Chanize Thorpe, a freelance travel writer/editor, is a Traveling Mama who lives in New York with her husband and three children. She has traveled the world and has agreed to share some of her insights on being a mama and traveling.
How did you first become a Traveling Mama?
My dad was in the military so I’ve been traveling all of my life. Even after I left home for college, I had “itchy feet” and would find myself packing my suitcase to go somewhere every 3 months. That never changed, even when I had children!
When you travel solo for work, how do you deal with leaving the kids and hubby?
At first I used to be a wreck. I’d have this prolonged good-bye and then my children would start crying as if they’d never see me again. It was awful. Finally my husband told me that the more I make a big deal out of it, the worse it would get, so I stopped the drama on my end. I’ve got a good support system, my husband and grandma tag team it while I’m away, and they all know the routines I have in place, so I don’t worry any more.
Is there any advice or tips you can give a Traveling Mama about to embark on her first solo/girls getaway?
Make sure you leave a plan for whoever’s watching the kids. I make a menu for my grandma so she knows what to cook while I’m gone (that eliminates McDonald’s for dinner every night), we go over the girls’ chores for the week, I leave my itinerary with her as well as numbers for hotel, airline, etc. Leave no questions unanswered.
You are a freelance travel writer, so you’ve seen a few places around the world. Is there a special place Traveling Mamas could go to renew their vows or for a second marriage?
It’s no secret that I am in love with Aruba. I’ve written so many features on the island I’ve stopped counting. It’s really one of my favorites. To me, a vow renewal on an island with the sand in your toes and a tropical flower in your hair is the ultimate. Pick a place that has a vow renewal ceremony package so you’re not stressing out about all the details. You just pick package “A” or “B” and it’s easy peasy.
If there were three things you could take with you on a trip, what would they be, and why?
I take a tunic top that works for day and night, I take my gold Cole Haan Air Jane shoes for the same reason, and an exercise band because I’m trying to keep my routine going while I’m on the road.
Do you have any final advice for a Traveling Mama about to embark on a journey?