Your Story is a series by WonderfulWomen where you will read inspiring Guest Posts from women around the world. Here they share their experiences, stories and things that matter most to all women.
Today’s Guest Post is by Cassandra Arico from singlemomstrongtraveler.wordpress.com Cassandra is a travel blogger and single mother of 5 wonderful children. They reside in Pennsylvania and spend their weekends exploring. She publishes a travel blog that features her family’s travels around the country including little know attractions and unique hotels. She has also self-published a children’s book ‘Strasburg Fairies’. Cassandra has been a guest blogger on travel blogs such as Wandering Moms and Travel Unapologetically, and a featured post on Where & When Pennsylvania’s Travel Guide.
Taking the Leap to Travel as a Single Mom
As a child, I loved traveling with my family. We went camping almost every year, visited so many states in the US and traveled to Canada to view Niagara Falls. I dreamed of all the places I would go and all the things I would see. I traveled to Europe in high school and further deepened my love for traveling. As I graduated from high school, life happened. My children were born, 4 within 5 years, and then a giant curveball got thrown in the plans down the road. I found myself as a single mother of 4 children: 4 ½, 2 ½, 2 ½, and 11 months. I thought my plans for traveling were completely over. I lived my life paycheck to paycheck barely making it. We moved quite a bit as rent kept on increasing. It was hard to keep my head up through all of that. My parents helped as much as they could, which was a great relief.
We didn’t stop traveling completely. We took trips to the beach with my parents and other family members, about 3 hours away. We also traveled to New York City for a family wedding. This didn’t do much to stop my yearning to travel further away and expose my children to new places and cultures. As my children grew, they started to ask to travel to new places. They developed my love for traveling. I was finally in a place where I was a little more financially secure and could afford to plan smaller vacations but I was terrified. While we went places with just me around home as the only adult, I’d only taken them on vacations where I had other adults to help keep an eye on them. Before I could get the courage up, life threw another wrench in the cog and my youngest Chase joined the family but still as a single mom. I decided that I couldn’t keep waiting for life to feel better or for myself to feel brave enough to take them somewhere alone. I took a deep breath and started slowly, by going to local attractions to get our feet wet. When my youngest was 2 ½, I decided it was time to jump both feet in. I planned a camping trip to Assateague Island in Maryland for 3 days. The first day was wonderful but the second day a freak 10-minute thunderstorm hit and destroyed our tent. While that might seem like a bad thing, it helped me realize that I can do this! I can travel with my children and survive anything that might happen to us.
We have since traveled to 11 different states and into Canada to view the beauty of Niagara Falls. While we have had some bumps along the way including a case of strep throat that sent my daughter to the ER in Florida or a bill taking the money out too soon that was for a campsite in New York that caused us to change our plans, they haven’t caused us to stop traveling or stop living our dreams. We’re currently planning their first plane trip for next year and hopefully their first overseas trip in 2 years and we couldn’t be happier. Yes, life can still throw a curveball in your plans but don’t let it frighten you. Keep your eyes on the prize. You are a strong woman, you can overcome all obstacles if you put your mind to it and you can travel with your children. Take it slow at first but don’t be afraid to take the first step. I know you can do it!
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