Travel Triumph: It does get easier!

Talk about building suspense, right? I post a crazy explanation about how we’re taking a whirlwind trip to South America and then leave you all hanging for almost a month probably wondering what on earth happened to us. Here’s what happened: we went to Chile for almost two weeks and had a really good time – like a really, really good time. And what about the other couple of weeks that passed? Well, Andy went on a work trip to Africa, I potty trained one kid and we dove into house hunting in this crazy Portland market and are now under contract on a great one. What hasn’t happened is me hitting the “publish now” button on my blog and letting you all know we got home safe and sound.

Waiting at the Calama airport on our way home. (Chile circa 2016)

But that changes today because I’m going to get this post up and give you a glimpse into our Chile trip. While I’ll have more posts to tell you about riding a 133 year old funicular or swimming in a lake so salty that you float, first up is that I want to give all of you the fantastic news that traveling with kids gets so much easier!

It probably doesn’t come as a complete shock that our trip to Panama was hard. Washing bottles in grimy airport sinks, dealing with their first colds and cringing when random people put food in their mouths made for a less than perfect trip.

There were some good times, sure, but it was also pretty tough. (Panama circa 2015)

Then we went to Europe and some things were easier – everyone was walking, we were done with bottles and my mom was there – but then other things blindsided us, mainly two toddlers failing to adjust to a nine hour time difference.

Lots of late night walks and naps at really weird times. (Belgium circa 2015)

Both of these trips were worth it and I’m incredibly happy that we went, but they weren’t exactly vacations. If you read my last post about how we chose Chile, you’re aware that one of the main factors was the tolerable time difference. Also, we invited my mom and yes, everyone’s still walking. It was the successful trip trifecta – and it made for an amazing trip. Seriously, like little girls running wild in the desert with the wind in their hair amazing.

It gave me a glimpse into what traveling with my kids will be like next year, and the year after that and for many years to come. In the short ten days that we were gone their travel skills improved immensely. Their travel skills and their travel spirits improved so much and I could see them becoming badass little travelers right before my eyes. It was a crazy phenomenon. Not only did they have fun at the new stuff like wandering around foreign cities or calling a new place home for a few nights but they also got better at the type of stuff that isn’t always so great.

They got measurably better at plane rides.

Little hand, big world. (En route to Chile circa 2016)

And bus and shuttle rides.

Like here on a bus in the Atacama desert. (Chile circa 2016)

And at riding the metro.

Millie and I, being responsible train passengers and holding on.

Here’s Paige and Andy doing the same.

Improvements on some of these fronts might seem hard to gauge for the under two set, but I kid you not, these improvements were real; they were palpable. I think in their crazy, little heads, it might have started to register that with big adventure come big chunks of sitting around waiting for something to happen. They did something that toddlers are notoriously bad at, which is going with the flow and rolling with the punches – even if that meant sitting on the tarmac for an extra two hours or dealing with the fact that our shuttle to the airport kept almost breaking down and not starting back up again.

That, or maybe it was just that we’d worn them down enough that they started to just sit back and accept their fate.

Another day, another bus ride. (Chile circa 2016)

Probably not though, because even now, when they look up in the sky and see an airplane, they tend to get excited, squeal and point which I’m totally taking as a sign they are itching to hit those skies again. Right? I mean, toddlers most definitely understand enough to put that all together. 🙂

I hope you’re all doing well and be sure to look for lots of cool stuff about Chile in the next few weeks!

 

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