Last year this time we were in Ushuaia as part of our two-week sojourn to southern Patagonia. Today I complete 30 weeks of my pregnancy. My baby is 10 weeks away and I have months of late nights, breastfeeding, poop patrol, diaper changes, loud cries, yawns and sweet smiles to live through but I’m already thinking in terms where I can go on vacation with my baby. I’ve already ruled out a few on my list of places to see. Cambodia (Angkor Wat specifically), South Africa, and Morocco can wait. It doesn’t help that I subscribe to Travel and Leisure, or have a new liking for travel writing or that Chan Brothers advertises in the newspaper every single day or that to top it all Silk Air has set up a reservations office in the lobby of my office building.
How will motherhood affect my wanderlust?
My aunt left my infant cousin with her parents and traveled to SE Asia and Africa. Not a bad model to follow but I want my baby to be part of my adventures. Maybe I’ll take the adventure down a notch and travel to safe places that are a reasonable flight away with English-speaking populations, vegetarian food, hotels with kitchenettes and access to healthcare facilities. I realize that just these requirements cut down my list of places to see my more than 75%!
I have great hopes for Australia which looks like a good place to take an infant and my parents who might be a great addition to baby’s first vacation. If that seems like a little too ambitious how about a baby step called Nikoi Island or Bintan? Of course there would be the obligatory trip back home to India. Maybe I could sneak in a trip to Goa, it has been so long! Even Lonavala would make me happy. The UK and Europe also seem like good candidates. It would be great to travel to the Netherlands and visit my dear friend Elsiena or explore the English countryside by road.
I also secretly harbour a wish to experience a Club Med holiday at least once in my life. Maybe I’ll save that for later when I have a rambunctious 6 or 7 year old.
I recently read an article about a young mother taking her infant on a family vacation to Ireland. It was fairly reassuring to know that with adequate preparation and reasonable expectations, it can be done.
How much fun it will be exploring new sites and sounds together even if she won’t remember anything? I will remember each and every moment and cherish it forever.
So here is a prayer for my little one – I hope you enjoy travel and exploring as much as your daddy and mommy do; I hope you travel to places far and wide, places fascinating and beautiful, places that fill you with wonder and joy, and places that inspire prayer and gratitude; and I hope wherever you go you carry our love with you and that you always return home.