Thursday, January 2, 2014

Travel 2014: From Passports to Pampers

Is there travel after babies?

I have found myself asking that repeatedly over the last few months as I ponder the biggest change my life will ever have - a change that is hypothetically only 5 days away.  As excited as I am to have Peanut in my arms, I am daunted by the immensely challenging task of becoming a parent. Will I instill positive values and work ethic in my child? Will I be able to protect her while at the same time encouraging her to spread her wings and make her own choices and mistakes?  Will I become one of those dreaded 'helicopter parents' who thinks her own child does no wrong?  (Probably not on that one - I'm a teacher and I have experienced 'reality' when it comes to what kids will tell their parents and what actually happened.) Will I drop Peanut on her head or accidentally let her roll off the change table?  These are all things I ponder.

Can't wait for the arrival of little Peanut! Photo by Jill Stadnyk Photography.

I also ponder if I will be able to continue my own personal journeys in life.  I am thrilled at becoming a mother, don't get me wrong.  My husband and I tried for FOUR YEARS to conceive, and our baby is already super spoiled, loved, and appreciated.  At the same time, I don't want to put ALL of my own desires and dreams on hold either.  Is it possible to combine my love of travel, exploration, and experiencing the new and mysterious with the joy and terror of raising a family?

I'm sure the answer is yes.  I've been reading lots of travel blogs that feature families traveling the world, some even in true 'nomadic' fashion.  While I've never been drawn to the nomadic lifestyle, I am encouraged by the tales of families hiking through jungles and clamoring up ruins - combining great family values with a love of travel.  I believe this creates wisdom and compassion in children: travel is essential in creating well-rounded, socially aware, and open-minded kids.

Family travel helps kids become globally aware citizens.  Photo via.

With that being said: is there travel after babies FOR ME specifically in the year 2014?  I certainly hope so.  I do not plan on trading in my passport for Pampers full-time.

#1. Kerala, India
I have entered a travel competition to win a trip to Kerala, India for a blogging conference (along with a kick-butt train ride through the area of Kerala) via the "Kerala Blog Express" website.  So far, I have not yet cracked the Top 25, but if you readers would be so kind, hit up this link and go vote for me via Facebook. You'd make Travel Dream #1 come true for me!

#2.  Costa Rica
My husband and I have been talking about the possibility of going to Costa Rica later in the year, when the baby is a bit older, if financially feasible. His parents own a house in Guanacaste, and so this would make our trip 'do-able' with a young child and limited financial resources.  I think I'll start saving now!

#3.  My Backyard: Alberta
I live in Alberta, which is arguably one of Canada's most beautiful provinces. (I know every person in Canada thinks their own province is the best, but Alberta has EVERYTHING: mountains, prairies, Badlands, Boreal forests, tundra, etc.)  My husband and I plan to take advantage of living in such a spectacular province by traveling around locally, finding hidden gems in our own backyard so to speak.  Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, the Columbia Ice Fields, Jasper, Drumheller, the Crowsnest Pass - all of these places have amazing things to offer.  Day trips, weekend trips, and even the occasional camping / hotel trip are in the works.

These are the only things we have discussed thus far.  Usually in my life, a trip pops up out of nowhere at least once a year, so who knows what 2014 will bring?

The new addition is due January 7 - whether or not she is punctual is up to her! Photo by Jill Stadnyk Photography.

All I know is that I'm about to begin an amazing journey that will last a lifetime - becoming a parent - and everything on top of that is just icing on the cake!  Happy 2014, everyone - may you experience every adventure in your life to the absolute fullest!

For more articles regarding the "Travel 2014" Link Up, visit "Adventures of a London Kiwi"!