Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of traveling solo, something that has been entirely unintentional. When I retired from the army, one of my goals was definitely to travel, however, for me, that meant going with my family or at least with my youngest, Madison. But with all things, there have been changes along the way, and don’t judge me, sometimes solo is the way to go. However, there are a few tips I’ve picked up that has made traveling solo bearable, which includes playing the mobile word game, Words With Friends 2, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
This post is sponsored by Zynga, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Mommy guilt is something that I used to have with me always. The very first time I left Madison alone with my husband, I cried all day (and night). How could I have left my baby behind? Granted, I had no say, as the US Military dictated my travels. Now, I travel for business and pleasure, and while my mommy guilt never entirely goes away, I know that Madison is safe at home, and she knows that I love her and will be back.
So what are these tips for the mom who has to travel solo and leave the kids behind for reasons unknown? How do you stay in touch and let them know that you’re still thinking of them?
1. COUNTDOWN CALENDAR
Madison is old enough to understand the concept of time, but I would usually have a countdown calendar for her so that she can count down the days of my return. She would cross out each day so that she knows how many are left before I get back. On the last day, she also knows that she can expect a small gift.
FaceTiming is a great way to keep in touch. I remember the very first time Madison FaceTimed me. I was in the middle of an event, and my cell phone went off. At first, I thought there was an emergency at home, but it turned out that it was Madison just wanting to say “hi”. Since then it’s become the norm, and we communicate and stay in touch this way whenever I travel, so while I’m not physically there, I can be there electronically.
What better way to keep in touch than by playing a game together? I’ve become addicted to Words With Friends 2! Not only does it keep me stimulated, but I’m able to connect with friends AND family and test my vocabulary skills. I especially love playing it with my youngest son who is autistic. It helps with his vocabulary, and now that he’s heading to high school, he needs all the help he can get. You too can download the game from the Apple store or the Google Play store and keep in touch as well, and since I’m always up for a challenge, you can find me by my username: TheAnnMarieJohn.
4. WRITE AND HIDE NOTES
This is something I do for Madison. Whenever I leave for a trip, I would hide post-its around the house with handwritten notes. It’s a bit of a scavenger hunt for her, and she gets to find one a day, and when she FaceTimes me, we get to chat about them. She loves reading them (or having them read to her), and it’s another unique way for her to know that I’m thinking of her no matter where I am.
5. BOOKS OF PLACES I’M VISITING
Madison LOVES to read, and she also enjoys traveling herself. If I’m visiting a State that she has never been to before, I try and get a book of the State so she can envision the things I might be doing, even if I’m not doing any of it. Not only is it educational, but it’s also something to look forward to when I do take her there one day as well.
It can never be easy traveling alone without your family or loved ones, and traveling solo can leave you with mommy guilt, especially if your little one is very young. Hopefully, my tips and Words With Friends 2 can help you feel better about staying in touch and enjoying your travels.