Despite my excitement at my upcoming trip to the Caribbean, and my enthusiasm for planning for next year’s trip to Europe, I feel conflicted.
My husband works a lot, and he works hard. He has two jobs (one full time, one part time, both physically demanding), and the schedule he keeps is just crazy. His full time job requires overnight shifts (7pm to 7am). His part time job requires day shifts (7am to 11am). They overlap in a weird way, so that he doesn’t have a single day during the week where he isn’t working for at least part of that 24 hour period. His job does not really come with vacation time – he can’t even request days off until he works there for one year. However, it does fit his philosophy. He is very much focused on working as much as possible – I’ve never met anyone who works as hard and as often as he does.
My husband is also my best friend and favorite travel partner. We’ve moved across the country and back together. We’ve spent a week in Florida together. We’ve taken weekend trips around Arizona, California, Nevada, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Ohio. We’ve visited family and friends in New Mexico and Texas and Tennessee. We’ve driven through Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, etc. In short, we’ve travelled all over the country together. But due to my husband’s current lack of job flexibility, when I planned my trip to St. Kitts to visit my sorority sister, I knew I would be the only one of us who could take the time off from work.
I’m walking a fine line between bursting at the seams with excitement over my upcoming adventure, and trying to contain it so he doesn’t feel upset (or even jealous) that he doesn’t get to go with me. I would LOVE it if he could come with me. But he can’t get the time off from work, so I have to try to restrain my verbal musings so as not to sound obsessed with something he can’t participate in right now.
When he gets frustrated and overwhelmed at the way I tend to babble about things I want to see and do while travelling, he tries to bring me back down to earth by reminding me about responsibilities I signed up for here at home. We have student loans (a ton of them). We have a good amount of savings (but not even close to enough to be secure in retirement). We don’t own a house and I don’t own my car outright (I still have a couple thousand owed on my car). To be fair, I do keep my trips as inexpensive as I possibly can (my upcoming trip to the Caribbean will only cost around $300-400 out of pocket for 10 days), so it’s not like I’m putting us further in debt by travelling.
We also want to have kids some day, which means being prepared to send them to school, and to afford food and clothing and medical care. When I think about all of those things, it sort of deflates my bubble a little bit. I know I need to focus on getting rid of debt and preparing for the future.
But it is hard to do that year after year without taking time for a travel adventure. In fact, I think that is why I have such an urgent desire to travel now. I always said we would start trying to have kids when I turned 30. Well, I just turned 26, so that time is getting closer and closer. That means I only have 3 1/2 years to see as much of the world as possible before I have to start worrying about the welfare and development of our future children. Those 3 1/2 years will go by in a heartbeat.
I was hoping that by recording all of my planning here, I could get it all out and I wouldn’t have to talk about it in the rest of my life. But I find that the opposite is happening – the more I research places to visit, the more I am obsessed with seeing the world. My idea of “wander, one day” is becoming “wander, for many days”.
How do I fulfill my love of travel without being obsessed with it? I can’t seem to figure this one out.