Monday 17 October 2016

Emma’s passport came today. One step closer to our trip! I really have to do some serious planning for it, thinking about what we want to do and see and photograph and buy. Buying is more about what I want for school, rather than souvenirs, so it will be better if I put together a list before we go so that I don’t forget things. Photography too is about things that are useful in my school lessons – forms of transport and shopping and street life and temples are topics that I often revisit with the children, and they have really connected with the photos I took last time.

I need to save up some money too. Em’s plane ticket was a bargain and we’ll do it cheap once we’re there, but I’ll still be paying for everything x2. And the latter half of the year is a bad time for us financially, with four birthdays (Emma and Troy in November, me in December and Soren in January) and Christmas, as well as having to buy all the summer clothes we need for the change of season, and then the back-to-school expenses in January.

I am getting more excited about going as it gets closer. It’s different to last time – this time I am more mentally healthy, for one, but it’s also making a big difference that I know what to expect this time. Last time I was terrified before we left, and absolutely not prepared for just how alien I would feel once we got there. I wanted to love it, and when at first I didn’t I felt as though everything negative I’d ever thought about myself was true.

I also think that last time I was just not ready to leave the children for so long, and to go so far away. I knew that they were perfectly safe at Steve and Jean’s and would be wonderfully taken care of and have a good time, but when it came down to it I missed them so badly and it really felt wrong to have left them.

I think it will be different this time. I’m more prepared now for how I’ll feel once I get there, and even though I did love it by the end last time, I’m not putting the same pressure on myself to create some kind of perfect travel experience. It’s going to be amazing, and sometimes I will love it and sometimes I will hate it, and that’s okay.

I’m better prepared to leave the children too. They’re older now, and less emotionally dependent on me. They’ll also still have Troy here with them, and knowing that they still have their dad makes me feel way more confident in leaving them. Plus, I’ll have Emma with me!

Travelling with Alyssa is going to be really different, but I definitely feel good about that. Being with someone who can speak the language and is both enthusiastic and relaxed about the whole trip is going to make things a lot easier. She’s confident about navigating her way around and being able to work things out as we go, which is reassuring.

I admit I’ve been very apprehensive about how annoying she’ll find me, but I’ve warned her very plainly that I’ll be scared, and I’ll cry when I get tired and I won’t want to speak Indonesian and I will probably eat mostly nasi goreng, and she still says she wants to go with me so that’s good! I’ll be braver anyway, having Emma there – I always try to be a good example to the children, and I don’t want her being afraid.

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