Before becoming a mom, were you passionate about travel? How have things changed since you started taking your son on the road?
I always loved travelling and did a lot of it whenever I had the time, but mostly I am super passionate about change of scenery and seeing and doing something different (hence single momdom).
Travelling with a little boo is actually very different and not only in the “oh do you have a high chair?” and “nope, I have no energy to be out past 6pm in any way other then devouring streetfood” way. I have seen a whole new side to cultures, people ,and cities since I am now always in the company of baby. You really see how different places treat a mom and baby. This treatment has really shaped my perspective of that place, not that all people are the same, but you do get a sense of the majority.
Not to mention, that I have become an expert at packing – your list on The Rebel Mama is actually really good and mama’s or anyone travelling with overpacking problems, should check it out!
Another very important thing that has changed, is that, I have finally stopped booking travels that consist of one-two day exhaustive walking trips, 10 transfers to get to a destination and save $5, trusting sketchy people to guide me by hand though diving expeditions where I got scraped by corals (no hand holding and diving!) and inhaling baloons at a club at 4 am. I have my baby to thank for saving my life in that way.
What are your top three travel tips for parents traveling with children?
1. Don’t go to Vienna! Worst treatment of mom and baby.
2. Every country you will go to, has children. Your babies can enjoy the same products, games, and way of life if you allow them to experience that culture as well. I know this is way harder to do if you are just on a vacation for short term but you can dip into it in short term ways if you try. They will never experience this in all inclusive resorts, so even though they may be the easiest option for parents that just want to relax by the pool, it won’t give your kids that glimpse of something different (other then the pool). This will give them appreciation and understanding of other cultures and other spices, languages, temperatures, flowers, ways of doing laundry, everything!
3. First time parent traveler can get pretty psyched and anxious about the upcoming trip or even booking one, but that will all go away once you touch down and get a feel of the new land. Finding favourite coffee shops in the vicinity – is my #1 thing to do once I get somewhere and then the coffee makes all the anxiety go away. I guess, I am just always in search of good coffee, find your own groove and go.
What has been the most emotionally challenging thing about lone-travel with Remi?
Once he got a nasty stomach bug and I got it at the same time. We were both out and it was the worst. I was worried about being able to take care of him while I was down and that was really hard. Then I mastered the art of puking anywhere while holding a baby and accepting Remi having a shit storm while being carried around town on my back. Thankfully it lasted only 24 hrs, but it was one of the hardest 24hrs of my life.
What are the most important values you hope that Remi picks up from life on the road?
I hope that I’m able to provide him with perspective of how little and insignificant we are here in our home in Toronto compared to how big and different the world is. I hope that he understands how lucky we are to live in a place where we have the basics of water, shelter, and food and live amongst people that accept and love the differences that we are each born with. Finally, I hope he learns to be resourceful and awake for whenever the zombie apocalypse happens or at least want to do this crazy way of travel with me once he starts having a choice in life.
And finally, what is your dream destination with your baby? Anything coming up that you want to tell us about?
I really enjoyed Central America and I think I generally identify with that pace of life more (or the tacos) than the western “excuse me, I’m busy”‘ type of life. I would spend more time anywhere there but prefer to be water side. Next up, I will hopefully come visit you Anna Von! Otherwise, I will show my babe the magic of Canadian lakes and forests this summer.