I recently entered the transitional phase in which everyone I know is either getting married or having kids. Friends who could once be counted on for drinks on a Friday night are now happily posting pictures of their children with a crazy look in their eyes.
My Facebook and Instagram feeds consist exclusively of baby photos, and while I browse through their pictures, I feel nothing – a cold, hard dose of absolute nothingness.
I love children, I adore my nephews, but to say I want to have children of my own wouldn't be completely accurate. I would rather travel the world than ever have kids.
And even though it's 2016, I’ve realised, I'm seen as a monster, by some, when I say that I don’t want kids and want to travel instead.
It is no longer a big deal to be gay or unmarried, but if you don’t want kids, everyone looks down upon you. I mean, how DARE a woman with a functioning uterus think it's OK to NOT use it?
Before you jump the gun, this is not an attack on the institutions of family and marriage. They are necessary, and when done right, they are beautiful and inspirational. But, my point is, if it’s okay to want to have kids, it’s just as okay to not want to have kids. All too often I have to deal with explaining myself, yet my friends who want kids almost never have to justify their decision. Why is that?
It’s about time that we challenge the belief that adult life is inevitably about raising a hoard of children. We need to explore the other side of the equation. Here's why I would choose travel over kids every single time:
I'm a good traveller, but I know for a fact that I wouldn't make a very good mother.
No, I will not drop them or forget them at the mall or anything like that, but they're not a good fit for me and the life I've created for myself. I'd rather be skydiving in New Zealand or wandering on the streets of an unknown destination, than be trapped at home doing the mom thing.
Travelling is about spontaneity, but with kids comes the pressure to make perfect choices.
You can call me selfish, but believe me, I'm anything but that. I'm well aware that the responsibility to be a good parent means consistently putting the child first and making healthy choices for them, and I'm not up for that challenge.
Why not use my energy to travel and truly live? Why not spend money on plane tickets to new and vibrant places, memories, new friends, great conversations, delicious meals, sights, sounds and wonders, instead of spending (insert exorbitant amount of money here) raising a child?
It overwhelms me to think that there would be a tiny little person growing inside of me, depending on me to make healthy choices. I might fuck them up with horrible parenting.
Because children don't easily fit into the nomadic lifestyle.
It's my dream to visit all 196 countries in the world (yes, I'm including Taiwan) and I really don't feel like a child fits into the nomad lifestyle I want to live. Simple.
Because travelling is not about commitments, but children are.
You can stay in the places you like and leave the places you don’t. Children are a huge commitment that you can’t just choose to commit to one day and then not the next.
Because there's no emotional investment required when it comes to travelling.
You don't need to cry over travel because you can easily replace one location with another and there's ALWAYS going to be a better one out there. Can you do that with children? Nope.
Ultimately, a reason shouldn't even be necessary. My joy and happiness comes from travel, not from screaming babies. Because maybe, travelling fulfills me in a way that having kids never will.
(P.S. This is not a dig at women who are fulfilled by their children. I salute you and wish you all the success in your quest to raise them. I’m not shaming you, nor would I ever do that, just as I hope no one would shame me for my choices.)
If you liked this, check out I wish I was here for some good travel content.