The Travel Fund

By: Holly Vanderhaar

I should be writing about the ridiculous bill that is on the floor of the state senate in Wisconsin, Senate Bill 507, one that equates single parenthood with child abuse. Either that, or I should vent my spleen about the loathsome Rush Limbaugh and his complete and utter…well. Never mind. I really should write about these things because I’m angry about them, and I think we should all be angry about them. But all of it sickens me and I reserve the right to save my psyche for another day. I’ve decided to dwell instead on something a wee bit lighter and fluffier this week.

There were a number of hopes I cherished when I was pregnant. I hoped that my children would have a sense of humor. I hoped that they would grow to love music, especially the Beatles. I hoped that they would love horses. And I hoped that they would be good travelers. My hopes have been rewarded in every case, save one: they remain stubbornly indifferent to horses. So far. I haven’t given up yet.

I’ve been thinking about the future lately. I refuse to think about Gracie and Isabelle moving away and living their lives without me, ha-ha, so I focus on the things I look forward to instead. I can’t wait to travel, REALLY travel, with them. Money’s been tight for the last several years, so it hasn’t been financially possible anyway, but they also haven’t been old enough to really get much out of travel. Last fall we went to New York City for the first time (the first time for them, anyway; I lived there for a while). They were terrific: walked all over the city with no complaints, loved taking the subway, and managed the crowds—even an Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Times Square—with aplomb. I was so proud of them, and I began to be able to envision a future where we would go to visit friends in California, or go back to New York again for a longer visit, or go to the UK so I can take them to London and Liverpool and Dublin. Maybe I’ll finally get to Italy, and we can discover it together.

I know that, when it comes to your kids, you’re never supposed to wish for time to fly faster. Every grandma in the grocery store says, “Enjoy them. They grow up so fast.” And this is a good age, although most of the ages —bar the first year— have been good. But as my daughters grow up before my eyes, I’m getting a glimpse of the future now and then, and I’ve been thinking about the things I look forward to sharing with them. I’ve come up with some strategies to save money, and I’m going to start that travel fund next month. We’ll send postcards!


  1. says

    Sounds good to me Holly. And it is true what those grammies say to you in the market. It does go by in a nanosecond. I love travel and thankfully I was able to do some of it with my kids. But more fortunately, just as I traveled with my parents, my kids traveled with their grandparents. Two great things came of this, they got to develop a relationship with my parents and I got time off. I do have many memories of all the travel with and without my children. But now as I age I am spending my kids inheritance on seeing all the places I wanted to go. I have done India (my favorite), Japan (my second favorite), South America, Africa, Eastern Europe and China. My grandkids have already traveled with me to local places but soon they will be old enough where I can take them myself. Hopefully, my health and energy will hold up until they are ready to go. Next summer will be a great time to start for me.

  2. says

    I can soooooo relate to this. I was just thinking this same thing. I recently came back from a week of travel for work… phoenix and then denver, and I miss the west… really, really miss the landscape of big sky and mountains and canyons and the sound of nothing but wind. I came back remembering how when I was pregnant I had anticipated some day bringing my son on adventures with me. I started thinking about when and how we could go on our first trip. And then I calculated the cost of next year’s preschool. And then I thought I maybe needed to set my sights closer to home for a few years. Sam is four and Eva’s just a year and a half, so maybe I’ll start a travel fund too. In about five years I might be able to take them somewhere.

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