It’s one of the great challenges to pursue our dreams but also take personal responsibility for the choices we’ve made in life. It can be a tense game of tug-of-war, giving up this in order to have that (I knew as a young adult, I’d probably have to decide between having a steady job in order to own a house or freelance and rent so I could pursue a life of travel and experience…).
With the birth of my son, some of my dreams had to take a backseat to the practical financial considerations of raising a child in a big ol’ city like Toronto. I was fortunate enough last month to temporarily trade in my office garb for some quick dry pants and a pair of leech socks for the jungles of Borneo thanks to an offer from Outpost Magazine to join their team for an intercontinental outing.
Click here to read official blog posts from the expedition.
Click here to watch the official video blogs.
These are the trips I dream of, like a prince in the tower waiting to be rescued by his knightress in shining expedition ware. Of course, I’m not saying my life is a prison, but I regularly like to switch things up in my routine in order to stimulate the senses and my creative flow. Parenting doesn’t always provide that – daycare has fixed hours for pickup and drop-off, and Sevan is a great sleeper, but that’s inpart because we keep him on a solid routine for naps and bedtime. This routine can blur the lines between days, weeks, and months…
It goes without saying that the trip with Outpost Magazine was awesome (visit the official OP Expedition site to read and see more). I kept in regular contact with my wife to make sure everyone was safe and sound (Sev did go to the hospital once). At first, it was a strange feeling knowing my little family was carrying on just fine without me – like I wasn’t an integral part of the unit (they were a bicycle when I wanted to believe we were a three-wheeled trike!). Cue sad music.
In Malaysia, I was in my element doing my thing, so home seemed like a distant place that would be waiting for me when I returned. Only in the closing days, did I start leaning on those home movies Lara had been sending of Sevan dancing around the living room in one of her bras. It would get me downright misty eyed. Of course, I wondered if my boy was going to be vexed with me when I got home.
I arrived back in Toronto at 10pm on a Sunday, reunited with Lara, and waited expectantly all night to hug and kiss Sevan. In the morning, I came to his room and when he saw me, he exclaimed happily, “Dada!” It was a wonderful but short lived reunion. I had to return to my routine as a desk jockey.
It’s a relief knowing that sometimes in tug of war, both sides can win. And I think our kids benefit from our temporary absence, if we come home more fulfilled and more at peace with the lives we’re leading.