Traveling As A Single Mother: The Good. The Bad. And the Truth.
I believe everyone should travel and see the world; it's a character building experience. I was fortunate enough to have traveled throughout the United States as a child, and Europe as an adult. Traveling, for me, is not just for a mere sake of a photo. Although, selfies in front of "Big Ben"or the Eiffel Tower, look amazing, experiencing the culture and people first-hand is an even bigger prize.
As a mother, I want nothing more than to broaden my daughters perspective of herself. I feel the best way to do this is through travel. What better way to have self-exploration than to get out your comfort zone. Psychologist, Joan Borysenko, PhD, says "To get clarity of your vision on your life, you have to get away from it". She adds, "Gazing at the ocean, feeling the desert sun or watching deer can actually help your ideas and dreams become richer" ... "Being in nature puts you into your creative right brain." This is my pledge for us, to get out and see the world. I want her to experience the freedom to think, to imagine, and to create without bounds. Show her life exists beyond New Jersey and the East Coast, and she is free to go out and explore. I more than encourage it. My goal is to fill up as many passport books as possible, and create as many memories with her by my side!
Unfortunately, for some people, especially single mothers, getting up and leaving seems like a foreign concept, or an unspoken topic. If its money you're worried about, stop it! Don't let anymore negative thoughts fill your head. You can do it! Write down where you would like to go and affirm it everyday that it (has) happened -SPEAK IT INTO EXISTENCE. This is my first experience traveling with my daughter by plane and out-of-the-country, and it was not an easy task. My biggest issue was the passport. Passports are only granted with both parents consent, and if your child(ren)s father is unwilling to give consent then it will be tough, but don't give up! I didn't. Legally, you must have sole custody to get the passport without hassle, or file an appeal to do so. Real talk, most people know when the relationship is over, but sometimes too ashamed to walk away, or stay to create a family in hopes of giving their child(ren) "stability". This may sound harsh, but if you are pregnant and unmarried, and your relationship isn't on the best terms, think twice about listing the father on the birth certificate until you know your legal rights. This is not me shaming the dad, or great father's who love their child(ren) unconditionally. However, together or not, once you have a child it becomes a legally binding relationship, where both parties make decisions, and anything that isn't resolved between parents is worked out in court. I've watched and talked to women in the passport office express their disgust over not obtaining a passport for their child, even as the custodial parent. I've also had women personally reach out to me for info on how I did it because they were facing the same issues. My biggest advice to you if there is trouble obtaining the child's passport is to prepare and stay calm. Don't allow anyone to steal your joy.
My experience maybe unique, or maybe you are going through something similar. Either way, travel is very important, and very necessary for personal development. It is the best education for every one of any age. Please don't let the reasons why you "can't" effect the reason you "can". Get out there and see the world!