So Paul and I really, really love to travel (are you rolling your eyes and saying, “thanks Captain obvious”?). It’s a defining characteristic for us individually and as a couple. It’s also something we talked a lot about around having children – even when we weren’t 100% sure if we’d end up having kids (well when I wasn’t sure – but more on that another day), whenever we were abroad we’d still talk about how amazing it would be to bring our future children to these places one day – showing them customs and corners of the world that we couldn’t even imagine growing up. Heck our pregnancy announcement photo featured backpacks and announced that we were welcoming a new travel buddy (yes I know, we are annoying but cute).
A pipe dream for us began to form a few years ago when friends of ours took their baby overseas for a month. For all that we had talked about wanting to show our future, hypothetical children the world it had never occurred to us that this was something you could do with a baby!🤯 Safe to say the blew our minds when we heard about their plans and just like that it was decided – if/when we had a kid, we’d take a month abroad.
And then we actually had a baby.
Everything seems so great and so much simpler on the ‘gram doesn’t it? These friends gallivanting around with their mini-me’s in tow, looking like it was just the simplest thing in the world! Except when talking to them as a parent you start to really get what they mean when they say, it was hard but… and for a minute there we only really heard the first part of that sentence. It was hard. We still talked about going overseas, but when it came time to actually do something about it, I’m not going to lie – we were scared.
We had a great routine established at home. We have incredible supports. Paul has a busy job and I was in the process of getting ready to return to mine. And all of our creature comforts were there. After a tough start, we’d finally gotten in a groove and it was one that we were enjoying. Why the hell would we risk disrupting that (and likely, Eli’s sleep too) when we’d worked so hard to get here? It started to seem crazy to us.
Then we remembered something: travel is important to us. Traveling helps us get out of our element, out of our heads and back into the world – in a real, present, connected way that isn’t always possible at home. The physical distance also helps remove us from things we can’t necessarily disconnect from at home. And it always helps us gain valuable perspective.
I’m sharing this part because it can be so easy to look at our highlight reel and think, wow those people have it figured out! They’re so brave! I could never do that! Even with all the experiences we’ve had around the world, the thought of traveling with a baby (and all of the logistics and potential complications) scared us and nearly kept us grounded.
Now I can see that was such a good thing. When we push ourselves out of our comfort zones we have an incredible opportunity to learn and grow in entirely new ways.
So, after many discussions, a LOT of googling, serious soul searching and imaging just what kind of an experience we wanted (we were REALLY torn about location) we booked our flights, lined up our AirBnB’s and got ready for our first big overseas adventure as a family.
And we got hit with SO MANY THINGS ALL AT ONCE.
The start of our trip was hectic, bumpy, frustrating and almost sent us packing. So many things went wrong. But we pushed through and our time overseas was one of the best months we’ve had as a family of three. I will be sharing the details in another blog post – and don’t worry, there’s a “sh*t I wish I knew” post coming (because man, did we ever learn a lot) – but now when we look back at this time we recognize that yes, it was hard BUT it was so worth it. We had an amazing time just hanging out as a family, reconnecting with the world and sharing our love of exploration with our new travel buddy.
Have you traveled overseas with a baby? Did you have a total panic moment too? Is there anything you’d like me to share in my upcoming posts about traveling with a baby? Let me know in the comments below!