Why I Will Never Stop Traveling Alone With My Son
Updated: Jul 19
“You’re a single mom...how are you affording this?”
“What exactly is there to do alone with such a young child?”
“I don’t see how you have the patience to travel alone with a child!”
“Aren’t you worried about being safe?”
“Don’t you get bored?”
“Don’t you get lonely?”
All of these are questions that I’ve been asked since the day I started traveling with my son. As a single mom, I’m often faced with the worst criticisms for the decisions I make for my son and I, especially if those decisions don’t align with the lives that others believe we should live (or dare I say, don’t align with the lives that they were too afraid to live). There always seems to be some level level of disdain or disapproval over the fact that a single mother could or would even want to be alone with their child somewhere other than the inside of their own home.
The sad part is, I’m not the only single mother who has dealt with this-- who has been guilted into feeling as though they shouldn’t travel with their child(ren) for some reason or another. But even sadder is, some of these mothers will let all of those so-called reasons, doubts, and “what if’s” actually stop them from traveling. My question for them is, why let someone else’s doubts or fears extinguish the possible positive experiences you could have with your child?
Maybe it's just me, but when I travel alone with my son I feel that I am a stronger mother...to be able to handle making all of the arrangements, transporting the two of us, and dealing with all of the highs and the lows without someone else there to help lets me know that I am capable of anything. I feel like I’m a better mother for providing him with the experiences, opportunities, and special times together that I wasn’t afforded as a child. I feel like I am an accomplished mother to have shown both the naysayers and the travel hopefuls that traveling alone with a child doesn’t have to be hard, or scary, or “impossible”.
I’ve said it many times before: Traveling with a child isn’t easy, but it is ALWAYS possible. Sure, there are times that I often question whether the trip will go as smoothly as I envision it in my head, or if it will end up being a disaster. I question whether I will find enough for him to do, and whether he will enjoy those things. There are times that I do wish that I had another adult to have a conversation with, and times that I simply think to myself, “What am I doing?” But you know what? At the end of the day I am sharing a unique bonding experience with him-- an opportunity to learn something new together, and to see somewhere new for the very first time together...and when I see his eyes light up and that big dimpled smile on his face when he experiences something that we never would have experienced at home, I know that “what I’m doing” is the right thing.
So, at the end of the day, I don’t care if he’s two or twenty-two...if I have the opportunity to share a travel experience and create unforgettable memories with my son, I will. I don’t need to wait for him to be a certain age, or until I have a husband or a big group to travel with. Things in our lives can change so rapidly, and if we continue waiting for that "perfect" moment to travel with our children, we may wake up one day to find that the real “perfect” opportunity has already passed us by.
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