Most PWG viewers wouldn’t know me, but I’ve been ‘behind the scenes’ for a few series now. As Marketing Director and Series Producer, I have had the joy of being part of the action for the last few years, and enjoyed the privilege of being able to combine my career with my passion.
Travel is definitely one of my true loves. As soon as I finished secondary school, I got on a plane to Europe by myself for a year and never looked back. Between trips and various stints living overseas in a few different lands, I have managed to complete a uni degree and squeeze in some great jobs, all in the fields of travel, marketing and the media.
I’ve travelled extensively for both business and pleasure, always trying to keep my itchy feet satisfied and clocking up six of the seven continents along the way. For me, the more culturally diverse and challenging the destination, the better.
When I reached my late-twenties, and friends around me started to wed and have babies, I started to stress. What would that kind of life mean for my travel addiction? Would it mean a future of kid-friendly resorts only? I started announcing defiantly to anyone that would listen that I would very happily ‘stick my baby in a backpack and trek around India’ if I ever found myself in the family way. People who already had kids would look at me with a bemused (and sometimes horrified) smile. I was determined that kids would not affect my travels, but deep down, I think I knew that they could.
Last year, I returned from a trip to Canada filming for Places We Go, and a few weeks later discovered I was pregnant. It was not a big shock, I actually had a fiancé, a mortgage and had managed to live in the same country for more than five years, but it was the reality that I had always feared anticipated. Did this mean Canada had been my last trip for the foreseeable future? How could I possibly combine my passion with my new reality?
I made it through a further two trips with Places We Go before my pregnancy began to hinder my productivity. Plus having to forego some of the perks of the job, such as fabulous seafood meals and lovely wines in many destinations, just made it pure torture. So from January this year, I relegated myself to purely ‘office’ duties and sent each crew on their way to incredible destinations that I would only see on the footage they brought home when they returned.
I don’t think I am alone in my thoughts. Whilst many people happily give up globetrotting for a family, satisfied they have got it ‘out of their system’; I didn’t feel the same way. For me, travel is a way of life and if anything, I was even more determined that it should be something I could gift and share with my child.
In July of this year, I had my baby and I can happily say that she is now the one true love of my life. And as she grows, and we become settled with our new family, I am now beginning to give some thought as to how travel will look with her in tow.
We are starting off with ‘baby steps’ (pardon the pun) – a long weekend in Queensland coming up for a friends wedding. Already I am envisaging taking the little one for her first swim in a warm ocean and feeding the resident dolphins, and have been busy ordering swim nappies and baby rash vests online. It will be her first plane trip, and I am sure the following thoughts occur to all first-time mums….will the pram be easy to take on the plane? What about the port-a-cot? And finally, will the airline actually allow me to take the twenty suitcases I am guessing I will need to fit in all of our gear?
As I prepare for this trip, and the subsequent trips our little family has planned to North Queensland, Tasmania and a (rather ambitious?) trip to Sri Lanka next year, I will be blogging on my thoughts, plans, experiences and what I learn about travel after babies along the way. Hopefully it might resonate with fellow parents out there, who can perhaps share their own experiences with me so we can all learn a thing or two and make ‘travel after babies’ accessible to us all!
Share your thoughts: How were your travels affected by the arrival of little ones?