While selecting photos from the archives for my portfolio, I found a 7-months pregnant me looking large and in charge in Hawaii, and my sweetie, looking thin and overworked from the long hours he had been pulling at his start-up. Hawaii was a dream, one of the happiest times in our lives, and these photos continue to bring us joy every time we look at them and reminisce on simpler days.
Bathrooms. Water bottles. Compression socks. Watching my husband eat tons and tons of delicious poke and salivating. My babymoon in a nutshell. The concept of a babymoon sounded romantic and relaxing to me but the reality turned out slightly more…comic.
When I found out that we are having a baby, I was determined to prove to myself that my lifestyle will not be changed by this, starting with my pregnancy. While I was pregnant with Ellie, we went on camping trips to Yosemite and Joshua Tree, hiked some pretty challenging trails, and then 30 weeks into the pregnancy, we hopped on a plane and flew to Hawaii. Instead of staying in a relaxing resort in Waikiki, we opted to travel the way we’ve always done it: seeing as much of the islands as possible and packing in the activities. So I guess I am responsible for dashing my own expectations of a relaxing babymoon and I have no regrets.
While it was naive of me to think that life will not change after the baby, in some respects we really did maintain our lifestyle. We still prioritize being outdoors and staying active, and we still traveled as often as we can. What changed were the details. Starting with the babymoon, I realized that I can never go back to the way I traveled as a single person (at least not for a few years).
At the beginning it felt overwhelmingly restrictive: I always needed to know where the nearest bathrooms are at all times, I needed to lug a gallon of water with me on hikes, I had to restrict my diet from all my favorite foods like sushi and beer…the list goes on. What eventually changed my downer attitude was the sinking in of the fact that I’m traveling with my daughter, who even though was not born yet, was still experiencing some of the Earthside wonders with me. When I first saw the Napali coastline or had my first Hawaiian shaved ice, I could feel her kicks getting stronger.
I think what hold people back from living the life that they want after they have kids are the mental blocks. It’s easy to automatically assume everything is going to be 10x harder and super tiring and not as fun. While it sometimes is true that things are harder and more tiring, but they are missing out on so much if they think it’s not going to be fun. Traveling with your baby and child can be so much fun. Their sense of wonder and excitement is absolutely contagious. They bring a smile to strangers faces and make the world a more friendly place. To me, there are really more upsides than downsides.
Like traveling while pregnant, traveling with kids just means more tweaking in the expectations department. You can expect things to take a bit longer. You can expect more bathroom trips. You expect more restrictions. But honestly, who cares? You are traveling, you’re in the outdoors, you’re living, what is restrictive about that?
We landed and went straight to a popular food joint waiting almost an hour to get the most delicious plate lunch. The way to my heart was of course through my stomach. We soaked in every aspect of island life, spending some time in Honolulu and then driving around the island for some peace and quiet in North Shore.