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Can Solo Travel Make You a Better Mom?

Behold, the power of solo travel…

By Holly Rosen Fink, GoGirlfriend Contributor

When my first child was born, my job involved lots of travel for long stretches at a time. The thought of leaving her – even for one night – was mind-boggling. From breastfeeding to missing millions of small moments, I wondered how I would manage.

I lasted about a year with that job before I decided to go contract. I had been working as head of marketing at a big publisher and truly lived and breathed the business and working in New York City.

I began traveling alone ...My second child came within another year and then I was home with two babies whose lives depended on me. It was wonderful but a challenge, and a bit of a shock to say the least. I went back to work relatively quickly, in publishing. When the odd trip came about, I embraced the time away from home, but it was only going away overnight, at most.

I began blogging in 2010 – a mom with kids quickly growing but still young enough to need me at home. My career had gone digital and I began traveling for conferences and meetings. Traveling more gave me my mojo back.

As much as travel impacted me as a young woman, motherhood completely transformed the landscape. Since becoming a full-time travel writer, I’ve learned to appreciate my time away from home and believe it’s made me a better mom.

10 ways travel has made me a better mom

1. Distance makes the heart grow fonder

Traveling alone gives me time to regroup, to sleep in a hotel room on my own, to breathe in, to indulge my love of travel without anyone pulling on me or complaining. Time on my own and being able to do the things I love, nourishes my soul and brings me back a better mom.

2. solo travel reinvigorated me I can be more adventurous

When I’m traveling with my kids, I might not be inclined to take a sunrise hot air balloon ride or a bike down a canyon. When traveling through Iceland, my kids only wanted to see the geothermal pools, which was lovely, but I ached to explore glaciers and go whale-watching. When I’m on my own, anything is possible – and the stories I bring back keep my kids enthralled for hours.

3. More “me time”

Traveling with kids means being weighed down by an amazing amount of gear and organizing everything around feeding and sleep schedules. On my own, I can read, write or best of all, sleep, on long flights. When I have down time in my hotel room, I can watch movies, chat on the phone and simply BE. When I travel on my own or in a group, it’s about me once again. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

4. I miss my kids while I’m away

As much as I appreciate my time away from home, I spend a lot time thinking about them when I’m away. We Facetime each night and I’m always hunting for treasures to bring home to them.

5. My family becomes more efficient

While my husband takes over when I’m traveling, my kids take on more responsibilities too. I always notice a change for the better when I get home.

6. I’m able to pursue my dreams and work on my bucket list

Before I had kids, I tracked the places I visited. I started traveling on my own at a very young age (I first studied abroad at age 16), and seeing the world became an important part of my life. Since having kids, I’ve been more places than I ever expected. To say I love it, would be an understatement.

I win, my family wins7. I loosen up.

While there’s a lot of juggling to step out of my life for one night or a full week, I’ve learned that while I’m away, my kids don’t have to attend every after-school activity. Things can go awry for a short period and get back on track when I get home.

8. I research where to take my kids

Sometimes when I’m investigating destinations while on assignment, I discover new places that would be ideal for our family vacations. When we go back, I have a sense of knowledge that enhances our visits.

9. People wonder how I do it

It all goes back to the age-old question: can women have it all? Can a mother travel alone and be a mom at the same time? I space my trips out and make sure I’m home for everything important. I have missed a few concerts and recitals but for the most part, I’m here for them. And they get to see me chasing my dreams, which I believe will empower them as they grow up.

10. Most of all, I am a better mother for doing what I love.

My kids love the fact that I’m out there traveling the world, and I love the fact that I’m not missing out on what I love doing most.

Do you travel solo? What did you love about it? What challenges you? Drop a comment below or connect with the GoGirlfriend community on Facebook or Twitter.

About Holly Rosen Fink

Holly Rosen Fink ~ @HollyChroniclesHolly Rosen Fink ~ @HollyChronicles

Holly Rosen Fink is a Marketing, Communications, Public Relations, Branding and Social Media expert with over 15 years’ experience increasing brand awareness and sales at leading publishing houses and media companies. She is the founder of theculturemom.com and is a current contributor to This Girl Travels, Ciao Bambino, Family Vacation Critic, The Broad Side, BlogHer and Women & Hollywood.

She edited Come Closer: How Tourism is Shaping the Future of Nations and associate produced the off-off-Broadway hit The Best of Everything and the last 3 productions of the NYC production of Listen to Your Mother

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