I started writing another post. A post about London— and the wonderful time Marlowe and I had so many months ago. But within the first paragraph of writing… it hit me: the three of us: Alex, Marlowe, and myself haven’t been on a trip together in over a year. I had to stop myself. I had to check if this were true. I had to scroll back through my travels. I had to send out a text to Alex to confirm again…
“Was the last trip we went on to Colombia? That can’t be right?”
And it was true.
Marlowe and I? We’ve been on so many trips in this time. Less than she would maybe like… but truly so many. But it was over a year ago that the three of us were last on a plane and off an adventure together. How is this possible? How has it been that long? How has time passed this quickly? Oh, how life has changed in the span of a year. It’s amazing how quickly and drastically it can change from one month to the next. Or one day to the next even.
It was almost a year and a half ago we took off for Guatemala together. And then shortly after we hopped on one plane to another heading to a handful of countries to explore for the first time and some to revisit. We went to cold locations to test our limits. And found the comfort of home spending 6 or 7 weeks in Mexico. But before heading back home, we detoured. We met my family in Colombia to celebrate my mothers birthday together. A few days in, we detoured once again taking a boat out — just off the coast of Cartegena, to an island called Tierra Bomba.
If someone told me that this was the last place we would all travel together in this time, well, I wouldn’t have believed them. That over a year would pass until our next trip? I’d say, “Nah, we’ll do at least another trip or two together this year.” But I would have been wrong.
And had we known, if someone could have convinced me differently, would our time together be any different? I’d like to think no. I’d like to think that either way, we enjoyed every moment we could. That we made the best out of whatever was in front of us each day.
I don’t think Tierra Bomba was quite what we expected. I think I expected to find bluer blues. And greener greens. A feeling of sunshine in the moments of quiet. And while the air was warm and there was peace in the air, I’m not sure it was as vibrant as any of us would have liked.
But still… life is short (and often quick) and we made sure to wake up each day and enjoy our time (together).
Looking back, I wonder if Alex knew this would be his last trip in a while. I mean, I knew that we were returning to Florida for Alex. That our plan… well, it didn’t go as planned. And somehow between our travels, he signed his name and committed to returning to work. I think we all knew we’d travel less. I know I expected that. But I didn’t think I would have an entire year go by before I could hold Alex’s hand or thigh on a flight somewhere again. But sometimes that’s just how life goes.
Tierra Bomba is a small island. About 9,000 inhabitants or so. It’s not somewhere people go for an adventure. It’s somewhere people go for a quiet escape. A moment to sit in silence, to reflect, to take it all in. (At least the past we were in.)
I know we did this there. I know I sat staring out at the sea, feeling my emotions, reflecting on my past, and questioning my future. While I didn’t want our family adventure time to end, I knew Alex had taken a risk for me, and it was my turn for him. That I would have to head home and wait to see what was in store for us all.
We’re headed off to Guatemala in a few days. And while I am undoubtedly excited about the trip and the experience itself, more than anything I’m looking forward to spending days with Alex and as a family, uninterrupted. While he’s had a few days off here and there, it feels like it’s been a lifetime since we’ve had a full day without responsibilities calling.
The beach will always call to us, we learned this the last time we headed to Guatemala. But we’re looking forward to a trip to the mountains and in the jungle too. No beach in sight, but we’re okay with it. It’s temporary. We thrive in the warm air, but a break from Florida summer feels so freeing too. Cool mornings, a few layers, and still the thing we need most: care-free days, uninterrupted family time, bouts of sunshine and loads of tropical fruit.
We’re almost there.
And Marlowe? Well, funny story. She almost got left behind. Not in Tierra Bomba, but accidentally left behind in this upcoming trip. We realized this week that Guatemala has a 6-month expiration window for passports. Hers expires a month and a half after our return. But still, not close to that 6-month mark required.
And we debated whats our next step… try for the airport anyway and risk potentially landing in Guatemala without proper entry only to return on the next flight home? Leave her at camp grandmas for three weeks? Something she decided she would be okay with— because there would be a steady diet of mangoes, rice, and beans, haha. Or pull our energy together to somehow make an expedited passport happen. And so tomorrow morning, bright and early, we’re driving to Miami for a new passport. While risking it is an option (something that might actually work out fine), we really want to be sure this upcoming time is not just vacation time, but family time. An accidental second honeymoon sounds nice, but we want her there too.
It’s been a crazy, crazy week over here, but so in a few short days, we’ll all be together in the world again. Away from our home and away from responsibilities. We’re looking forward to enjoying the ups and downs of travel and life together. And while we made a point to enjoy every second last year, this year we know… a full year can once again go by in the blink of an eye… so we better take it all in, more than we ever have before.