Making Summer Family Travel Plans
I’m trying to nail down what we can and can’t do this summer while the kids are out of school. Road trips around the Midwest are pretty easy and cheap because we can usually stay with someone. Jason and I want to try sailing lessons at a local lake, and there will be lots of camping and canoeing. What we all really want, though, is the ocean.
We’ve never been to Cozumel in the summer heat and I want to know what we’re getting into before the move next year. (Yes, any excuse will do if it gets me back on the island.) Several of our friends from mission trips with Friends of Cozumel are considering a visit in July right now. But who should go with me?
If Jason and I both go it gets tricky to find people to watch the kids. They end up shuffled from relative to relative and somewhat stressed out. Plus they will be really mad at being left behind. Martyr that he is, Jason has offered to stay home to make child management easier, which is somewhat guilt-inducing but does simplify things. I am the travel planner so it makes sense for me to be the one to go, and I can check out real estate. It won’t be the same without him, though, and I would miss my dive buddy.
If I go without him it would be my first time running around the island without having a guy along. In Brazil not having a male escort proved to make even a group of women a target of interest, quickly approached by local men that were hard to get rid of. In Cozumel I don’t see it being a problem, and I’m not worried about safety but I wonder if it might be different. At the very least I’m pretty sure no one will be offering me prostitutes, while this kind of offer appears for Jason every time we’re out after dark in a foreign country.
I am considering taking my 17-yr old, Chenoa. She is the least Mexico-crazy of all of us, and I’d like to stoke her fire a little to entice her to come with us when we move. Right now she’s most concerned with whether her boyfriend would be able to come along or not-I’m not paying for him. The little girls will wail for weeks if I take her and not them, but we can’t all go this time. Also she snorkels but doesn’t dive, and I hate to go to Cozumel and not dive.
Unfortunately the little girls are not really in the running; taking one and not the other would cause heartbreak and tears for months. Even if I go alone-did I mention they’ll be mad? I considered driving if it would make it affordable for us all to go; airfare is always the most expensive part of travel for us. It might seem a little desperate to drive, but someone brings up Mexico every day in our house. It’s our family obsession.
June asked at bedtime how long until we move, and can we live in a house with a roof top patio? If it doesn’t have one can we build stairs and climb on the roof anyway? I had to explain rental property to her; it is what it is and you can’t change it like we do our house here. I reminded her how we ate breakfast at the Museo de la Isla de Cozumel on the second floor patio overlooking the water. If we don’t have it at our house in Cozumel we’ll find it somewhere else.
Rory woke up this morning asking when we can go-maybe she was dreaming about it? Her requests are simple: she just loves the beach. She draws pictures of it for me all the time. When we visited last year she left a trail of sand castles everywhere we went.
Having our kids so involved and excited to move to Mexico gives me confidence that they will do well there. Spending a year in another culture, seeing how other people live and being a part of that will be a huge thing for them. I expect they’ll pick up Spanish faster than we will, and that language skill will be useful the rest of their lives. I love being able to show them the world, and it makes the experience so much better for me to have them along. I wish we could all go for another visit, but they will have to wait until we move.
I think about travel and especially the move to Cozumel all the time. I’m constantly planning what to take, how to save money, and of course some worries that living there won’t be as fun as our visits. So many decisions left to make, I can’t wait until we get there and settle in. The simple life is calling my name and I’m counting down.
I’ll keep you posted on what we decide.
What are your summer travel plans? Who will you take along? Can I come too?