Let me introduce myself, not just as Ashley’s friend, but also a partner in travel-loving crime. I grew up abroad, studied abroad, lived and worked abroad as an adult, and I have been traveling extensively around the globe since I was my toddler’s age. Heck, I even built an education and career around being able to travel! So when I found out I was pregnant, not only did I go to nearly every continent with my son in utero, but I knew it would never stop. People always ask, why waste the money when he won’t remember it? But the travel is for me, for us, for training, for life, for spirit and teaches us all so much more as we evolve through it. Plus, we have pictures, those count as memories, right?
So I am here to tell of one of the more daring trips I took with my son, Nikita, when he was 18 months old—all the way to Australia from Texas. Yes, the trip was 24 hours, and yes, we arrived with a 104 fever. Lessons I learned on that trip: United doesn’t actually reserve the bassinet seat for you, it’s a fight to see who in that row gets it, and always hoard antibiotics for hard travel. My son at the time had chronic ear infections, so prior to our departure, I reached out to the pediatrician to see if he could call in a prescription for us for just in case purposes. I am so glad I did this!
The upsides are, it is FREE! His seat is FREE! This is amazing. We found a way out of the double booking of the bassinet, and arranged to switch seats with others so we and the woman with the newborn could each have one. And we had antibiotics on hand so he was fine after we got them in him. The other great thing about long trips is there is plenty of nighttime hours and thus sleeping time! Once you get them cozily in the bassinet they can play there for hours on end and mommy can relax!
We enjoyed Melbourne, we saw the aquariums and the festivals and all the sights and sounds, he loved. We moved on to Sydney and decided to take the short 13-hour train ride to minimize flights—thinking it would be a fast train and he would like it. It was not fast. He did not like it. And they only took cash so we had limited wine we could purchase to offset the pain…this was much, much, much worse than the plane rides, so I highly advise thinking through logistics since at the end of the day, those are everything! I recommend for any international trip to bring a carrier, it is a lifesaver. It is easier to use as the stroller can be difficult to navigate on rough terrains and difficult in crowded spaces.
But once there, we enjoyed the opera, and the architecture, and the Asian influence, and Nikita was the highlight of all the older Asian ladies, with whom he took hundreds of posed pictures, batting his eyelashes for them.
The bottom line is was it hard? Yes. Was it at times seemingly not worth it? Yes. But, it is always worth it. If not now, when. If not when, never. And without travel, we don’t grow, and it’s a wonderful way to enrich and teach our kids about how big the world is around them. And the longer the trip, the more time they can sleep on the plane….so don’t let the distance be a deterrent!
Written by Jenee Andreev
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