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Posts tagged ‘flight’

change of scenery

We had agonized for weeks about whether to leave the Philippines. Having made up our minds to go on authorized departure, we had only a few days to figure out where to resettle. We don’t own a house in the United States, so although we were happy to be heading home, the term for us was a bit of a misnomer.

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last-second planning

A few years ago, the NY Times ran an op-ed encouraging travelers to plan less, ostensibly to reduce stress. It stuck with us, not because we found the advice helpful but rather because we thought the piece thoroughly infuriating and completely out of touch, a flippant acknowledgment that “for most travelers, particularly those with families, such an extreme lack of planning seems impossible, even inadvisable” notwithstanding. We traveled like this during our backpacking days, but that was before grad school, marriage, kids, and careers. Once adult responsibilities entered the picture, such travel became out of reach. During his recent visit to Nepal, D found an opportunity to practice what the article preached. Whether arriving in country with only half of his work itinerary booked led to less stress is debatable, but D did manage to turn a potential bureaucratic nightmare into an enjoyable adventure.

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canal cruising

We had a fantastic 48 hours in Amsterdam – the first stop on our whirlwind European tour – despite doing very little actual sightseeing. The primary goal for our jaunt through the Low Countries was to catch up with friends and eat and drink well, and we accomplished both aims in spades during our brief stay.

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travel with two

We approached our three-week odyssey with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. S had taken both kids to Italy in November, but there she had had her parents’ help, which was absolutely necessary for managing Munchkin’s difficult moments. Also, S and her family had mostly stayed put in one place. This would be our first trip just the four of us – our first time taking both kids on an extended journey, and we packed a lot into each day.

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wheels up

The end of the year has a tendency to sneak up without much warning in Rwanda. Unlike its neighbors – and, for that matter, most other countries we’ve called home – which take a break from official business around mid-December, Rwanda keeps chugging along without too much holiday fanfare. Last week, for example, the ruling party held its thirtieth anniversary party congress, and this week the entire country is focused on its annual National Dialogue.

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the Spain in Maine

Munchkin had been talking about leaving school and going to nana’s house for weeks on end. Of course, he was much more excited about the three airplanes than S with her 8-month bump and old-lady compression socks, who was decidedly more apprehensive about the 25-hour trip. All in all, he was a very good traveler, sleeping overnight from take-off in Entebbe until touchdown in Amsterdam, and eventually napping on the flight to JFK as well.

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through the mist

Victoria Falls was an afterthought – a last-minute addition to our itinerary on the way back from Namibia to Rwanda. We had to fly through Zambia anyway, so we figured we should tack on a visit to one of the world’s most famous waterfalls since we were going to be in the neighborhood anyway.

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keep calm and travel on

Although there were a few moments when time seemed to slow to a crawl, the first six months of our Kigali tour flew by pretty quickly. We celebrated the midway point of our first year in Rwanda with a two-week trip to Namibia with S’s parents. We had spent a long time poring over the itinerary and were looking forward to sharing Munchkin’s affections – and care – with his grandparents almost as much as nana and zadie were looking forward to seeing their only grandson. But first, we had to reach Windhoek for our rendezvous – and inter-country travel in Africa is never a straightforward proposition.

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the times, they are a-changin’

We have been remiss in writing about Munchkin. Just in the two weeks we had spent in Paris without him, he grew and changed so much that there were new aspects of his personality for us to get used to. And that was three months ago.

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over the ocean and through the skies: surviving air travel with a toddler

Despite plenty of practice over Munchkin’s first year of life, S dreaded our current trip stateside. With the possible exception of her first trip overseas with Munchkin when he was just 7 weeks old, she had not experienced this acute a level of pre-departure stress. Munchkin had just started taking his first independent steps when we last took him on an airplane, and we had a rough time on the flights. That trip was to Lisbon — a four-and-a-half-hour non-stop flight for vacation. This time, not only did we intend to take Munchkin on a much longer flight, but we also took advantage of the trip home to bring our dog back to the United States, which added several layers of travel anxiety to the mix.