With the Christmas season fast approaching, talk of holidays and beaches and voyages afar is the currency of the expat wife. Where are you going for the holidays, everyone asks?
Well, nowhere, because my husband is working.
But alas, my nomadic heart is growing weary of standing still. In a country this amazing, this diverse, I'll not let an opportunity to explore pass me by. Stella has a few weeks off school. So, off we go!
So, after Christmas, Stella and I are heading out on an adventure. We'll be traveling up the coast to Central Java. We'll go by train because in my imagination I'm still a 22 year-old backpacker. And also because my kid is a die heard trainspotter.
Looks safe, no?
Our itinerary is a work in progress (where the "work" has not actually taken place yet), but I'm thinking of heading to wards Tegal, exploring some beaches, and perhaps the hot springs of Guci, before perhaps moving on to the highlands of the Dieng Plateau, and back to Jakarta via Bandung.
You may think that such an adventurous journey might be slightly daunting with a two-year-old as a travel companion (though the two-year-old in question is actually quite the champion voyager), and yeah, I am a bit nervous about the upcoming trip, but not for the reasons that you'd suspect.
I'm not worried about traveling by train. Not Missed connections. Not dragging a toddler through unfamiliar train stations in strange cities. Five hours and toilets of questionable functionality don't deter me. Nor does dengue. Or malaria. Or bird flu (don't worry, Mr. Chef, Tegal is famous for lamb sate. No joke.) I'm sure that there will be moments of stress, times when one (or both) of us will be in tears. But these moments will pass quickly. Tears can be dried. Most travel problems can righted with a bit of time and some creativity.
What I am worried about is sleep.
My kid needs to sleep in a bed. Her bed. Not mine. At specific hours of the day and night. Quietly. In darkness. Just so. And if you disturb her pattern, miss her bedtime by even five minutes, watch out. No one will be sleeping. Like ever. (PS remember that one time when she stayed awake for 36 hours straight???).
Typically she needs a baby containment device like this one in order to get any sort of decent sleep. And that wouldn't be a problem were we staying in a fancy hotel. But we're not. Remember, I'm a 22-year-old backpacker and I want ADVENTURE!! (and cheap lodging).
I anticipate that in the absence of a hotel provided crib, we'll be doing some bed-sharing, which is something that we both love (in theory). But it doesn't actually work. There's very little sleep when se share a bed. Rather a whole lot of PLAY! Hide! Hold hands! Talk! (Not sleep. Ever.)
The last time we went on a holiday that required bed-sharing a certain little person would refuse to sleep before about 10 PM and then be up and ready for the beach sometime before the crack of dawn. Oy.
Also, our resident baby whisperer (Mr. Chef) will not be along for the ride. (tears!)
So, yeah. I'm a bit nervous about this trip. I'm apprehensive of sleep deprivation, extreme crankiness, and exhaustion headaches. I'd take a missed train connection over 5 sleepless nights. Any day.
Apropos of nothing (except for sleep, I guess) is this not the coolest product ever???
PS, if you have any Central Java travel tips (sleep related or otherwise) I'd love to hear them!
This post was sponsored by Baby Luvre. All content, opinions, and overuse of parenthesis are mine, and mine alone.