Think back to how you spent your maternity leave – if you’re anything like us, you took that time to relax at home and settle your baby into their new surroundings. This wasn’t the case for new mum Karen Edwards and her newborn daughter Esme, however.
Karen has made headlines this week, after sharing the story of how she travelled the world with her partner and their then 10-week-old baby daughter during her maternity leave.
The 31-year-old told The Daily Mail: “I was thinking about maternity leave and decided I'd like to take her travelling. Both Shaun and I were keen backpackers before I fell pregnant, and everyone thought we were completely nuts when we said that we were going to take Esme when she arrived.”
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However, it turned out to be well worth the risk – not only did the family have a ball, but they also captured some pretty spectacular photos from Esme’s first year.
The family-of-three backpacked to countries including Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia, with little Esme in a shoulder harness as they travelled.
As you can imagine, the trip wasn’t without its hiccups, as Karen revealed: “People say having a child ruins travelling, but it really doesn't. Obviously there were times, like at night in the hotel room when you fancy a beer and the baby is asleep, and when you crack it open she wakes, that makes it harder. But it's worth it.”
Six countries, eleven flights, countless hotels, log cabins, sun, storms, typhoons, ocean, beaches, snorkelling, surfing, water taxis, ferry's, river cruises, high speed rail trains, hiking, biking, scooter rides, cable cars, rice terraces, marble gorges, waterfalls, forests, jungles, monkeys, kangaroos, emu's, koala bears, snakes, temples, Hindu festivities, buzzing cities, skyscraper viewing platforms, character filled towns, markets, tailors, cobblers, massages, soft play, street food, oodles of amazing restaurants, some of the best food I have ever eaten, a few buckets loads of beer, not so much wine, a few arguments, stressful losing my shit moments as well as some of the most amazing memories of our very young little three person family all contributed to this experience. I don't want to say it is once in a lifetime because I really hope that's not the case. But for now it's time to put on a bra and stop living in hippy colour prints, get out the warmer attire and teach our little girl what it is to live in a house with a normal cot, not a travel cot, well for a while anyway! Feeling excited I will finally get to make a nursery for my her after we sort out the damp in her room. Coming back has been those head in hand moments trying to sort out our home and taking everything out of storage. Just some of the headaches of giving up your place for traveling. This picture is from our the last day of our trip! #travel #travelingwithababy #travelmadmum #adventure #backpacking #instagood #instatravel #picoftheday #instapassport #holiday #jetset #travelgram #wanderlust #wonderlust #familytravel #takethekids #travelwithkids #livingthedream #baby #mumblogger #travelblogger #blogger #hongkong #nexttrip #wanderlustforever
Now, Karen wants her story – and her stunning Instagram photos – to inspire and encourage other parents and families to travel with their little ones.
"I want to share factual information, personal stories as well as top tips for travelling with little ones. Your travel days do not have to be over. It is all about incorporating your little person into your way of life,” she added.
SHARE if you would strongly consider following in Karen’s footsteps.