It was early December… We were on our way from Brazil to Australia to spend the holiday season with my family on the Sunshine Coast.
Our stopover in Hong Kong lasted just 4 days and I was sick with the flu for the entire time, which I put down to sitting on an air-conditioned plane for 20 hours…
Pounding head… Knives digging into my throat… Aching muscles… Extreme tiredness… The lot.
But there was one particular day where I began to feel a different kind of ‘sick’…
We’re About To Travel With A Baby: Our Pregnancy And Long Term Travel Plans
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As Dan and I stood on the edge of the boat ramp waiting for our ferry to cross Victoria Harbour, my stomach began to feel unsettled and shivery.
My first thought was, oh god no, not food poisoning as well as the flu!
We’d been eating all sorts of different street food since arriving and I have had instances in the past where that didn’t go down well.
I thought this was another one of those instances…
Until Dan lightly joked, “maybe you’re pregnant!”
I had a little think about it but then came to the conclusion that timing was out and I couldn’t possibly be pregnant…
So I brushed it off and went back to worrying about food poisoning.
Finding Out I Was Pregnant
Some days went on and soon enough we were back in Australia with my family. But something was worrying me, the sick stomach feeling had disappeared but the flu-like symptoms were sticking around.
One week… Two weeks… By week three I was having midday naps almost every day.
It wasn’t long until I realised that my monthly had forgotten to grace me with its presence in December.
I thought it could have just been my hormones doing weird things but when January came around and there was still nothing, I knew I was pregnant.
I could feel it in my body… I felt different.
Certain smells became really overpowering and my food started getting a lot blander because I couldn’t handle anything with a strong flavour.
I started taking pregnancy precautions… So not drinking any alcohol, being more careful about what I ate (avoiding foods that may contain listeria) and taking a pregnancy multi-vitamin.
Finally, we made an appointment with my doctor and found out I was 9 weeks pregnant! So I guess I’d already skipped a lot of the dreaded first trimester without even really knowing it.
My Pregnancy At This Current Moment
It was just what we needed to get away from our laptops a little and actually celebrate this exciting new journey in our lives… In our private plunge pool. 🙂
So yes, there is a little nomad joining the family in August this year and we couldn’t be happier to share this new adventure with you…
But what does this pregnancy mean? Are we going to give up on traveling?
Are we going to settle down and get a house and two cars and lots of stuff now that we’ve got a child on the way? Isn’t that what you have to do?
Well, not necessarily… and no, that isn’t what we intend to do (not that there’s anything wrong with it)…
After all, Dan has a mission of visiting every country in the world…
And you know what? Traveling is good for the soul. We love it and honestly believe that there is no better education than experiencing the world first hand…
So that’s what we want to gift our children with.
But how are we going to travel with a baby? And not only travel once in a while, but continue our traveling lifestyle?
Well it’s kind of funny because when we told my dad that I was pregnant, one of the first things he said was, “so how are you going to handle that then?”
And my answer was, “the same way everyone else does“…
You see, we call ourselves ‘nomads’ but really, we’re just in the position to be able to earn an income from wherever we like, so sometimes we mix it up a little.
We don’t move around the world at lightening speed trying to visit every single tourist hotspot possible, and we don’t live out of backpacks on a $20 a day budget.
This is just our normal life – except it changes places sometimes…
Accommodation mainly consists of fully furnished Airbnb apartments; transport is generally Uber, or if we’re staying near family we’ll borrow a car; food is supermarket bought, although we do love eating out; our clothes are cleaned in our own washing machine; you get the gist…
We’re fairly normal people.
But I know what you may be thinking…
Traveling is going to get a lot harder with a newborn baby, and we agree.
However, there are some things we’ve decided to do differently in order to have a more comfortable, easy life without the pressures and stresses of living in a Western world.
Baby Products We’ll Travel With
First of all, we won’t be buying loads of unnecessary stuff. We’ll be making smart purchases that’ll result in carrying less luggage and saving more time.
For us to travel with a baby, it’s already a big deal – add to that a pram, car-seat, cot, changing mat, breast-pump (?), play mat, toys, bottles, blankets, clothes, nappies, wipes, and all the rest, plus our own luggage, laptops, cameras, etc… and things start getting far too heavy.
So to start off with, we’ll be using a travel system which acts like a two-in-one pram…
This way, you can take the seat out of the car without waking your baby up, then it just clips straight into the pram and off you go.
This then cancels out the need for carrying around an extra car-seat (at least while our baby is small and we’re still getting used to parenting on the road).
We actually made our first purchase the other day – a Baby Bjorn carrier – and the only reason for that was because it was almost new and still in the box, except instead of being $190 it was $30 from the second-hand shop.
While yes, this did save us money, we were mainly focused on the fact that we were making a more sustainable purchase (rather than buying brand new) and that it’ll be super convenient for us while traveling.
Next is where our baby is going to sleep…
We’ve been planning on co-sleeping, not only to save carrying around a heavy cot, but we’ve also read about the many benefits of sleeping next to your baby.
However, last night my dad walked in with a second-hand travel cot which is surprisingly light and compact when it’s folded up inside the travel bag.
So we’ll be bringing that along with us, just because it is so convenient… And who knows? Co-sleeping may not work out for us after all.
In terms of nappies and wipes, we won’t be buying in bulk like a lot of families do, for obvious reasons…
Yes, it can cost more this way, however, we often find ourselves traveling in countries where the cost of living is lower than Australia and the US, so we’re not too worried about that.
Things like toys and clothes we’re going to be very frugal on…
We’ve taken into account the fact that new-born babies poo and vomit all over their clothes every day (something to look forward to), but we won’t be going out and buying a lot because people always give away their baby clothes!
Not only that, I’ve seen my sisters pile of newborn baby clothes that her daughter wore for just a few weeks and it would probably fill a whole suitcase. For us, it’s just not sustainable to have so much so we’re going to be very mindful of this.
Dan even had a good idea which would save us from lugging copious amounts of baby clothes around with us and provide our child with a stepping stone to becoming financially independent when they’re older…
Starting A Bank Account For Our Baby
There is a bank here in Australia called Westpac…
This year they are celebrating their 200th anniversary with the new Bump savings account. Basically, every Australian baby born in 2017 is eligible for $200 in their Bump savings account which they can’t access until they’re older…
So we’ll be starting a Bump account for our little bubba, and then when it comes to Christmas and gift-giving times, family can choose to deposit some money into the account instead of buying more unnecessary toys and clothes.
At least then, our child gets better use of the gift when they are older and actually appreciate it, plus we don’t have to lug more things around with us.
The Pressures Of Bringing A Child Up In A Western Country
The thing is, living in a Western country can really influence you as an expecting parent…
A lot of new parents go out and buy all the latest, greatest and safest products on the market (because that’s what they’re told they need to have) and before they know it, they’ve spent a fortune, resulting in a room full of stuff they never end up using.
While having all of this stuff is great, most of it really isn’t necessary, so that’s what we’re keeping in mind.
Our child isn’t going to hate us for not having the coolest baby gym…
And if they do, we’ll be quick to remind them that the world is their playground.
Finally, we’re investing in our future.
We’ve talked about buying property here in Australia for investment which is a strong consideration at the moment…
This won’t be to live in on a long term basis but at least we’ll have something to come back to if we ever want/need to.
On top of this, we’re beginning to invest in mutual funds (stocks and bonds).
Our Family Travel Plans
So where are we going to be throughout this whole pregnancy and thereafter?
Well here in Australia I’m very fortunate to have access to free healthcare which is of a high standard. If I were to be going through my pregnancy in Brazil, we’d have to go private which is a lot more costly.
So Australia is where we’ll be this year, with plenty of adventures thrown in. Dan will be going back to Brazil in March to renew his Australian Visitor (subclass 600) visa which will allow him up to 1 year in the country.
Once our child is born and is proving to be healthy and settled, we’ll be jetting over Brazil to for the rest of our family to meet him/her.
From there, who knows?
We’d love to spend some time in Italy and Spain next year, not to mention Bali and Thailand (so we’ve got some travel planning to do).
Of course, we’ll first need to organise vaccinations, a passport and health insurance for our child before we go anywhere…
Actually, we’ll be looking into worldwide family health insurance to cover all of us, so I’ll let you know the best options when we find out (you never know, you might find it useful one day).
So that is where we are at so far in this pregnancy journey!
This is going to be a big change for us, but one we’re super excited to embrace and share with you.
And while some might think we’re crazy or different for wanting to take a child traveling with us, life’s short… You’ve gotta do what your heart tells you!
This lifestyle isn’t common by any means but it’s achievable and highly rewarding. I believe that if you have the opportunity to travel with your children, take it. At the end of the day, it’s the memories you’ll always hold onto.
Have you ever wanted to travel with a baby? Is it something that seems achievable or much a like nightmare? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Also, any tips you have for us would be so appreciated 🙂