Have you ever traveled with only the clothes on your back? This past holiday season I was given the gift to actually live with a belief I’ve embraced but never lived by truly traveling with what you have & are wearing right now.

From a very young age I have gravitated towards inspirational/motivational books, self help, whatever you would like to call them. My life is pretty much infused and rooted in evolving. In fact, the answer I have given at every interview when asked, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years” is always the same, “I hope to be a better version of the person you see today.” Because let’s face it, if you are alive and breathing, you will face trials, and how (in mind) can someone say in 5 years I will be at this specific place? Sure I believe in goals, but what if the biggest goal was to be okay with what I have right at this very moment?

Early on in my marriage, around Christmas time, it was always this disconnect with the shallow gifts to cover up traumatic incidents. When I filed for divorce, and separated myself from the abuse, reflected to really see how life has molded and shaped my perspective added with having no money and being on food stamps, there’s a choice in seeing what gifts really are. You can read more about that in my post from last year, “A Lesson from the Grinch.

This year, for Christmas, not really having a plan other then spending the night somewhere magical, I began to research what I believed would be neat. Now, my mind is pretty damn animated, so when I see movies, I believe that that sort of magic exists if you allow yourself to see it and pretend. After some research and reaching out to museums we were invited to attend the Night at the Museum sleepover at the American Museum of Natural History which also meant visiting New York City during the holidays solo with three kids!

Now, I am a pretty well versed traveller, but this meant for us, our Mary Poppins of a nanny needed to travel with us.  Being an airline pilot I pack every single week for a trip. So you’d think that I have this packing thing down, but the last thing I say before I leave my house on every trip is, “Even if this is all I have (as I glance down to make sure my uniform isn’t missing anything and I have my ID) I will be okay.” 

So as the days approached for our Christmas adventure of 2018, the kids and I made lists of what to pack, what food to bring for the trip. Travel day comes and that 3am alarm goes off, and mom is full energy straight ahead.  


Homemade breakfast burritos made at 3:30AM for the plane ride…CHECK

Kids adventure bags (because we only packed backpacks)…CHECK

Snacks for the plane…CHECK

As we back out of the driveway, Mary Poppins says, “I feel like I am missing something.” True to form, I smile and say, “Even if what you have on is all you have, you will be just fine.” With that said off we go to the airport. As we unload and pass out backpacks it’s very discovered everyone’s backpacks were there except for mine.  My son said, “We can go back!” My response is, “No we can’t, I will be okay with what I have on right now.” Laughing we make our way to the airport to begin what would be a magical and perfect adventure. 

That’s right, I said perfect.  Perfect even without my toiletries bag, without new clothes, or any makeup for that matter, without the charging cords. 

The adventure came and went, not every moment was captured, but the wonder and awe, is the thing that I hope and pray that my children never forget. Like hunting for Dinosaurs in a Museum after dark with a flash light, or sleeping underneath a giant Blue Whale, running up and down the stairs laughing to find magical waves and travelling to the moon.  We travelled back in time, spoke with Teddy Roosevelt, and walked through history in the details of early explorers. Walking tirelessly throughout all downtown Manhattan, through Central Park and seeing the city from the sky. Eating street food, catching subways and watching street performers. 

It was, in every word, perfect. It was flawed, and nothing went perfectly, but that is the beauty of life, the beauty of the gift.  It was not in what was packed but by being present, that was the present itself.

While we are in the beginning of 2019, I hope that it is a year of continued growth, of letting go of the things that tie us down, and that you realize that you have everything you need to go on an adventure with what you have right now. You aren’t lacking anything, life, and adventure is waiting for you now. 

With Love,

Marissa – A.K.A #TheFlyingMom

To find out more about spending the night at the museum please visit, A Night at the Museum.

For information about helicopter tours visit Flynyon!

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