The travel daydream that gets me through every time

Some days are hard. Juggling work, parenting, home responsibilities and distance learning is a hectic handful right now.

Then there’s the whole stuck at home seemingly forever thing, not being able to travel or spend time with beloved friends and family members, and it just adds up to a lot. Some days, it honestly seems like too much.

But there’s always one daydream that gets me through the roughest days. I return in my mind to our last fabulous vacation: our cruise down the Mexican Riviera last December with my entire family. Looking back, that trip encompassed everyone and everything I love, all wrapped up with a pretty ocean view. It doesn’t get much better.

Did we even appreciate it all while we had it? Did I realize at the time what an amazing gift that trip was? That Mexico cruise is what I find myself daydreaming about anytime things get too rough day to day.

  • When I miss my Mommers, I remember sneaking out in the mornings to walk around the ship’s outdoor track together. We witnessed some beautiful sunrises, laughed as we fought high winds and talked as we got our steps in. We both enjoy getting an early start on the day, but the rest of the family likes to sleep in. I always love our special mother/daughter moments together on those cruises. Any time that I get to spend with Mommers is always cherished!
  • When I miss my bro, I think of him day drinking up on the sun deck in the shade. He is one of the funniest people I know and can always make me laugh hard enough to hurt myself – I know better than to eat or drink around him while he’s on a tear! G is not a fan of getting off the ship in port. He’s just there for the all-inclusive booze and food on the ship; in his view, why ever leave? You can kind of see his point.
  • When I miss my nieces, I think of how much fun Z has with her cousins in their cabin next door to ours. Those three girls rule the cruise ship by about the second day in! I adore taking photos of the three of them around the ship and in our Mexican ports of call. I love seeing them get all dolled up for dinner and the shows, or in their swimsuits hanging out in the pools and hot tub all day.
  • When I miss my Dad, I think of how generous he is to take us on these cruises – a once in a lifetime opportunity, yet he’s done it multiple times. And I also smile thinking of how he always puts up with me arranging a family photoshoot with one of the ship’s photographers even though he HATES having his picture taken. And I appreciate how proud he is anytime all nine of us meet up for a big, fancy family dinner aboard the ship. He plays the role of patriarch well!
  • When I miss my sister-in-law (SIL), I think of how she and I run ourselves ragged before the cruise trying to plan shore excursions and activities for the kids. She’s the only one besides me who gets obsessive about those details! We have fun planning trips and vacations for our families, even if we’re the only ones who appreciate each other for doing it all. Cheers, SIL – hopefully we’ll get back to planning trips again for these hooligans someday!

It’s not just my family that I miss. When I miss the ocean, I imagine being on the top deck of the ship looking down at the endless waves – or being in our cabin with the sliding glass door open and listening to the ocean as I drift off to sleep.

When I miss that tropical sunshine, I close my eyes and fantasize about lying on the sundeck aboard the ship, feeling the ocean waves rock us ever so gently and that hot Mexican sun beating down on me. Or sitting in the sun on a beach in Mexico eating chips, salsa and impossibly perfect guacamole as we stare out at another perfect ocean view.

When I miss that feeling of vacation freedom and visiting new lands, I imagine I am stepping off the ship at a new port excited about exploring, shopping, finding treasures in little markets, seeing new sights and experiencing the wonderful culture and cuisine of Mexico.

When I am craving time alone without my beloved little family, I imagine I’m back on the ship and E and Z have just decided to stay aboard… so I get to disembark and visit a Mexican port solo. You’re never really alone on or off the cruise ship, as there are hundreds or thousands of other tourists flooding the streets right alongside you. I’ve always felt safe at our ports and never hesitated to get off the ship and stretch my legs for some shopping and sightseeing adventures on land. Sometimes, it’s even more fun when I go alone!

So, there you have it. That 2019 Christmas cruise gave me enough fantasy fodder to last through an entire year of no travel… and enough wonderful family moments and memories to help me get through this year of no visits with our Cali crew. That said, I am really looking forward to being able to visit with my family again. And deep in my heart of hearts, I hope we’re all able to do that Mexico cruise again someday. It truly was the perfect multi-family escape.

What’s getting you through this year with no travel and few out-of-town family visits? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below or over on Facebook.

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About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat and snake mom. Travel nut. Natural born writer. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.
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