meditation retreat, it worked great. I got a lot of work done in Bali, and I got see the island on my own terms. When he returned I was excited to show him around and share Bali with him. Now, we’re in India, and I’m stationed in Goa. There doesn’t seem to be half as much to do as Ubud, but more importantly, I am extremely jealous of my husband’s train trip. The meditation retreat? That sounds like hard work. Seeing India, crashing a wedding party, getting thrown off the train, taking photos and just having a whirlwind India experience? I want to do that! The beach can wait. The only problem is, a 16 day India train trip covering 12,500 km isn’t a good place for an one-year-old. The adventure wouldn’t be very fun with a crying baby, and not fair to him, as he’d undoubtably be frustrated with having to sit on my lap for days at a time.
Seriously, Don’t Do What I Did
Mamas of the world, please for the love of all that is travel, please realize that when you say to your husband, “Yes, of course, go have an adventure and I will wait here with your adorable offspring” that he will invariably take you up on it. Also realize that the idea of a beach for two months isn’t as much fun as spending day after day on a beach for two months. Even if it’s with the world’s most adorable baby, who is now on the Facebook page of every Indian family we’ve run into, as they’re insistant on taking not just one, but multiple photos with our child! If I started a site called, Sh*t Indian People Like the very first thing would be ‘white babies’.
So Now What?
Well, I kind of blew it, since the train trip has taken off, India Times is running a story on Saturday (I know, holy crap!) and I just visited the last known landmark of interest in Goa: the Dudh Sagar waterfalls and an organic spice plantation. I’ve officially come to the end of my very short list called, “Stuff to do in Goa when you get sick of the beach, because believe me that will happen.” It cost me $40 just to hire a driver to the waterfalls, where they then take you in a jeep over rough terrain for 45 minutes and then give you about 6 seconds to take pictures and dip your exhausted ass into the freezing cold water. Okay, so I don’t know. I’m trying to figure out how to be a wife, a mom, a traveler, a writer and a happy well-rounded person. I want to balance world travel with family life. I want to write, but I want to snuggle my son. I want to have adventures but be safe. I want to encourage my husband to take risks and to find his bliss but I also want him here, with me and our son.
How Do You Do It All?
I don’t! Someone recently sent me an email asking for advice, and meanwhile I’m trying to figure out if letting my baby crawl around on the floor in India is radical parenting or just a stone’s throw from dysentery. I mean honestly, sometimes this kid is so filthy from the dust in India, he looks like he has been eating chocolate. But it’s not chocolate, oh no, it’s dirt. Or cow poop. Or a bit of both. I’ve already mentally cancelled all my husband’s travel plans (sans family) for the rest of his life, a little trick that will last just as long as the next big thing. Then I know what will happen, I’ll get excited for him all over again and I’ll sign him up while he’s in the other room and pretend like it was something he did the last time he was drunk. It seems like something that should only work once, but you’d be surprised.