Traveling abroad – Planes, busses and taxi cabs…
Well we finally did it. We made it across the country by plane. 11 hours from Portland to Frankfurt under our belts, we are now experts in travel and explorers of the unknown, right?!?
I have a confession– traveling with kids on an international flight was really, really, really, really hard. Nolan and Griffin have only been on flights that are less than four hours long from Arizona to Illinois (technically Griffin was still in the womb), so while I thought I was prepared for the 10 hour flight from Portland to Frankfurt, I was not.
When we decided to travel it all seemed very romantic; take the kids, sell everything and explore the world. Great, right?! Yes. Very…. and at the same time when it was time to go, the day of our flight I became absolutely fucking terrified. I was standing bouncing Griffin for the fourth straight hour in the isle of the plane , surrounded by people peacefully watching a movie or sleeping thinking , “why am I doing this? This is insane. How was this idea even considered a possibility?”
My terror grew with each passing hour of being awake when technically it was the middle of the night. I missed my mom, I wanted to sleep in a bed and the thought of five more hours of confinement within the airplane was straight up terrifying. At one point I went into the bathroom and just started sobbing. The sleep deprivation had finally set in. I felt alone with my baby who refuses to sleep and just wanted to go home, wherever that was.
Nolan was an angel and slept for five hours after throwing a massive tantrum about not being tired… he was. I was worried about the reaction he would have to the changes we were going to make and he surprised me by being the best most adaptable little creature. He truly is an excellent traveler and he was rewarded with a Fanta when we got to Germany 🏼 Griffin finally gave in to sleep on hour seven of the flight and passed out harder than I have ever witnessed. I sat down and calmed down. This is going to be ok, I just need to sleep.
Wouldn’t you know, after a good night of solid sleep I was ready to do this travel thing again. Instead of being terrified I was happy and excited. Since then I’ve had my days of ups and downs; some days I’m just in complete awe, excited to explore and see all of these beautiful, ancient sites. Other days, like yesterday I was depressed, lonely and yearning for human contact from my native country. It’s hard, but it’s worth it. We are only on day five here in Barcelona, yet it feels like we have been here for weeks. It’s all an adjustment and it will all be ok. I have to keep reminding myself that.
Being a foreigner is actually quite humbling. Not knowing the “rules” and having to try and understand another language has made me incredibly appreciative of the immigrants back home in the USA who live and work in a foreign land without complaining. They work hard to speak English and grow accustomed to our ways, no matter how backwards they might feel. We are only in our second week here in Europe and my deep appreciation for our rich history of immigration in the United States continues to grow. Anyone who has picked up and left to start a new life in a foreign territory is truly amazing, hats off to you.
Some funny things have happened during our time in Germany that are worth sharing, and we have learned a few valuable lessons along the way. Look out for our blog post all about Germany later this week & upcoming post all about Barcelona so far. As always, thanks for reading!