Want to travel to places you’ve never been before? You can indeed make it happen. I talked to Jasira Monique, of Women on the Move, about her globe-trotting — as a single mom with two small children!
TRS: What was your “aha moment” when you felt like yes, I can travel with my children?
I’ve always loved to travel and so for me the desire was always to travel. However, the desire needed to match with an opportunity. My son has been flying domestically since he was 7 months old, but he didn’t make his first international trip until he was 9 years old. Life happens, you know.
So although I’ve always loved to see the world, I didn’t align my travel dreams up with reality until much later for my children and I. I had previously, been to the Philippines, China, Jamaica and Canada but I had yet to travel with children. I was so excited when the opportunity finally presented itself. My “aha moment” came when I realized a strategy to make money through travel and write off all travel as a business expense.
TRS: What was your first international trip (that you referenced in the original email)? How did that shape the person you are now?
I had recently become a Certified Travel Agent through Paycation Travel and I learned how to write all travel off as a business expense. This opportunity allowed me to make residual income from travel and save on my personal travel.
Once everything aligned I took my son Daniel on a multi-location trip to Mexico, Florida, Atlanta and New York during a month’s time. I always recommend these types of trips because it’s easier to see price savings when you travel from ‘hub’ locations that are cheaper. Also, roundtrip tickets aren’t necessarily always the cheapest. Hub locations are more popular and therefore cheaper to travel to and from. Just do a quick price check and see for yourself.
We used Airbnb for our accommodations and Skyscanner.com to book tickets. I was so happy to walk through the streets of Cancun, Mexico with my son, travel on a boat to the gorgeous island of Isla Mujeres where we spent a day and visit the beautiful El Cid Resort in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. This trip really helped me to gain the confidence to desire and plan to see more of the world with my son and now my daughter as well.
My daughter, Sasha Skylar, who is now a year old, got her passport at 4 months old and we’ve been traveling now for 7 months internationally.
TRS: What advice do you have for women who want to travel but feel like they have too many other obligations?
Everyone may not be able to take longer trips, but you can definitely plan longer weekends. For example, while working as an administrative receptionist, for my son’s 8th birthday, we did a multi-location trip from our home location in West Palm Beach, Florida, where I coordinated planned book signings in DC and Atlanta in conjunction with my son’s birthday festivities. It was so exciting to be able to do what I love and see him have fun seeing some of our great cities in the USA. My most recent trip came about as a way to make lemonade out of lemons. Sometimes you might have a once in a lifetime opportunity that comes up and allows you to grow personally and/or professionally when you might have easily just given up because things didn’t go as planned. I decided to take a trip with my children to Europe as a way to reach for my dreams instead of allowing unfortunate circumstances to diminish my travel dreams. We’ve been to 18 cities in 4 countries (USA, UK, France & Spain) and are still on our way. I’m very grateful for this opportunity and how it has allowed me to believe in the bigger purpose of my life and my mission to empower others through me fighting for my dreams.
TRS: What type of support do you have as you travel (babysitters, friends, etc)?
Traveling with an infant in one word: exhausting.
There is not a day that goes by that I’m not completely drained, but I am just so grateful for it all at the same time. My daughter is nothing like my son as a baby. My son was very peaceful, quiet and calm. My daughter is the exact opposite, but like him, she always smiles.
Some of our hosts, really went out of their way to prepare meals, find toys, set up video games (my son is a gamer), tell me about local parks and arrange transportation for us. I totally am in love with the human spirit and mutual desire for love. Love is universal and I’ve never experienced so much love from people of all walks of life (Muslim, Catholic, Rastafarian, Christian, I’m sure Atheist and Agnostic, French, Spanish, Ukrainian, Angolan, Senegalese, Moroccan & Ghanaian) than from traveling the world with my two children in tow. We’ve let go of so many stereotypes and have been unlocking love.
Travel is not only therapeutic, but it is also mind opening. You learn so much about others, but through world travel you are truly revealed to yourself. I’ve tried to become a better servant as I have been served so humbly and greatly by the people I’ve met through traveling with my children.