We met on our way to Kangerlussuaq…

Sitting across from each other with breakfast to go – quick sandwiches from airport kiosks. We swap stories, each with two kids, talking about jobs that took us both far and wide. An instant recognition, a sense of unspoken relief, a shared kinship.

Because we’ve chosen paths judged more harshly than fathers.

It is a choice at the end of the day. A choice to leave or to stay. To forage and pave, to show our children there are many ways to be mothers. Each equally worthy. Each a different lesson to teach.

So, we work to open up the world to them, to open up their minds on traditional roles. We work to break down those boxes. Tear them apart, rip them up so their worlds are never framed by “don’ts” tied solely to their gender.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. It never gets easier leaving your heart behind each time but we forge on.

We bite into our sandwiches as we talk. Of places explored solo and with the brood in tow. Of places explored with unflinching spouses and a much-needed break from kids.

Of never losing one’s self because roles have changed.

It is a privilege we traveling mothers have. One of partners carved from solid rock, carrying, propping, and above all, loving us to the core.

‘Tis a right privilege of showing our children a world beyond borders. Borders we build for mothers.

Those self-sacrificing givers from the dawn of time. There are many ways to be a mother and there are many lessons we choose to teach our children.

Because it is a choice at the end of the day. To love our children in our own way.

There is a season for everything. A season to stay and a season to leave. A time to nest and a time to fly.

Oh, traveling mothers who live across seasons and see it all as living one life. Where winter blends into spring and spring overflows into summer which trickles into autumn.

We smile and talk about our jobs judged more harshly than men by the very same sex we break those boxes for.

So, I salute you traveling mothers. Amidst whispers of judgement and scorn wrought with restrictions from those blessed with choice and privilege yet choose to waste.

I salute you.

  • Hey Lola,
    Love the ode. I only wish I could travel more. I’m not blessed with a partner who can look after the kids while I travel – he works full time and long hours – and don’t have grandparents to fall back on so it’s a bit of a struggle to make it work. But when you have the need to travel in your bones, you make it work some way. Now both my little ones are in school I’m hoping to take on more assignments further afield, and am excited by the prospect. Happy travels 🙂

    • Thanks so much for sharing, Linda and I fully understand! It is certainly a privilege I’m fully aware of and appreciate. Happy (and safe) travels to you as well!

  • Hear! Hear!
    As travelling mother myself, I thank my lucky stars for an understanding husband, and a travel-friendly child.

    Ironically, I actually did more travelling when our son was under 10! Now he’s 15 and with exams rolling forward, we’ve stuck to school holidays so that he can come along too, as he’s still very much interested! For business, I leave him at home with my husband, a great “boys-only” bonding opportunity for them both!

    • Thanks for sharing Victoria! I think it’s super important to introduce travel in all its aspects to them – from traveling with parents to parents traveling solo.

  • Monica-USA

    There is no reason a woman and a mother can not have both a career that may or may not take her around the world while raising a family. In order for it be successful though is an understanding and support partner whom is willing to roll their sleeves up and jump in and do their share as well! It is sad that now-days it takes two people to make ends meet in a household but on the positive side women are becoming more empowered everyday and not being pigeonholed into barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen! What is truly sad is that even though our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, etc. enjoyed staying home raising their families, could you imagine the world we would be in now if they had the chance to spread their wings and let their passion and/or natural talents run wild?! I know my mother would have been a fabulous interior designer but that opportunity never arose for her she was working hard to make ends meet and never once complained about her personal sacrifices in order to make sure my brother and I had food, clothing and a roof over our heads!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your insights and thoughts Monica. It truly is different circumstances for everyone and personally for me, I am eternally grateful for a solid and supportive spouse. At the end of the day, food, clothing and shelter for family comes first – any way we provide it 🙂