xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' World Toddler: Why we are Traveling the World with our Toddler



Thursday, May 26, 2016

Why we are Traveling the World with our Toddler

As we pass the half-way point of our five month trip, I thought it time to reflect on why we started out on this adventure in the first place...

From the day I was born— at 12:01AM on my due date— I have always done what was expected of me, exactly when it was expected. After high school, I embarked on a four-year liberal arts degree. 
Celebrating College Graduation with Friends

Freshly-minted bachelor’s diploma in hand, I immediately began law school, on the first day of which I met Nolan, the man  I would marry. After passing the bar exam, we  began our careers as attorneys. We got married over a weekend and returned to work on Monday. 
Just Married at Housing Works Bookstore, NYC

One year later we had our daughter, Sydney, and started house hunting for a home in a good school district.

A Newborn Sydney

We were truly on our way to realizing the American dream. But something did not feel right.

And then it hit me: the “American dream” was not necessarily my dream. After tucking our baby in one evening, I raised my concerns with Nolan.  Is a house in the suburbs what we really want? Are we ready to commit to monthly mortgage payments? 

Over a large pot of coffee, we talked for hours about what we wanted for our lives together. Our shared priority was to enjoy our new family, which our current jobs’ demands had made nearly impossible to do.  Second, we hoped to travel while still young and healthy enough to easily do so. As we sipped the dregs of our coffee, we came up with a crazy idea: quitting our jobs to travel around the world with our baby.

But could we travel around the world with a toddler? And could we afford it? We spent months finding our answers, visiting travel bookstores around the state and reading every blog about international family travel. I pitched my adventure to Carolina Woman Magazine, for whom I am a contributing editor, and was invited to share five feature articles about our travels. 

We ultimately decided that, although not easy, it would indeed be possible— and incredibly rewarding— to travel with a young one.

As far as cost was concerned, we could fit a world tour into our available budget if we were willing to live with less and returned to the United States before Sydney turned two, since such little children fly free. And so we spent the next year intensively planning our voyage, and aggressively skimping and saving to pay for it.

On March 5, 2016, as loyal blog-followers know, we left from JFK Airport for a 5 month journey around the world: Argentina, Chile, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Israel, Hungary, Croatia, and, finally, Italy. We are now finishing our stay in Japan, more than half-way through our trip, and feel as confident in our choice to travel as ever before.

We have spent almost three months learning about different religions, meeting interesting people, tasting wild foods and, most importantly, enjoying our family. Just over the past week, we have meditated in a Buddhist temples; eaten eel sashimi; and posed for pictures with Japanese school kids.
Kyoto, Japan

As Nolan often comments, when we lay upon our death beds, we may wish we had worked less or worried less, but we will never regret that time we traveled around the world with our baby girl.


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