HomeInspirationWhy I Decided to Travel Instead of Having Kids

Why I Decided to Travel Instead of Having Kids

Do you sometimes feel torn between your thirst for exploring the world and the desire to settle down into a more conventional lifestyle? Having to choose between travelling or becoming a mom (or dad!) is not an easy decision to make. Maybe, after reading my story, you’ll have a better understanding of where I’m coming from…

I’m 29 and I’ve been married for two years. I’m putting money aside every month in my retirement fund and I own a grown-up house! This is the definition of #adulting: a successful life based on our society’s standards. I have a “perfect life” that I can proudly display all over Facebook and Instagram with no filters. According to most, the next obvious step is to become a mom. Actually, I should already be pregnant with my second child… Ideally, I would’ve already had a boy, so now I should be expecting a girl.

Doing What Feels Good

Turns out I decided to follow a different path. I decided to travel, to see the world and discover new cultures… I decided to be selfish. After quitting our jobs, renting our assets and making quite a few sacrifices, my husband and I chose the nomadic lifestyle by planning the adventure of a lifetime.

“Why are you doing this?”
“Are you rich?”
“What are you afraid of?”
“Aren’t you happy?”
“What are you running away from?”
“What about your career?”
“Don’t you want to have kids?”

I can’t answer any of these questions at the moment; I’m simply following my heart!

I’ve agonized about this for a long time. The anxiety of feeling like a fraud because I don’t want a family even though that’s what I’ve been dreaming about since the moment I started watching Disney movies.

“Duh! You know you can travel with kids, right?” I’ve heard this about a thousand times. As if people are trying to convince me. Yes, I know it’s possible to travel with kids. It’s probably the best gift you can give them in life. But, and there is a but, it won’t be the same and never with the same mindset.

Falaise - Pourquoi j’ai choisi de voyager avant d’être maman - Nomad Junkies
Photo: @jo_annietetreault

The pre-trip anxiety hit me with the force of a speeding train. I had to deal with double the amount of anguish. First off, I felt judged because of my decision to postpone any family plan but also for putting my “awesomely perfect life” on hold.

I stumbled on a quote recently that really stuck with me: “Obstacles are put in your way to see if what you want is really worth fighting for.” So here I am, sticking to my guns and talking about my decision. Having kids is a choice, not an obligation, whether you make this choice at 25, 32, 35, 40 years old… or even never!

We are living in a world of instant gratification. We want everything NOW! We want a respectable job, the big house, the perfect body, the perfect boyfriend, the perfect face, the perfect kids. Is it ok to say STOP at some point; to look around us in the hopes of seeing what is being done elsewhere? Is it okay to just rethink things and have a little self-introspection, all in the hopes of becoming a better version of ourselves?

Having kids now, later or never?

It feels like as we reach the end of our twenties, we divide into two clans. On one side you have the moms and on the other the non-moms. I would even say it’s a bit of a “taboo topic”. You get to that age when you almost feel judged by others for not having kids yet. It’s as if people think we’re eternal teenagers afraid of adulthood… running away from responsibilities.

I believe it’s quite the opposite! We’re actually applying one of the first lessons of humanity which is TO LIVE! Hold on, I’m not saying that you don’t live once you’ve become a mother. All I’m trying to convey is that we made the decision to experience all of this a bit later.

Maman autour du monde - Pourquoi j’ai choisi de voyager avant d’être maman - Nomad Junkies
Photo: @jo_annietetreault

Why is it that everyone thinks that all girls want ultimately is to get married, buy a house and have kids? All of this is amazing, but is it so bad to add a few detours on this perfectly traced path?

I want to make it clear that it was a choice I made to be able to wake up at 10 am on a Saturday morning, to go for drinks with my gals on a Thursday night, or when I feel like it, to join a spinning class because I want to and not just because it fits in my schedule.

You’ll sometime catch one of those moms who were previously in the “non-mom clan” glance at you with a look that says “Respect girl”. Really, it’s fascinating to hear these women saying with such passion and understanding: Enjoy life, travel because it’s all over after that!

P.S. I Still Want Kids

I’m far from being a hater of the mom-life. In fact, I’m actually looking forward to starting a family. I can’t wait to experience all of it (except maybe ripping my lady parts while giving birth!).

Moms are stunning, they’re literally superwomen! It seems like they understood life in a way that I’m still trying to grasp. Something happens when you give birth, you receive this extra layer of wisdom and humanity. In my case, I just decided to wait it out for a bit… I feel like having fun and following my bohemian soul.

Pluie - Pourquoi j’ai choisi de voyager avant d’être maman - Nomad Junkies
Photo: @jo_annietetreault

Moms of the world, I can already hear you telling me: “When you have kids, you’ll understand!” Perhaps… I know I’ll get it when I get there… In the mean time, I’ll follow the advice of Jack Kerouac: Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry. P.S. I can’t wait to tell my kids bedtime stories from all my amazing experiences around the world!

Are you also torn between exploring the world and becoming a parent? If you already have kids, how do you share your passion for travelling with them?

Jo-Annie Tétreault
Jo-Annie Tétreaulthttps://www.nomadjunkies.com
Exploratrice du monde, je suis accro au mode de vie nomade. Passionnée des cultures, du surf et des aventures, voyager fait partie de mon ADN. C'est l'équilibre entre mon travail dans le monde de la publicité et mon âme de bohème.


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