A mom about to travel the world for free with her child

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Ok, it´s not entirely for free (she´ll have to pay for entry fees) and this story is also not just about that. And that mom is not me, it´s a good friend of mine.

Tanya has a toddler. She´s worked in all sorts of jobs throughout her life. Four months ago she started a new job, as a flight attendant. She does it because of the flexibility and the option of flying ANYWHERE for free (or paying just entry fees, to come to Costa Rica with her baby, she spent US$ 80.00). Besides the job, she works some hours a week for an online marketing company and runs a blog about opportunities in Brazil with her husband.

As for her flight attendant job, she works for two or three days in a row sometimes, stays home for two or three days non stop, sometimes more.  Working anywhere from 5-12 hour shifts in one day… So kinda of work hard, play hard!  ¨I like it because when I´m home, I´m home. When I´m with my daughter I can just be with her, at the best times of her day and not just at night when she is cranky and ready to go to bed, like most 9-5 jobs.  We enjoy many things such as: museums, playgrounds, trips, and play dates, that most moms don’t get to do regularly.”

My friend is not a single mom. Her husband can´t join her in all her trips, neither she would necessarily want that: ¨I need a break from my husband too, sometimes being married is like having two kids to take care of¨. If she didn´t have a husband at home, maybe she wouldn´t have taken the job, but anyway, her lifestyle looks so appealing to me from a single mom perspective.

For one thing, she gets to take breaks from her toddler when she´s away, that´s like a single mom´s dream (or at least one of mine).

She came to visit me for 12 days. Two flight attendants that work with her came too. Another plus of this job is that it helps you (or rather makes you) make new friends constantly.

For single moms it´s vital to make new friends

Where I live in Brazil I have some good friends, but I felt the urge of new friends as soon as I was a single mom (since pregnancy day 1) and I started making them happen. If there´s a thing common for single mom is the loneliness you find yourself at often times. And nothing like friends to help you feel that you belong.

If you need help in that, try reading this single mom´s guide to making friends.

Anyway, back to my friend Tanya, our time together hanging out with friends was so lovely. The second night they were here, I stayed with our girls for them to go out. I would be out another night, with my friend after having 3 margaritas at a happy hour and Italian dinner cooked by our friends from Puerto Viejo and out and about on our bikes at midnight to the dance club – NICE.

This is some of the things we did together while she was visiting:

Tanya enrolled her toddler in Luisa´s Waldorf kindergarten for one week. She checked out their weekly visit to the Botanical Garden, where they see the poisonous red dart frog and learn the names and the qualities of flowers and plants.

Every week our kids get to see the red dart frog, and learn about local plants. Luísa shows me on the street poisonous flowers and makes up scientific names.

Here the group is walking on a path around the Botanical Garden.

They were free to come and go with a rented bike:

The bike rental was US$ 4.00 a day. The hardest part of biking with a toddler is that they fall asleep on long rides…

We went to visit the Jaguar Rescue Center:

The rescue center has baby sloths, monkeys, coatis, snakes, a wild cat… all found and treated to be released when ready. What a good feeling we get during our visit opposed to the one we get when going to a regular ZOO.

My friend shared a house with her two new made friends on the beach, it costed them US$350.00 for 12 days.

This is Malu playing in the front beach veranda of their temporary home.

We worked together in the mornings while the girls were at the kindergarten. Then we went to pick them up on our bikes.

It´s not easy to become a flight attendant though. You don´t need a higher formal education, but you are not there to serve coffee, you are there to save lives. They need people with authority to control the passengers if the worse happens.

I enjoyed her presence to remember and rehearse the basic CPR procedures. Hopefully, we´ll never have to put it into practice, but it´s something every parent should know.

Although her job is awesome (or better, the benefits of it are), we know there´s no such thing as an awesome job. I won´t talk about the stupidity of all the jobs. I´d love you to see this guy doing it instead, he he´s an inventor, a scientist and a social engineer working for more than 50 years in designing a project to enhance human life.

Tanya will travel to Brazil soon, she´s married to a Brazilian and they currently live in Boston, USA. She would like to go next to SE Asia. She can make it happen with her job.

This article was originally posted on Tripping Mom by Marilia Di Cesare on July 4, 2011. Republished with authorization. Click here for all other posts.

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