My whole working life all I ever wanted was to go on a business trip. It always sounds so glam, so fun. Every job I’ve ever had promised “the opportunity for travel” and I always latched onto those words and waited with joyful expectation. But those trips never materialized.
I realize that most of the time business trips aren’t really exciting. People go to lame conferences in boring cities and pretend to pay attention. But then I got this job as a journalist (technically speaking) where I sometimes write about travel and a coworker/friend mentioned this magical thing called “press trips.”
Did you guys know about these? Because apparently, they’re a thing for bloggers too. A press trip is an all expenses paid trip to a resort or some other awesome locale that press members or photographers go on in exchange for coverage. And once you go on one, you get put into some secret database that allows you to get sent on others. I’m not even sure if I’m supposed to be talking about it (?) but you can all google “press trip” easily enough and see they’re real things that people get to do. Lucky people, anyway.
I’ve gotten a few things from PR people thanks to my job — a box of free Tide comes to mind (that one was useful). But so far, no press trips. Until today, when my friend who told me about them in the first place offered to let me go in her place to a luxury resort in Mexico.
My first inclination was to scream yes. But then I remembered how I have three kids who all need me 24/7 and a husband who has never been left alone with the whole screaming, needy lot for longer than a few hours. Right.
I actually just missed out on a mom’s trip to the Jersey shore because of Madeline. Long story short, she’s a boob snob who has never taken a bottle and gags dramatically whenever you put one near her mouth. I tried to get her to take one, but I’ll admit I didn’t pull out all the stops to make her do it. After a few attempts and a lot of gagging, I gave up on the trip and forfeited my deposit. I’ll go next year, right?
But THIS. Especially Mexico! In 2007, I planned a trip to Riviera Maya with two of my best work friends. We went to the travel agent and then counted down for months in anticipation, emailing each other photos of margaritas and palm trees every long, excruciating work day. We were so freaking excited.
Finally, the day arrived. We packed our bags and stayed at my friend’s apartment in NYC to catch our flight out of La Guardia. Got to the check-in counter only to find — my passport expired. Dun dun duuuun…
So, I didn’t go to Mexico. At my insistence, they did. I called Eric (my ex at the time, but hey, I was depressed) to come pick me up and get me drunk, quick. We stopped at a hole in the wall bar and I did tequila shots until I was puking out the window of his Nissan Stanza while crawling through rush hour traffic in the Lincoln Tunnel.
It was not my finest moment.
That was not my time to go to Mexico. But the more I think about it, the more I see the sweet faces of my young kids, who say, “I missed you, Mommy,” when I’m only gone for an evening — I know I can’t go now either. Right? I can’t.
It’s funny, we live in a culture that’s so obsessed with self-care and women figuring out who they are separate from their kids and partners. But when I try to picture who I would be, who I could be, in Mexico with zero attachments and responsibilities (beyond work, of course), I’m coming up blank. Motherhood is so ingrained in every action of every day that I don’t even remember what it’s like to be alone. I’d miss them terribly. Though I don’t think I’d be too miserable at an adults-only, all-inclusive resort with room service. I mean, I highly doubt it.
Anyway, I’ve been bugging everyone for their opinions on this all damn day and I just finished my latest book (reading books is like 90% of the reason I don’t blog in my free time), so I figured I’d write about. What would YOU do? Just curious.
Some of you will say go and some will say don’t go but ultimately, I know I’m the one who must decide. My husband said he could handle the kids alone but I’ll be honest, he doesn’t seem keen on the idea. I know with certainty that he’d be 1,000% more excited about the prospect if I could bring a plus one. Not that I blame him — if he ever went to a resort without me, I’d be super pissed.
Which is part of the reason why I obviously have to turn it down and miss out on Mexico again. That’s definitely what I have to do.