There’s something so bizarre about flying off on an airplane. I still find the idea that I could wake up on in my own bed in the morning, and go to sleep a whole continent away that evening to be a little bit mind-boggling. In the days leading up to a big trip, I keep thinking about this. I say to myself, “In less than a week from now, you won’t be here anymore. You’ll be someplace else.” While air travel is carbon intensive and kind of inconvenient, it is also a modern miracle. It makes the world so much smaller, and allows us to see far more than we ever could otherwise.
Tomorrow I will be flying off to New York with my husband. I’ll attend the BlogHer Conference, we’ll explore the city, and our kids will get to spend lots of quality one-on-one time with their grandparents. In the past couple of weeks I’ve been dividing my time equally between planning my trip to the Big Apple, trying frantically to get as much work done as I possibly can before I leave, contemplating air travel, and worrying about how my kids will do when I’m gone for six nights – our longest separation to date. It’s been a full schedule.
My smile is getting more strained by the minute
Leaving your children at home while you head off in search of adventure is both liberating and terrifying. And while the truth is that I wouldn’t be flying off to the East Coast if I didn’t already know my babies would be totally fine, there’s still part of me that never really wants to be away from them at all, ever. That part is currently doing battle with the part of me that’s super-excited about going to bed and getting up on my own schedule, going to see a play, and lingering over dinner in a restaurant.
This is my second year attending BlogHer, and the one upside is that with a little bit of experience under my belt I’m not worried about the conference portion of my trip. I enjoyed myself so much last year – I thought BlogHer was really fantastic. I felt as if I was among my people, and they were fabulous. This is what tips the balance for me from fear to excitement. I’m so looking forward to being in that community again. This is what that miracle called air travel facilitates. While connecting online is great, and reading other blogs is awesome, there’s nothing like meeting someone you already know and admire and sharing an in-person moment.
At BlogHer 2011 in San Diego, having lunch with members of the Green Moms Carnival
Two years ago BlogHer was in New York, as well. I wanted to go, but I knew I wasn’t ready to be away from my not-quite-two-year-old son Jacob overnight, let alone for several nights. I stayed home, trusting that my time would come. Tomorrow, it will. If you will be there, too, I hope we’ll get a chance to say hello. But mostly, I hope that you find your community, as well. As bloggers we spend most of our time in our own space, working by ourselves, but we’re never truly alone. Attending a conference like BlogHer is the most powerful reminder of that you can find anywhere.
Now, I’d like to turn things back to you. If you’ve travelled without your kids, how did you prepare? If you’ve visited New York before, what must I be sure to see? And if you’ll be at BlogHer as well, leave me a comment and let me know!