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I don’t globe-trot, I globe-trip

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As much as I love to travel, I’€™m not very good at it. Motion sickness, homesickness, and a weak stomach make me a far from ideal travel companion. Despite that, over the years my husband has taken me along for some of his adventures.

My first foreign travel experience was an extended trip to Venezuela. It took me a month to acclimate to the food. After any meal I felt was not going to sit right, I would drink straight from the bottle of Pepto I carried with me, in order to stave off any untimely intestinal difficulties. I was expecting Mexican-style food in this Latin country, but what I got was carajotas and arepitas. Don’t know what those are? Just let your imagination run wild. I have to admit though, that after a while I came to enjoy hallacas and years later, I would do anything for a plate of pabellÓn criollo.

One place I didn’t need time to get used to the food was on a cruise ship. It’€™s amazing to have 24/7 access to unlimited pizza and ice cream, not to mention expertly prepared gourmet meals.

My first cruise to the Caribbean was cut short. I was in my first trimester of pregnancy, which kept me from taking any anti-motion sickness medication. I ended up flying home when we docked in Puerto Rico. Although the sail was relatively smooth, this land-locked, expectant mother couldn’€™t handle the gentle rocking motion that would put the more seasoned sailor to sleep. Seeing the Back Street Boys in the Puerto Rico airport was a poor consolation for a cruise run aground.

Our next cruise went a lot better. I wasn’€™t pregnant, for one thing, and I wore the anti-motion sickness patch. The patch worked great! I danced in Mazatlan. I snorkled in Cabo. I even went down a waterslide shaped like a giant alligator in Acapulco!

It wasn’€™t until after we were home and I took the patch off that I got post cruise motion sickness. It sounds crazy, but it is real. For a day and a half after the cruise, I laid prostrate on the family room floor with a bucket next to my head while my three small kids sat around me, watched TV, and periodically passed me crackers and 7-up.

At least I had my children with me on the Mexican cruise, unlike our trip to Singapore. My husband was there on assignment, so I spent most of my days wandering the city alone. He still has no idea how much time I spent in our hotel room being homesick and crying for our kids.

Despite missing them terribly, Singapore was my favorite destination. It is clean, safe, and modern, but it still maintains a small tropical island charm. Best of all, everyone in Singapore speaks English! I would jump at the chance to go back, except this time, I’d take the kids.

Singapore ruined me forever when it comes to public transportation. Their subway system is sparkling clean and efficient, unlike New York’s. During a recent trip to the Big Apple, I said to my husband, “€œHow is it that we are the greatest super power in the world, but there is excrement in our subways?”

The small island-country may have us beat for public transportation, but I have never had more of an emotional reaction to a location as I did in Times Square. I have heard it described as being the center of the universe, but when we first visited it during the day, I wasn’t impressed. Tall buildings, lots of people what’€™s the big deal?

It wasn’t until we returned the next night to see the musical The Lion King, I felt an incredible vibe that is difficult to describe unless you have felt it. That energy people talk about when they describe New York City and Times Square. The constant motion of people and traffic, the bright lights, and the multi-cultural atmosphere, I really did feel like I was standing in the center of the universe.

Next month, I am going to be standing in the center of a volcano. Well, not really. My husband is daring to take this reluctant traveler to Hawaii. I want to see a volcano, but I don’€™t actually want to stand in the center of it. Vertigo, nausea, and hot feet? No thanks. I’ll keep my hula skirt and Dramamine at a safe distance.

What are your favorite destinations? Where do you like to travel with the kids? Where do you like to go without the kids?

-Annie Payne

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Comments
  • comment avatar Melissa Howell April 9, 2008

    Oh Annie, I feel for you! I will never go on a cruise again because I was in my second trimester and got horribly seasick. The doctor on the boat wouldn’t tell me if I could take Dramamine or not unless I paid him an unspecified amount of money first. When we docked in San Diego, I went to a pharmacy and the nice pharmacist told me it was o.k. for free.

  • comment avatar Melissa Howell April 9, 2008

    Oh, and one of my friends got the same post-cruise seasickness that you got. So I would like to back you up on the reality of this condition.

  • comment avatar aubrey April 9, 2008

    my stomach doesn’t like traveling either. not like i’ve gone far. the furthest i’ve gone from the US is mexico for our 5th anniversary. someday i would like to travel to europe, though…

  • comment avatar elizabeth April 9, 2008

    I like to go to the grocery store without the kids 😀

  • comment avatar Jess April 9, 2008

    When hubs and I want to go on a trip without the kids, we go to Sedona, Arizone. So relaxing, so spiritually rejuvenating.

    With the kids? San Diego.

  • comment avatar Nancy Face April 10, 2008

    My favorite destination is Disneyland. I like to take the kids to Disneyland. My favorite place to go without the kids is Disneyland.

    As you can plainly see, I am quite the world traveler. 😉

  • comment avatar Nancy Face April 10, 2008

    Last summer my hub cap and I stayed at a fancy resort in Sedona. It was beautiful, and as Jess said, so relaxing! 🙂

  • comment avatar Lisa April 10, 2008

    We like to travel with our kids, too! We are in love with cruising and took them on a cruise in 2007 and now they are hooked. We are cruising Alaska this year, although I know I will miss the warm tropical air, I am excited for the adventure which includes a helicopter–I’m afraid of that one. We love Hawaii and want to take the kids there, but mostly we will go anywhere on a cruise ship.

    We live near Disneyland and frequent it often! 🙂

  • comment avatar So Dak Angel April 10, 2008

    Favorite place to be…..Alaska. Favorite vacation, when I went to Mexico, sans everybody. Favorite place to go with the kids……Minneapolis, where they can see Grandpa……Favorite place I haven’t been yet, Maine.

  • comment avatar Tori :) April 10, 2008

    I heart Cozumel!! And cruises rock because it’s all inclusive. I gained so much weight on our cruise. 🙁

  • comment avatar A Little Bit April 11, 2008

    I like hanging with my kids too.
    I like going on road trips.

    I love that you cried.

  • comment avatar Aunt panub April 11, 2008

    You will love Hawaii and the volcano!
    How are you on road trips?
    I cried the first time I left my children with my brother and his wife, however they had a great time without us so guess my tears were in vain.

  • comment avatar April April 11, 2008

    I’m with the cruisers!

    Carnival Cruise lines has done a great job in changing their “booze cruise” reputation. Our kids had a great time on our last cruise.

  • comment avatar christy April 11, 2008

    I have been to Maui without kids and then back again with kids. It was great both times except that without kids we had much more fun eating out… with kids, we had to look for places that served chicken nuggets or pizza on the menu and those were far and few between! I also get VERY seasick… if you plan to venture out on any boat whatsoever, take lots of Dramamine well before going out on the water or you’ll be chucking your cookies on the boat like I did! Yikes – don’t want to ever repeat that embarrasment!

  • comment avatar elasticwaistbandlady April 12, 2008

    I went to Colorado last summer.

    Hey, maybe you read my blog and you know all about that trip!

    Anyway, that’s the first time I’ve ever been separated from my kids in 13 years. I now know that I have a 2 day window before I start going a little crazy thinking about them and worrying.

  • comment avatar Suzanne April 14, 2008

    I would love to go on a cruise someday, but I’m worried that I’ll get the motion sickness too.

    I’d say going anywhere without the kids is nice, but I do like family vacations too! 🙂

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