It’s very interesting how people predict what your life will be like after having children.
The hypotheses start when you tell people you want a baby.
Smugly, they’ll say, “No more sleep ins for you!” This one never bothered me because I seem to be incapable of sleeping past 5:30am at the absolute latest – which frustrates me, but it is what it is.
Or – “Do you really think you’ll be able to study/work/exercise with a baby?” as well as my all-time favourite, “Kiss the travel life goodbye.”
Now, to be fair, my lone travel-style pre-Boy was particularly feral. I would plan it all on the fly, trudge 5km from train station to Air BnB carrying broken luggage in a non-English-speaking country, roll the dice on $7 a night accommodation in New Delhi, do 32 hour Greyhound bus trips from one American state to the next, eating nothing but service station food for days on end….
I get that it will not be like that again. That’s probably for the best.
But this travel life with a baby in tow, is a new challenge in itself.
When we boarded the plane to our first tame destination – Queenstown, New Zealand, it was all seeming to go fine. He boarded the plane without much more than a grizzle, ate a yoghurt, drank a bottle, and then passed out to sleep.
Then, 30 minutes later, the air crew made an announcement that was LOUD AF.
Toddler awake, let the adventure wriggling begin!
We tried all the usual tricks – singing, playing, cuddles, seeing if he would listen to music on the entertainment system….
Then the lady in front of us, who looked oddly like Tove Lo, started rolling her eyes…
So we sang a little louder.
Then we arrived!
Carrying a 13kg toddler through the airport was hard, but we eventually picked up the pram and made our way to the vehicle pick up.
Except, there were no vehicles. Just a phone on the wall.
“Oh, it’s always one of these!” my wife said sarcastically, and she’s right.
In my quest to get the best bang for my buck as our ‘family organiser’, I usually choose services that occasionally inconvenience us in some small way. Still, they provided a little mini bus for us that took us to pick our car up…..
It wasn’t all bad.
During our holiday, we met real New Zealand sheep, drank in an ice bar, walked a LOT, did Park Run in Queenstown, went on a gondola, did a 4 hour round trip to Te Anau to ride swan boats, ate a cheese board in a cheesery (didn’t know this was a word?)……
We had the time of our lives.
When our trip finally came to a close, our flight was changed so we had to do Queenstown-Auckland, Auckland-Brisbane. It was a long day but he slept on some of the flight back. I tried to watch a documentary and contended with little fat fingers that kept trying to pull my earphones out of the socket…..
Well, I guess you can’t have it all.
We landed in Brisbane, completely satisfied but tired from the travel time. As we passed through customs, I declared the food items I wanted to bring home (such as a wheel of Brie cheese).
It was then I realised that I’d left a day-old lunch inside my Bento box.
Needless to say, the customs worker (who looked oddly like Cher), was not at all impressed.
What can I say? I believe in love after love…. and travel after babies!