Having a child really makes you take a hard look at your life’s choices. I found myself scrutinizing everything from my eating habits to savings patterns. I wanted to do what I thought was the best for my son from the day that I found out that I was pregnant.
Choosing to travel and exposing him to the larger world from a young age was a conscious decision.
My travel mantra is a three pronged approach that helps me rationalize as well as enjoy the process. This thinking has helped me see many different places while facing the challenges of raising an infant with a full time job.
1. Priority: If you want to travel you have to make it a priority. You have to invest time, effort and money. Booking hotels is on my to-do list right next to laundry and grocery shopping.
2. Organization: Being organized doesn’t mean that it will be hassle-free. It means that you will be best equipped to deal with any issues that come your way. It gives you control to keep to a schedule and make your family as comfortable as possible in a new environment.
3. Flexibility: Most parenting styles call for kids to have structure of some form. When Devin is at home he is used to a regular schedule of eat/play/nap. But when we are on the road, I choose to be flexible.
I recognize that trying to adhere to our regular schedule at all times is too difficult. I believe that, like adults, children experience change when they are outdoors. So I don’t get too worked up if he sleeps longer or has a little more (or less) to eat. But I make it a point to help him get back to his usual routine once he is back home.
Traveling with an infant is challenging because of the dramatic physical changes that happen within a span of a few months.
At three months, Devin was just holding his head up; three months later he was crawling about. Hence, we had to carefully evaluate what we needed to pack for each trip. What was the norm in one trip couldn’t be applied to the next as easily. But seeing the development of your child’s unique reactions to new places and faces is absolutely priceless.