♫ 'Cause I'm, leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again ♫ (Actually I do know when we'll be back but the John Denver song sounded so nice!) As I mentioned in a previous post me & my toddler are headed back to The States for a short visit. You heard it right, me and my toddler, my husband's staying here in The Netherlands due to work and well the outrageous costs of travelling internationally. In years passed I refused to take the trip alone, I'm not the best traveler... so it seems crazy that I'm doing this with my 3yr old in tow. But sometimes opportunities arise that you don't want to miss out on, and this one is getting to visit my grandma and see what her life in a little Tennessee town is like. Plus I want to help her get the house tidy and organized so she can consider selling it and moving into something more manageable. See years ago she decided to move back home, she used to live in Florida like I did, but she had always dreamed of returning to the town she grew up in, and she followed that dream. But life happens, and now she's 75yrs old, and that dream is changing. At her age managing a large house and yard alone is almost impossible. I always talked about wanting to see her dream but it seemed so far fetched, if we spent the money to go back to The States we always went somewhere central so everyone could visit us in one go. Then things happened or didn't happen, decisions were made, and then my husband said, "why not, why not do it". I couldn't help but cry - it means a lot to me... I cried when he suggested it, I cried when I told her. And believe me, I don't cry easily. Then after reigning in the emotions, reality started to sink in. WTF, I'm about to fly internationally, on a connecting flight, then drive a rental car for an hour, with my 3 yr old, whoa! Needless to say, I've been getting less sleep these days. The nearing trip has actually taken over most of my thoughts. I'm a planner you see, so I've been researching every last detail of the trip (maps, airports, you name it). It took me 2 days to finally settle on a plane ticket, and another entire morning of research before choosing a rental car! I've been stocking up on things I need to get through the trip from toiletries & luggage, to entertainment & documents. I've been corresponding with the airline and malls, and anyone else that can give me any more insight on my trip. Plus there are other things to arrange, like the dog and making sure my husband has food (just so you know, he is capable of taking care of himself). The trip is consuming my head (I mentioned that right), you've probably even noticed a lot less blog entries the past couple weeks. But no matter how overwhelmed I sound (and am), I am truly looking forward to the trip. Mostly the part where I'm in Tennessee with my Grammy and not so much the travelling part. I don't know if I'll be doing any blogging while there but I'm sure I'll have plenty of stories when I get back. What people don't always realize is that when you become an expat you never really fit in anywhere anymore. So I'll feel just as foreign in Tennessee as I do in The Netherlands. And based on previous short road trips with my toddler, I'll be sure not to say things like, "we're lost" or yell "f*#k" when things don't run smoothly. All she needs to know is, "we're almost there". For any of you out there who happen to be pros at travelling internationally with toddlers, feel free to throw some advice my way, thanks!