February 24, 2010

Three kids and a 24-hour flight to Brazil

It’s 7:21 am on Wednesday, and our flight to Brazil leaves at 2:20pm – in five hours. Amazingly, I slept all through the night last night and got in a full eight hours. International travel with my husband and three kids must be becoming routine for me because normally I have trouble sleeping before a big event.

This is our fourth time moving the family to a new country in eight months. Fortunately, we are just packing up clothes and toys, and not moving the whole house. Still, it is a fairly major operation with eight-year old twins and a six-year old.

Determined not to get stressed out about it, I planned pretty carefully for the big event this time. We took a short trip to the beach over the weekend, arriving back Monday afternoon. We had done some packing beforehand and spent the whole day Tuesday just packing. Now, Monday morning, nearly everything is in suitcases, and we still have just over two hours before we leave the house.

We are leaving for the airport extra early, as I find that to take off quite a bit of stress. Our plane leaves at 2:20, but we are leaving the house at 10 am, meaning we will arrive at the airport before 11:00 am. That will give us plenty of time to rearrange any things we have from suitcases that are too heavy, and to take care of any last-minute emergencies. Hopefully, it will also leave us time to have a good lunch in the airport.

I am a bit sad to leave the Dominican Republic. I have greatly enjoyed my time here, and grew accustomed to the sights and people here. I am glad we had the chance to see some of the best beaches – Las Terrenas, Playa Bonita, Sosua, Los Guayacanes, and Isla Saona. I also got to know Santo Domingo quite well. And, I even made it to Haiti. In all, I made good use of my three months here in terms of getting to know Hispaniola.

Now, it is time to leave for Brazil. Time to get the last few items in our suitcases, to clean up the last few corners of the house, and to return the wireless router to Tricom. That is the one task I left for today. I wanted to have Internet access up to the last minute, and Tricom is not far from our house.

We arrive in Goiania, Brazil at 1pm tomorrow. That means we have about 24 hours of travel ahead of us. Starting out not stressed is a good thing. Now, I just have to keep it up for the remainder of the trip.

This means that when the kids begin to fight, I have to remain calm. Better, I need to do what I can to avoid fights. When other airline passengers complain about the children’s loud laughter or screams, I need to find a way to diffuse the situation. When the kids want to do cartwheels in the airport, I need to figure out if and where that is possible.

When you travel with kids over long distances, there has to be a balance between maintaining their good behavior and letting them burn off some steam. Hopefully there will be opportunities for them to burn off steam in positive ways.

I have to resolve to maintain my calm and to look for things to keep the kids occupied. Here we go….

1 comment:

  1. Safe travels! Best of luck for a most zen-like experience.