Solo Travel

Get Real Mom’s Solo Female Travel, Part 2

I did it!  I did it!  Do you believe it?  I actually have left the country, by myself, leaving the girls behind with dear husband!

Let’s just take a moment and appreciate that feat, shall we?  Everyone, feel the excitement with me…

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Ok.  When we last talked (in this post) about this whole adventure, I was lamenting that I really have trouble relating to solo female travel blogs.  All the great advice pieces on how to get started as a solo female traveler began with things like Research Your Destination, and Book Early!  Location posts are peppered with victory poses atop mountains, bikini selfies, and soft focus, romantic pictures of lounging luxury suites.  Meanwhile, I was desperately trying to find a slot in my calendar where I could extricate myself from the schedules of two teens, at a time my traveling-for-work husband would actually be in the country, while wearing my shirt inside out for half the day before realising it. I just didn’t feel they were helping someone like me travel.

But I moved forward… I had chosen a time, consulted with Scott, and we both blocked it off our calendars.  I started covering the things that needed to be covered for the week, moving things or canceling them.  I was researching my destination!  Took the step and booked my hotel, and then my flight.

And, like clockwork, the husband got a call.  No! No! No! STOP right there!  We said, once I booked the flight, that was it, there could be no-take-backsies!  He had to throw down the wife card and refuse any travel.  I never pull that card.  The last time I pulled that card was when older daughter had brain surgery (in fairness, Scott’s company knew what was going on, and didn’t try to send him anywhere during that time).   But we said we were using it here.

It’s the brand-spanking-new boss’s boss’s boss… ugh.  I had to dangle out there in suspense, with husband insisting I had to go and he would figure something out and me thinking, yeah, ok.  We’ll see.  In the end he has to leave the day before I get home, we have one night that needs covering… Enter awesome girlfriends who will not let my trip get messed up!  Whoo-hoo!  Two of my best friends (hi girls!) live in my neighborhood, and have kids the same age as mine.  They both immediately insisted my girls crash at their house and that was the end of that conversation.  Moving on.

My girlfriends are awesome.  They’ve been around my wanderlust for years, so my trip hasn’t shocked them much.  But one of the things I’ve found is that other married mom’s reactions are fascinating.  This seems to break down in to three groups…

  • What Kind of Freak Mom Travels by Herself!

Some women cannot fathom how and why I would do such a bizarre thing.  They quiz me down on who’s going to be doing what while I’m gone, with subtle undertones of my irresponsibility peeking through.  Really?  We aren’t judged on enough in life we apparently have to throw this in to the mix?

Others are completely thrown back on their heels by why I would ever want to travel by myself, and won’t I feel awkward sitting at a table by myself in a restaurant?

(Sidenote:  Somewhere along the line I never got the memo about the requirement to feel awkward doing something by myself, including dining in a restaurant.  I do it at home sometimes when everyone else is off for a day, just because I want to have short-stack-smoked-salmon-salad, and I can’t make that at home.  I honestly don’t get the whole intimidation thing there.)

  • Wait… Solo Mom Travel is Possible?

Some, I can immediately see the envy and wistfulness.  It’s like I just kicked open a door to a parallel universe for them, and they are just a tad in shock, and I think some little corner of their mind is thinking, Wait, I could do that??

I’m here to tell you, that YES.  You CAN do this!  It’s possible.   I know, until recently, I kind of automatically assumed that being a wife and mom meant I was excluded from this little club.  Turns out – there is actually no written charter on this stuff!  And so far, the whole thing is, well, I kind of hate this overused word, but I’m stuck with it at the moment, empowering.

  • You Jezebel!

But, by far, the most surprising reaction I had, was from the woman sitting by me at the airport gate.  With a wave of her hand, and looking away from me afterward, she just emphatically stated that I had clearly met someone on the internet.  😂🤣😄😅😆  I still start snicker about that as I type it!

For the record, No.  No, I have not.  Honey, if I was going to sneak off with someone:  1.  that would defeat the whole idea of #soloMOMtravel.  and 2.  I’d totally be spending that time with my awesome hubby who is happy to be home with the kids while I whisk off on a trip by myself.  (Oh wait, we ARE doing that later this summer!)  And honestly, I’m offended for all women-kind that someone assumes the only reason I would take a week away from my family, is that I had met another man and was sneaking off with him.  That kind of says sad things about that woman’s life.

Anyway… I made here!

Where is here you ask?  Well, I’m staying at a cute little hotel in the shadow of:

Chateau Phone Pic

So, where am I?

Reviews, pictures, stories and the exciting way I spent my first morning here coming soon.  In the meantime, check out @wandertoesphotos on Instagram, and @wandertoes on Twitter for occasional peeks into the adventure.

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To read more of the Solo-Mom-Travel, <<Go to this page for a listing>>.

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Oh! Oh! Pin me! Pin me!

Solo Mom Travel Quebec City Solo Female Travel Pinterest

 

48 thoughts on “Get Real Mom’s Solo Female Travel, Part 2

  1. Could you possibly be where English and French are spoken way up North? In the city that people in the States pronounce incorrectly with their American pronunciation instead of starting the word with a K sound? That’s my guess…. And all I have to say is “you go girl!!!” and yes, I’m in the envious category (who would do it along with you in a heartbeat…but then it wouldn’t be solo, would it (smile)?)

    • I did believe you know exactly where I am! 😀😉😎 Thank you for the encouragement from afar, and while, yes, the getting together would kinda end the solo- female thing… If I am solo in a city, and you just *happen* to be solo in the same city, I mean, it would be rude not to meet up! 😄

  2. This is wonderful!! I am so happy you got to travel on your own. I give you so much credit because I get enough weird looks for traveling alone. I can’t even imagine if I decided to travel alone, without my kids and husband. You jezebel you!! Kidding but great post!!

    • It’s pretty funny, I didn’t expect such disbelief over it! I mean, I know it’s different. I was most expecting, I guess, for people to think it’s ‘wrong’ to leave kids & husband for a week. That it’s selfish. And there’s some of that. People are big on MartyrMommies, I guess. I’m not. 🙂 A happy mommy makes for a much happier home!

      But the meeting someone on the internet thing! Hahaha!! Did NOT see that coming. I just kind of blinked for a moment, then just started laughing. As if.

  3. Congratulations on the solo trip! The comments from other people regardless of age, if you have kids, or relationship status about traveling alone is always strange to me. I always love when people fight the preconceived notions of how life “should” be lived. I am sure you going out on your own will empower your daughters’ on future adventures as well! 🙂

    • You know, I look back now, and it never even *occurred* to me to study abroad for a semester or do anything like that. Which is silliness – because even then I liked travel. I’d had less exposure, but it’s something I would have said about myself. But I just didn’t know anyone who did such things, and no one ever said ‘hey why don’t you try that’ so it just wasn’t on my radar. I think I would have loved it.

      However, my girls are going in to 10th and 11th grade, and both of their foreign language classes are doing language immersion trips to France/Spain next summer. I’m strongly encouraging them to go, and they both want to go. I hope the options are just more of a reality for them than they were for me. Whether they wind up travel lovers for life or not, we’ll see. 🙂

      • Yeah it is funny how that happens but it is great that your daughters are starting to purse such things and are excited about it! All you can do is show them the way and see what sticks!

  4. I’m not a solo mom but I imagine some time by yourself is much needed! Moms are fridge superheros that take care of everything- you deserve some time to yourself!

    • Thank you!! I’m starting to feel like I’m, stepping into a one-woman crusade to end MartyrMommies. I’m so tired of the constant pressure to be consumed by and live, eat, and breathe my kids. I love them to death. I’ve seen one daughter through the hell of a pain condition and multiple brain surgeries. I’ve homeschooled them all along. Clearly I’m not neglecting or abandoning them. It’s totally OK for me to take some time for myself once in a while. Especially when they have Dad who encourages me to do this, and is perfectly capable of being solo-parent while I’m gone!

  5. Great on taking the solo trip! So funny that people thought you were off to meet someone you met online though! Some people just don’t get travel at all I guess! 😀

    • No kidding!! The more I thought about it, the more I thought it was so sad that she couldn’t fathom me going away to do something I wanted to do, very short term, without it meaning I was running off to meet some other man. That’s just bizarre to me!

  6. You go girl! That is so exciting that you were able to travel alone! I mean I’m sure you love your family, but breaking away and having alone time in another country must have been amazing! That’s also so nice of your husband to stay back.
    Leah

    • Thank you! And yes, I am totally blessed and spoiled and whatever other words you want to throw in there to have the husband I do. He doesn’t have the drive I do to travel, but he does his best to understand me, and to encourage and help me to do more of what I love. Really, he’s the unsung hero of this whole thing. 😀

  7. This is one of the most inspiring and refreshing blog posts I’ve seen in a looooong time. It is so unbelievably cool that you are doing solo travel as a mom, of teenage girls nonetheless!!
    I think those reactions definitely mirror the typical reactions non-mom solo travelers get when asked people hear we’re traveling alone. However, they’re definitely more exaggerated and dare I saw the negative ones show a bit more judgment and even maybe jealousy or scorn in some cases? In any case, haters gonna hate. More power to ya for doing this, and happy (solo mom) travels!

    • Thanks so much Tom! 😀 I’m incredibly lucky to get to do this, and I know that. But I also was brave enough to say what I wanted, and do the work to make it happen. (And incredibly thankful to have two girls who think it’s so cool that mom’s doing this, while hubby is willing to cover things at home.) As I sit here with the information on international foreign language trips my daughters each want to take next summer, maybe I’ve even inspired another generation! 😀

      • And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Spreading knowledge, experiences, and most of all, perspective, to others when they’re willing to listen. Inspiring them, and having such a supportive husband, girlfriends, and of course the daughters themselves, are the keys to making people’s minds open up to new and different things, like travel! Kudos to you, for your initiative, to your husband for being flexible and working double time in the mean time, your daughters for being open and helpful, and your girlfriends for helping cover you in your time of need. You know what? Kudos to those you doubted you too. You’re all the more resilient and “empowered” for having done it despite them. Love all around.

  8. So inspirational! I should definitely do a solo trip myself (and I don’t even have kids…) 🙂 Enjoy, hope to read more about your adventures soon!

    • Thanks so much! I absolutely encourage a solo trip. It was a completely different way to travel, and kind of a weird feeling to only be ruled by my own interests and schedule. I was hoping to have another post up today, but then we had one sick girl down yesterday – so not quite there yet. But it’s coming!

  9. I’m not a mom, but I definitely get the solo female traveler thing. It can be awkward meeting up with people, especially men, if you only met online. But it gets easier, and you get more hope for the fate of humanity.

    • Well, I wasn’t meeting up with anyone this time. I actually kind of avoided getting attached to anyone else’s schedule or priorities. I just wanted to go with my own flow.

  10. I am not a mom, but I travel solo. I know the adventures for moms just to get a solo trip in from my friends and sister so that is great you went on it. enjoy more to come

  11. Oh my goodness. Good for you! Isn’t crazy how closed minded people are. After children is probably the best time to travel solo, so you can be with yourself again. I hope you have an amazing trip, so happy and proud of you for being different.

    • “So you can be with yourself again…” Exactly! That’s what I was after. Time inside my own head, time to enjoy what I enjoy doing when we travel without accommodating everyone else. 😀

  12. You go lady!! You are so fierce! The only time I’ve traveled on my own was when I studied abroad. I need to do that again soon! Thank you for the inspiration!

  13. Good for you! Your post is inspiring and great to hear how you set your mind to doing something and made it happen. Enjoy yourself!

    • 🙂 Sometimes in life, you just have to speak up. I’m grateful for the people around me who helped make it happen – and thrilled if I inspire someone else to take steps toward something they love. <3

    • Haha! Moms have lives too!! Whoo-hoo! 😀 Spread the word! Hahaha, I think more moms have to remember that they can still have interests and things they are passionate about that are not completely wrapped up in their families.

  14. GIRRRRL, you are a rockstar, I love your pluck. When you are comforted and happy, so is your family. So here is hoping your solo adventure (in Quebec looks like?!) is everything you dreamed of and more.
    Also, I travel solo all the time but like you said, I don’t plan early, or dorn bikinis, or lounge in luxury resorts. Nothing wrong with that, but that’s just not my style. So hi-5 to traveling along the same footsteps.
    Subscribed to your adventures now. X 🙂 Happy travels!

    • 😀 I’m a rockstar! Whoo-hoo! Love it! Absolutely, Quebec City for me, which was an awesome choice. Hi-5 right back to you on the lower-key travels. For me, it’s about where I am, immersing in the place. Glad to know you are out here doing the same.

  15. Good for you! I’m proud! I am a mom and I have traveled by myself (meaning with some girl friends) but only in the same country where my little ones are. I can imagine how hard it is to leave your kids, but we too, need our own time. Have a safe travels!

  16. I left home 2 years ago as a solo traveler and amazing is an under statement. I 100% encourage your solo mom travel and appreciate the connection between you and your husband. sounds like a match made in heaven to me 🙂

  17. Mothers need to have an alone time too. They need it the most. Travelling solo is one great option. Women, in general, will always receive a lot of assumptions from others. Anyway, where did you go? Are you in a lovely European town? Right?

    • It looks so much like a little European town, doesn’t it? Feels that way too! BUT – it’s Canada!! 😀 Quebec City, Canada is a french-speaking, walled-city, in North America. It made it short flights for me, and much less expensive. Highly recommend it for others who love Europe, but for whatever reason are looking for another option.

  18. I’m nowhere near being a mom or getting married and settling down but this is so inspirational!!! My mom’s been telling me how she wants to get out there and travel by herself and I’ve been telling her that it’s dangerous, its lonely, etc. etc. etc. but seems like I might be wrong. Moms deserve a break too!

    • Jas, glad to be an inspiration! And give your mom big hugs and encouragement from me! Tell her to stop over and say hi. 🙂

      As far as the safety and loneliness factor: Danger can be mitigated. Just one of the reasons I chose Quenec City for my first solo go. It’s a very safe city. (I talk more about that here: https://wandertoes.com/2017/06/19/quebec-city-solo-female-travel/).

      As for the loneliness, I’m an extrovert, and I wasn’t lonely at all. Maybe that’s a function on being a mom, and generally being overloaded on being needed many days. I don’t know. But I also met someone to chat with on each of the tours I took, and occasionally at the next table when I was dining out. When you are on your own, people are more likely to initiate conversation, I find.

      Best of luck to you and her!!

  19. Thank you for proving that solo travel (or any travel really) really is possible for all the mom’s our there! I love the honesty about the obstacles you faced and overcame

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