Car Sick Toddler

At any age, I can’t imagine enjoying car sickness. But for a little girl who can’t communicate yet how she feels, our hearts go out to her.

Iza has never been a great traveler. She is so full of energy and it is hard to contain it all. When she was little and we had a carseat, there was an element of containment but she still cried the whole way wherever we were traveling to. She just hated the car. Now that we live in Guatemala and we don’t have a carseat, we have a hard time containing her. I too am regularly carsick which gives me compassion, but also makes it very difficult for me to help her when we are on the road.

While our shuttle or plane is in motion, she is in non-stop motion as if she were at home. It can not only be quite easy for her to just fall off the bench seat or hit her head on another seat, but she also causes major distraction for the driver. To get her to calm down, this typically leads to us handing over her iPad so she can play a game or watch Baby Einstein. But then she asks for food and with her already fixated with her head down it eventually that leads to her throwing up. It has become a cycle.

The worst part is this is impairing us to take her on adventures – thing like the zoo or traveling to the beach, going home, etc. We just simply don’t want her to have a bad day so we eliminate travel from every activity we do. Obviously this is not a long term solution since we are a family on the move.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Find a way to bring the iPad up to eye level with a holder behind the chair. This poses a bit of a challenge in a van because it has bench seats without the headrests. We could probably rig something.
  2. Distract from food by bringing along unrelated toys and not having any food available. Focus on water. She loves stickers so maybe window clings or something that get her to look out the window.
  3. Try to get her to sleep as soon as we leave. Give her cherry juice infused with mint to calm down her tummy.
  4. Stop every half an hour and let her run around for 10 minutes. It will take forever to get anywhere, but it will ground her again.
  5. Never go anywhere without Claudia. She is so good with Iza!

We know the logical thing to do would be to get a carseat and just let her wail. The problem is that it doesn’t negate her frustration (it actually causes it to be more), it bothers our driver and then we have to deal with the carseat as another piece of luggage wherever we go. (For the record we are aware of the safety recommendations and we agree with having a carseat).

The balance with traveling for us is to give her a little of what she might want, with a logical and practical need.

Where in the World is the Brand Fam to Go?

When you have an unlimited number of options, wish for great experiences and don’t have anything to tie you down, it is overwhelming. A good problem to have – but nonetheless, a serious problem. Here we are, in the most beautiful place, living like kings. We have a gorgeous house on the water, our own staff, full-time nanny, etc. It is truly amazing. We have jobs which benefit from travel and experience, so it leaves the entire world open for interpretation.

As a Food Brand Strategist I relish in the newest and best restaurant concepts on the planet. Traveling provides global perspective on community food, food quality, ingredients, and cuisines. It offers a chance to further my skill-set and share my learnings with my clients. It is also a way to build a larger network and client base.

As an Artist, Kurt is inspired by each and every situation he encounters. He appreciates the communities of each place we have lived and he gravitates towards developing concepts which suit the environment he is in. The benefit of traveling for Kurt is that he can expand his resources – materials, artisan helpers, and inspiration. As a full-time dad, he also gains 8 hours of work a day when Iza is with her nanny, which we could never have afforded in NYC.

But there are so many downfalls to traveling; disruption and wasted time are at the top of the list. Lack of stability for Iza with friends and environment is another enormous one (I moved a lot as a kid and I was ridden too early with the concept of loss well into adulthood). Kurt and I are also really ready for a shift in our life to being productive and executing on many of our goals. We know now that we are ready for home. The big issue for us is that we are stranded in fluidity – we simply can’t decide where to be. At some point shouldn’t we just forfeit choice and just pick?

Here is pretty great, why not just do it?!

The World

Where to Go? What to Do?

This beautiful morning I sit here listening to the lake water lap up against the shore, the fisherman in the wooden kayak is whistling a little song and Iza is quietly breathing as she sleeps. Usually I am up before the sun working or meditating, but today ZZ (our nickname for Iza) is a little bit sick with a cold and she woke up at 5am crying. So we spent some time with her to calm her down and get her back to sleep. Then Rache went back to work and I did some meditation. I will refer to meditation from here on out as Zazen, which is a Zen form of meditation.

So hopefully you are reading our blog posts regularly and will know what I am talking about in the future! Right now, as we go into the last month and a half of our stay here at Casa Paloma in San Marcos, Guatemala, Rache and I are doing our usual race to the finish to try to secure our next place to stay. It’s a drag and we always get stressed out around this time.

First of all, we are trying to find a place to stay here at Lake Atitlan for a year which is not easy. We love it here but want to get to know it better while we decide if we want to make this our home forever. We are pretty sure we do, but moving to another country is a huge step and a lot has to be evaluated.  A big problem is that we are going into the major tourist season here, the dry season, and most of the places are already rented. We are finding some things though and are confident we will secure something soon. Hopefully the owner of this house we are in now will agree to work with us on either buying it or renting it long term. We truly love it here.

Second of all, we are trying to find a relatively affordable apartment in NYC to rent as we have to be back there for a month in October. We have all of our stuff in storage there that we have to go through and Rache and I need to network in the city. We are looking forward to going back but it is really more stress to make it happen than we need right now. Should we bring our nanny? Should we exceed our budget to find a decent place? Should we stay outside of the city and commute in? Too many questions to work out!

Actually we really want to just stay here, stay put. I think we both truly feel like we are done moving around!

But the question always creeps back in; Are we in the right place for us? Should we do some more traveling, to India and China? We both love to travel so much and I could do business in those countries and Rache could go to her annual yoga retreat in India. Somebody smack us!

My Zen teacher in New York always talks about not worrying about where to go and what to do, especially when doing zazen. These two things always seem to pop up in our minds and cause mental strife. The idea is to just make a decision and be happy with it. Why do we have such a hard time doing this?! As I said in a previous post, decisions can drive you crazy! Our situation is kind of unique in that we both can work anywhere as long as we have an internet connection. Of course many people have places of work to go to and dont have the option of moving around. So they just learn to love where they live. Many are happy where they live, no matter where they are, that is the best way to be. But others are not happy being where they are and always wish to be somewhere else or to travel and experience new things. The grass is always greener type thing.

So now, The Brand Fam is right smack in the middle and we are deciding what to do next. Fortunately we know what we want  and that we want to settle down soon. Hopefully things will work out for us here and we will finally find a place to call home, or maybe, at least, home base!

Keep reading to find out… I think things will happen for us soon!