Corinne McDermott of Have Baby Will Travel shares some tales and trips from her around-the-world travels.
When I was in my twenties, I backpacked through Europe for six weeks by myself. Originally my best friend was supposed to come with me, but work reneged on her vacation time at the last minute. My boss was not thrilled to grant me the time off (I had banked all my holidays for a few years), but I threatened to quit if he wouldn’t let me go. In hindsight, that was a pretty risky move, but I could not resist the urge to take off and see the world as my mom did when she was in her late teens. It was a trip of a lifetime, and more than a little daunting to think I’d by myself in strange countries for all that time. There’s been one trip since that was even more overwhelming to plan, and that was the first trip we took with our daughter.
At first glance, it would seem to be the easiest kind of trip—an All-Inclusive week away at a large beach resort. But for me at the time, it was no easy feat to get out of the house, never mind out of the country. This was precisely the kind of experience I would have turned my nose up at pre-kids, but it was a great introduction to our new way of travel, at least for the next little while.
Of all the journeys I’ve taken, those two experiences really stand out as major milestones in my life, and they couldn’t have been more different. It’s actually kind of fun to compare the two…
Somehow, miraculously, I was able to plot out six weeks in Europe—5 countries, 8 cities—armed with nothing but a few guide books, a rail pass and a train schedule. I didn’t make reservations anywhere beforehand (kind of a mistake in a few places), and I crashed with family for a few stops as well (handy for laundry).
For our first trip with baby, I scoured the Internet for weeks, trying to find the most suitable destination, the best accommodation that we could afford that would still offer a bit of a cultural experience, and most of all, trying to find stories of other parents taking this kind of trip with a baby for the first time! Ultimately, that time spent online was the motivation behind my website, but could I have done it with a book or two?
Probably. We somehow survived before the Internet, didn’t we?