By Shirin Yadegar
I traveled back in time to Vienna when Mozart composed his most popular music and listened to my cousin, Richard Danielpour’s brilliant compositions resonate throughout the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. Sipping Viennese coffee in the cafe where Hitler frequented was surreal.
In Budapest I walked through the oldest synagogue in Europe and saw the shoes of the Jews who were killed and thrown into the river by the Germans. My husband and I couldn’t figure out how the Hungarian people just stood by and watched this inhumanity.
I tried to cut through the weight of Communism that still lurks in Prague, but it has penetrated through the souls of the Czech people. Traveling to Terezin from the city center of Prague where children’s art covered the walls of the bunkers where they once lived felt surreal and horrific. I experienced a lifelong history lesson in only 9 days. Not only was it an amazing cultural experience, but we also tasted new foods, danced with the Czech youth and drank absinthe in Prague for the first time. (Email me for recommendations if you are traveling there).
My husband and I left our four girls with my parents and explored a region of the world that would not have been possible to explore in detail with children. Not only did my husband an I reconnect on a highly emotional, spiritual and sexual level but we also met great friends on the way. It was the perfect set up. We knew the girls were in the great care of their grandparents in the comfort of their own home so the worry was gone. We had two days alone in Amsterdam then met another couple in Prague. We took a risk meeting the Smiths because we had never traveled together before, but we knew that we were both interested in seeing rich culture and eating authentic cuisine. We also shared the same standards in hotels and restaurants and we had a fabulous time. Sometimes your friends who you adore are not the best travel partners so make sure you share the same interests and that you don’t hook up with complainers or that will ruin your vacation.
I share this short story with all my mommy friends in the hope of inspiring you to travel with your partner. Explore the world together now to maintain your love and passion. Just make sure you leave your kids with family or a nanny you trust so you can fully enjoy every minute of your time away. All the kids want are a few gifts when you return and the time you were gone is forgotten. Your partner will thank you and your kids will have more respect for you when you return. It’s a win win!
Shirin Yadegar is founder and CEO of www.lamommagazine.com. For tips on where to stay and sites to visit email firstname.lastname@example.org