As we hiked up the hill to locate the famed green geisha coffee beans of Finca Elida Coffee Plantation, the world’s most buzzed about caffeinated beverage, the kids started complaining. Why do we have to go here? I’m hot.
I explained that sometimes we do stuff for Kai, like the surf lessons he rocked in Playa Santa Catalina. Sometimes our day orbits Nikko’s needs, like stopping for gelato after a hike through Jungla, an animal sanctuary. And occasionally we do something just for daddy, like scoring coffee beans from an unmarked and untouristed farm.
“Yeah, but mommy, we barely ever do stuff just for you,” Kai remarked.
At first, I girl-powered my response, thinking of the kayak adventure on Lake Gatun that I passed up to give Nikko some much needed down time, or the surf lesson I skipped so Kai could better his skills, or the late night reggaeton dance party in Casco Viejo that I couldn’t stay awake late enough to attend.
Of course traveling as a mom is worlds from solo travel, when I could hitch a ride with strangers to a party and drink all night. And there are moments when I yearn for that adventure again.
Yet as I schlepped up that muddy hill to indulge Eddie’s affection for caffeine, I knew Kai had it all wrong. This whole trip is for mommy. Giving them what they want while they are on my Panama adventure feeds my wanderlust.
Screw kayaks and board rentals. I get to dive into the otherness of the planet and feed my soul giving my kids itchy feet.