“I didn’t care then about my ‘oddball-ness’, and I still don’t.”

Traci, 54, USA

I decided not to have children when I was ten years old. I came to this conclusion because my ten-year-old mind could not comprehend the obsession to be pregnant, give birth and raise a baby. I was an oddball because reproducing a baby seemed to be on the minds of everyone around me. I didn’t care then about my “oddball-ness”, and I still don’t.

Another aspect of childbearing I did not understand – was why women did almost all of the heavy lifting when it came to raising children and men didn’t help out in any meaningful way. I thought it was incredibly unfair to women. So, yes, I had these thoughts when I was ten. And yes, you can feel a bit sorry for my mother, who had to field my many, many questions about “why would women want to do this?”

I live my life filled with gratitude. I am grateful for my time. Time can be so fleeting, and to have my time to do what I want without the restrictions of child obligations, is glorious.

I have been so lucky to have traveled to six continents, as well as the Caribbean, Central America, and the South Pacific. In addition, I backpacked for a year through Europe and traveled for six months through Oceania.

I would have never been able to travel to many of the destinations I’ve been to, in the way I wanted, had I had children. So I treasure my time on the road, freedom, and childfree life.