Travel is at the heart of my life and marriage. My husband and I both traveled a lot as kids, and, when we had our daughter Kaliana, we decided that we would bring her along on our adventures. I wasn’t sure how we would make it happen, but it felt right.
Kaliana was only eight-weeks-old when we took her on her first international trip. Our recent travels have been for my English husband’s mates’ weddings, and this was no exception. Yet, instead of England, it was France in a little seaside village. How could I refuse?
I felt the pressures and concerns of being a new mom and taking my newborn on a plane to a new country, and I felt selfish for wanting to get out and dance with friends. But I also knew that it was exactly what the doctor ordered; with a healthy dose of sunshine, connection with other women and happy times, I would be better positioned to be present for my newborn.
The most challenging part of the whole experience was getting getting a six-week-old to stare straight at a camera for her passport photo. In some struck of timing fortune, though, Kaliana had a poo in the middle of the process causing her to focus directly on point.
On the day of travel, our flight was so much easier than I imagined. People ushered us through shorter lines, scowls turned into smiles and everyone wanted to assist in some way. For a brief time I was thrown back to an era where flying was pleasurable.
We spent our first few days in England where we introduced our new girl to family. We then made our way to Douarnenez, a small fishing village on the coast of North West France, where the wedding was to be held. The quaint location was ideal for walking around, and we even found the perfect outfit for Kaliana that was sure to have us fitting in like a local.
We spent about four days in Douarnenez with other friends and their little ones. We hiked along the sea, ate incredible crepes, and enjoyed each other’s company.
On the day of the wedding, we decided to keep Kaliana with us instead of leaving her in with the nannies and other kids. I wasn’t particularly comfortable leaving her with someone else especially since so many others were there as well. It felt natural to have Kaliana with us and she proved to be a great trooper.
During the evening’s celebrations she slept through most of dinner, waking occasionally to be fed and to see what was going on. By the time the music started I put her in the wrap and headed out on the dance floor. She loved it! We danced and swayed letting her little feet dangle which captured the hearts of everyone around. Women came up to me frequently that evening mentioning how much they wished they had their little ones with them. I was soaring with delight.
By the time we came home from our two week vacation, I felt renewed, thankful, and in love with Kaliana on a whole new level. Not only were we able to see our friends and explore new places, but it made the adjustment into motherhood a new adventure. Every day is just a day unless you decide to do something different with it; traveling allows us to make each day something new and when we’re home it’s a time to relax, connect, and relish in our experiences.