By: Joy Zalzala-Soyka
… against all odds, you just make a decision to go for it. It doesn’t have to be sensible…
I am traveling long-term with my family. Our first destination was a small beach town in Thailand and on day three of our trip, I had my arriving moment. The moment that let’s me mentally arrive in a new place and reassures me, everything will be ok.
The first days of our trip were filled with so many contrasting impressions and emotions. From being truly happy about a swim at the beach, to being absolutely terrified by palmeto bugs in the bathroom at night. From adoring our kids, to getting into huge fights with them. From loving our temporary home, to realizing many things are inconvenient during low season.
So how do we cope with that?
We do what we know best – we go for a walk. GoogleMaps says it’s a 54 min. walk to the grocery store. Yes, we could ask our host to organize a cab. And while the busses don’t run frequently, there is probably one we could catch, but we actually really like walking. Unlike everything we have read about traffic in Thailand, right here where we are, the road feels really safe, there is somewhat of a walkway, and we switch between walking along the beach, the road, and a bumpy dirt path. With the Kids fast asleep in our hand cart, it’s a smooth walk.
Yet by the time we are done shopping, the kids are awake and we realize our cart is full of groceries and it’s actually quite late already. The thing is, we didn’t really make a plan of how to get back. We had no idea how to get a ride and possibly we were hoping that magically a bus would show up. The mood is tense, and the kids demand snacks, which we ironically missed to buy. We sit down by the beach, improvise with peanuts and soy milk, and decide: we can walk back.
It was one of those moments, where against all odds, you just make a decision to go for it. “It’s not the most sensible decision” I tell my wife – “It doesn’t have to be sensible”, she replies. We jointly decided to turn the tension into enjoyment. And luckily for us the kids joined us.
I rearranged the groceries, so the kids each had a small spot to sit on, on top of water bottles, and boxes. And we headed home at 6:19pm, singing songs at the top of our lungs, and praying for the saturday evening drivers to see us on the side of the road, as it was getting dark already. We went down to the beach, walked barefoot with our feet in the water. The scenery was gorgeous.
It’s fascinating to me how emotions can be so close to each other: while we were extremely happy about the beautiful setting and family adventure, fear was also walking beside us. I literally took off my 2 year olds shirt, because I could not see him anymore, and was scared he would run off into the ocean. Four year old Eliasz was getting scared to step onto dead catfish (we had seen one the previous day), it was physically exhausting to pull the fully loaded hand cart and of course there is the nervousness of being out at the beach in the dark as two women. I consciously acknowledged and accepted my fears, and decided to still enjoy our adventure – I mentally arrived in our new place.
We all felt there was something magical about this 1,5 hours of walking back. The kids decided they should get extra special desserts for being so good (and keeping up with our decisions). My wife and I decided, if we could do this, we can take on the next steps ahead of us.
You can learn more about our adventures of traveling the world as a multicultural queer family at www.traveltheworld.family
Lifted from: http://www.traveltheworld.family/how-to-mentally-arrive/