Jeff and I have a running joke that planning life-altering trips is our guarantee of a new baby on the horizon. Oddly enough, life keeps proving this true!
After 18 months of waiting, we found out one week before a trip to Ireland that we were expecting Molly. Apart from a resort stay in Jamaica for our honeymoon, this was our first international trip. Our first time visiting Europe. Our first time crossing an ocean.
Two weeks before our first trip to Rome with Molly, we found out we were expecting Emma. Newly pregnant again, we left for our first international trip with a baby in tow.
When Emma was four months old, we were so convinced of this pattern that we spent a full five minutes trying to communicate to the pharmacist in Rome that the woman holding the infant did indeed want a pregnancy test. Just in case. For close to three years, we thought that trip had ended our streak.
Then we planned our most adventurous trip to date: around the world. On Jeff’s birthday three weeks before we left, we found out that once again we’d be departing for one adventure while anticipating one much more significant.
Apart from the realization that I may now be an expert in first trimester travel, I’ve reflected on this life pattern quite a bit. For our family, travel and children are inseparable. Being parents and exploring the world have long been our top priorities as a couple, and the two go hand in hand.
There’s a deep connection between these two longings. Both require radical openness to life and to life-altering change. To the unknown. To letting go of feeling in control and accepting an often messy, unpredictable, yet stunningly beautiful reality.
For us, they also inform each other. Shortly after Emma was born, still basking in the magic of a tiny, new person, we were drawn to make significant lifestyle changes in order to travel more freely as a family. Likewise, the confidence we’ve gained from two and half years packed with family travel has given us the courage to embrace this new life without hesitation or trepidation.
It should be no surprise that our answer to one of the most-asked questions regarding baby number three is no, we do not plan on stopping or slowing our travel as a family. It’s part of what defines us. It’s what we love. And we will love it as a family of five at least as much as we did as a family of four.
And in response to another frequently asked question: here’s to any and all future life-altering trips that may come our way!