Reflections on our childless vacation

Everyone, every couple, every parent needs to take a vacation without their children!!

I say this after taking a 7 day vacation with my husband without our children!!!

Whenever I told people what we were doing, they always looked at me with such excitement and sometimes jealousy saying things like “That’s so awesome!”, “Enjoy yourselves”, “You’re so lucky”.

We’ve been married almost 10 years, and even before we got married my husband had been telling me about Estes Park in Colorado. He told me about how beautiful it was and about the amazing the views after the hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. He had been about 3 times with his friends already, and we made a vow that for our 10 year anniversary he would take me there and show me all around.

Well, ten years went a lot more quickly than I imagined and our trip has come and gone. While bittersweet to say that it’s over, it was the most amazing vacation of my life. Yes, he was right the views were amazing, although for our trip we had to deal with smoky skies from the California wildfires – who would’ve thought that would be an issue so far away?! In all honesty the views, in my opinion, were still pretty darn incredible. This only makes me look forward to our next trip out there because this means it’ll be even better than the first. Yes, that’s right, I too have fallen in love with the town of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.

If you don’t know where Estes Park is then the easiest way is to tell you that it’s the same town as the famous Stanley Hotel where The Shining was filmed and yes we visited the hotel, and no we saw no ghosts.

We were ready!

The only other times we’ve been away from our kids overnight have been 3 other times and always for weddings. There it wasn’t time we got to relax and be with each other. It was always very hectic, we were running around and usually traveling about an hour or so away.

This vacation was truly a true treat for us. We had 7 whole days to be together!!!

To some an entire week without their kids may sound daunting and yes, fear crept in a few times, but I worked through it because nothing was going to keep me from enjoying this trip with my husband. We needed it, our marriage needed it and even our kids needed it.

We talked about our kids a lot! They were spending the week with my parents, which mean they also got lots of time with their cousins who live just a few minutes away. I got so many pictures of all the fun things they got to do like the zoo, the pool, and the parks. Although the number of pictures dwindled as the week went on. I think you can imagine way, lol!

We would stop and look at their pictures, laugh at things they say and talk about them. So yes, we missed them, but never to the point of regretting the trip. When the 7 days was up while we were sad to leave, we were also ready to go home.

I could tell you more about our trip and likely bore you to death with hiking stories, instead I’ll just tell you why I believe all parents need to take a childless vacation.

You deserve it!

You work so hard every single day caring for other people, you deserve even just a few days of thinking about nobody else but each other. This was probably the best part and I didn’t even realize how much this was affecting me until a few days into our vacation when my mom said it to me on the phone. Even though we were hiking and waking up early I was so relaxed because all I had to do was worry about myself.

That’s it! Just one simple reason. I could come up with a fancy list of 10 reasons, but honestly this is it. You deserve a vacation whether you travel thousands of miles to go hiking, or you go to the beach for a long week and just lay around, or you take a cruise. Whatever kind of vacation you enjoy take it and go without the kids. Rekindle your marriage, remember how to be alone and how to take care of each other.

Don’t wait until your marriage is falling apart to take time together, because by then it could be too late. Take the time now. Young kids take up so much of your time and energy that we forget how to just be alone. It took me a good 24 hours to actually relax because I just didn’t know how to do it. I didn’t know how to not take care of other people. I didn’t know how to just worry about me. When I finally did settle in, it was game on and I took in every ounce of that time away.

If money is an issue, start saving now! I made the decision to leave work just 3 months before our trip and yes, it wasn’t easy making this vacation work, but I wasn’t going to let anything stop us from going on it. We financed some of it and used our tax return for some of it. This vacation was an investment in ourselves and our marriage. It was worth it!!!

Sit down with your partner, set a date (or a time of year) and start planning now even if it’s years before your vacation. Even just knowing it’s coming can be good for you. Like I said we had this planned for 10 years, and in the 6 months leading up to it we spent so much time planning together. We had to figure out not only the dates and logistics, but we would sit down after the kids were in bed and look at cabins and my husband, always the scheduler, had planned our hikes for each day. It gives you something to look forward and boy did we look forward to this trip!

I hope this inspires you to talk to your partner and start thinking about how and where you would go on vacation without kids. Even more than just talk about it start planning it because you deserve it!!!!

Shout Outs

This blog wouldn’t be complete without the appropriate shout outs to the grandparents who kindly took care of our children (human and fur) while we were away. Without them this vacation never would have happened and we are so grateful for your willingness to open up your lives and spend one exhausted week taking care of your grandkids for us. We love you and we thank you!! Also, don’t worry we don’t plan on doing this every year, lol!

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