For parents raising young children and babies, there is often the feeling that they are trapped and imprisoned in their own homes, waiting for the time when the children are old enough to actually go somewhere. Reflections on how difficult the journey could be, along with the estimated costs, cause most parents to wait with their entire family later in life. There are also times in life when travel may not fit your schedule, such as when you're close to deadline, etc.
At a young age, I was fortunate to be able to travel abroad because of my modeling / commercial acting career. My start was a little noisy because of a bad experience and I realized that I would need to seek professional help. I had a debilitating fear of flying when I was younger because I personally witnessed a horrific plane crash when I was a kid. I would squeeze, struggle with breath, suffer from hot flashes, cold sweat, have stomach problems, diarrhea and even break out in hives days before the flight out of my subconscious fear that I would experience the same fate.
I found a wonderful doctor who specialized in hypnosis therapy back in the 80's, when I first started traveling long distances to the far reaches. I will never forget his method that worked so well, I still use it today. This doctor taught me to relax, take a breath, close my eyes and visualize a happy place.
My lucky place was on the beach where I grew up as a kid. The sand was white, the waves were rolling lightly, and the breeze was soft with the smell of salty sea. I could hear the sounds of seagulls making fun of the sounds and even feel the warmth of the sun on my skin as the rays of the sun danced on the water. As a kid, I always felt safe, warm and happy on the beach, and so it became my visually happy place as an adult, as well as my passport for happy airplane travel around the world. When I ever feel fear or pain (like when I give birth), I travel back to my visual happy place on the beach and manage to calm my fears and actually enjoy the drug-free experience.
We are now expecting our fourth child, and given the fact that I am delivering so fast (my third child was born in 45 minutes!) It is not good for me to travel too far from home all after giving birth. So I turned my house into a hotel. It's funny, but after traveling most of my life, there are some aspects around hotel rooms that I simply love. I decided to incorporate these aspects into my own home. Now we have breakfast – Marriott buffet style. My bathrooms are designed to fit 5 star hotels, have a plush carpet and all the details that make a hotel stay so fun. Our linens are actually purchased from hotel vendor websites and are favored by a cool, crisp white hotel. I literally brought the hotel experience home.
When our fourth child is born this December, we are thinking of traveling to Ireland next year. I understand that there are rugged cottages and even booth stalls that a family can rent in a week. Since we now live in our style hotel, we are excited to stay somewhere different, like Abby in the castle or the beach cottage.
Traveling is and should be fun. I am so grateful to have overcome my fear of flying that I could continue to travel near and far while sharing the world with my family. Find your happy place and go!