For someone as unlucky as me, traveling is a big challenge. Which is awkward because it’s one of my favorite things. (Similar to mushrooms when I was a kid; I loved them but they made me throw up.) With both mushrooms and travel, however, I persevered and asserted myself as the ends justify the means—or something similar.
hat was a confusing way of saying, sometimes I find travel stressful. Well, that may be a throwback to when my kids were little. I can still remember a time at a very busy Dublin airport – not busy in 2022, just busy as usual – when all four of my young children in a parade from an animated cartoon literally ran in four different directions at once and we debated which ones to chase. After all, there were only two of us.
Or on another occasion when we somehow managed to land in Toulouse with a four-year-old (for whom we brought two pairs of shoes) who somehow managed to arrive barefoot. Or this time I’m trying to block out when a toilet-trained school kid was so desperate to go to the bathroom because of turbulence while the seat belt sign was on that we actually considered putting it in a younger sibling’s diaper and just left it in place walk.
On another lovely holiday our toddler was throwing up on his pasta plate with constant acid reflux and we were so exhausted by that stage that we just covered his plate with a napkin and continued eating. Of course, these occasions were accompanied by howling tantrums – and that was just me.
But enough of these happy memories. The point is, there were definitely times when traveling was barely worth it. Where the level of organization of the military maneuvers almost outweighed the joy one felt when they fell asleep early enough on a warm evening to have a glass of cold white wine undisturbed before one, too, collapsed unconscious.
I remember my mother telling me smugly as I came home wild-eyed from a vacation more devastating than when I left, ‘That’s why we never went anywhere when you were young.’ And I think: are these my decisions? Stroke-triggering stress or just staying at home?
But as I said, we persevered and adapted. Much like we bought a bigger bed because we couldn’t get her to stay in her own, we bought a bigger car and took the ferry. We didn’t stress about packing anymore – we just brought everything with us. And although it limited us to mobile homes in France with bad pizzerias and mysteriously undercooked burgers (the persistent myth of fabulous French cuisine intrigues me), we pushed on and never gave up.
Eventually we got to the point where they could get a list and they would pack themselves. If they haven’t made themselves hell in a confined space in a back seat. And if they could foresee for themselves that they might actually have to go to the bathroom before a four-hour drive.
Which brings me to the here and now. Travel, my love, although it’s still mildly stressful, which with the airport is a bit like a reality TV version of it The hunger Games, is so worth it once again and my grown children are now a bonus. Mushroom risotto and garlic mushrooms on toast are also the food of the gods. Some things are worth sticking with.
A second opinion
There is occasional debate as to who, if anyone, is Gay Byrne’s natural successor in terms of his broadcasting. Ryan Tubridy is usually the obvious choice to host The Late Late Show. Well, Ryan is without question an extremely good broadcaster, but for me it has to be Joe Duffy.
Gay was a big advocate for women back then when, like today, that wasn’t a particularly popular avenue. About getting Marian Finucane to sit in his chair Late Late He moderated and read letters from abused women after Anne Lovett’s death, discussed contraception, and showed a nation that, for the most part, had no idea how to put on a condom on such matters, he urged progress. RTÉ was regularly inundated with complaints about him from the conservative hegemony of the time, but he pressed on, saying he felt he wasn’t doing his job properly if nobody complained.
Joe Duffys live line, with its menopause and transgender-themed shows, has displayed exactly the same fearless instincts. He’s taken the torch from Gay Byrne and we’re lucky to have him.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/travelling-is-my-great-love-even-though-the-memories-of-holidaying-with-four-young-kids-still-haunt-me-41925292.html Traveling is my great love – even though the memories of vacationing with four small children still haunt me