Ok, so my calm rational self has left and been replaced by an even crazier than normal version of me. Yesterday must have been the calm before the storm when it comes to our up coming month-long family trip to Croatia. I re-read my post and thought “who wrote that?!”. Right now it’s hard to write anything but the Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…that is running through my head.
Anyway, today I woke up and went straight to my laptop. First search was for passports for children. Forms downloaded, not so bad. Then the ‘Before you go” section caught my eye. Here are the sub- sections I found there…
- Traveler’s Checklist (oh perfect! More lists for me to obsess over, just what I need, ugh)
- Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) (oh Sh*t, do I need this?? I want to be a smart traveler),
- Hajj Fact Sheet (The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca), Saudi Arabia, and the largest mass gathering in the world. Ok, one that doesn’t apply to us, phew)
- LGBT Travel Information (a sad reminder of the laws and punishments for anyone who is LGBT in some foreign countries, Croatia thankfully is not one of those countries)
- Women Travelers (Of course like most moms I skip over worrying about myself and go automatically to my daughters being abducted and think about buying child leashes, I might as well open up an Amazon tab to be able to add things to my wish list, first items added, 2 child safety harnesses)
- Your Health Abroad: Medical Emergencies & Staying Healthy (Geez, don’t remind me…what do I need to add to my meds to bring list)
- Customs Restrictions (Are screaming children a restriction? I have horrible visions of my over tired children running wildly around the customs office while we wait to gain entry into a foreign country my hands too sweaty from nerves to adequately hang onto them. Note to self, add double stroller to the ‘what to bring list’. At least then I could strap them in.)
- Older Travelers (is 38 old?)
- Taking a Pet Overseas (we won’t be bringing our pet, but thoughts of taking our 136 pound St. Bernard on a plane & through customs does bring a slight smile to my lips)
- Traveling with Disabilities (wondering if severe anxiety counts)
- Drugs Abroad (again thoughts of severe anxiety? Xanax?)
- Your Safety: Road Safety Overseas & Driving Abroad (hmm…we’ll need travel booster carseats, switch over to Amazon. Ok, went as far as to weigh the girls, well, I do need specific weights to choose the perfect travel seats. Ok, 2 carseats added to the wish list, might as well add two seatbelt pillow things…check)
And that was just the ‘Before you go’ tab. There are still the ‘Worldwide Caution’, the ‘Country Information’, and ‘While Abroad’ sections. Breathe, breathe, the 4-7-8 relaxing breath, in for count of 4, hold for 7,out slowly for 8…in…hold…out…I better perfect this before we go.
To try to save an ounce of sanity I decided then I better back away from my computer. End my research panic mode and head out for a while. My girls and I decided to meet some friends to see a movie. While sitting through Rio 2 I couldn’t relax, all it did was make me think more. It was about a bird family heading to the homeland of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. A long family trip, new cultures, food, music,…sound familiar?
The movie was cute, but I couldn’t focus. When I got past thinking that Brazil would be an amazing place to go experience and fantasizing about that adventure my mind began to really wander, I started transferring all the birds experiences onto my daughters and how it will really be while we are in Croatia. The birds are introduced to brazil nuts, a new food for them, and I start thinking about the local cultural foods I wrote about yesterday. I see my daughters making horribly embarrassing faces and noises as they are served typical Croatian coastal fare of whole barbecued fish. I picture them loudly dissecting their meal, head, eyes, bones and all. Oh god. Note to self, discuss polite etiquette when introduced to cultural fare. Then when the birds travel the Amazon on a ferry I started to sweat. I began thinking about the fact that we will be on the water most of our trip. Ferries, rivas (walkways along the water), and beaches. Visions flashed before my eyes of my girls wearing their floaty arms the whole trip. Note to self, tell the girls it’s time to step it up at swimming lessons! Once in the Amazon the birds are bombarded by their family in the Amazon, aunts, cousins, grandpas, and family friends…. We will be visiting with family too. Constant attention and showing off of my kids. Note to self, teach my girls how to say “nice to meet you” in Croatian. I also better be ready and prep them for ‘best in show’ mode! Is anyone in the theater noticing my wild eyes and deep breathing? Thank god it’s dark and the music is loud! Darn you Rio 2 for making me spiral into this abyss of a travel panic. I’m totally blaming Bly Sky Studios for this one!
Ok, (deep breath in) it will be fine (hold for 7 count). We will make it back home alive, unscathed and better because of this (breathe out count of 8). Is my thinking meaningful? Nope. Do I understand this? Yep. Is it happening anyway? Oh god, is it ever!! Don’t get me wrong, I know it will be a phenomenal trip. Let’s just say I’m just glad I have about two months to pull myself together 😉