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Baby Steps: Travel for 2016

For us, 2016 is a brave, new world. One with a baby in it. And globe-trotting will never be the same again.

Hubby and I have been lucky enough to spend the better part of the last 10 years traveling and exploring the world together. Like our relationship, the trips started small. A visit to a friend’s cottage. A weekend trip to Montreal.

Before long though, we were off to the Mediterranean for 3 weeks of sun and fun in Barcelona and Italy.

As our relationship deepened, so did our wanderlust. Hawaii. Cuba. And then a momentous move to Korea together, prefaced by 3 months of backpacking through China, Laos and Thailand. Exploration in other parts of Asia. Philippines. Borneo. Brunei. Macau. Then a wedding in Thailand, followed by a decadent year long trip around the world.

The couple that travels together, stays together. Or something like that. :p

As we settled into coupledom, our wanderlust also seemed to settle a bit. Traveling was still a big part of life, but we found ourselves taking more “holidays.” Hence, 2-3 week journeys to Scandinavia, a sentimental west coast road trip through interior British Columbia, and beach breaks in Indonesia, Thailand and the Maldives.

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Now, it feels like we’ve entered a whole new chapter in our traveling lives. One that includes a 3rd, totally dependent being, for whom the whole world, and for that matter, all of life, is uncharted territory.

And so, 2016 will be all about re-learning how to travel. It’s a process I’m anticipating with excitement, apprehension and more than a little fear. Will she sleep on the plane like daddy? or be wide awake like mommy? We shall soon see…

Crawling: A Night Away
We’re starting our trips small, with a short-ish journey by car and a night away from home. The longest Naia’s been in a car to date, is 45 minutes, so this should be a good test of how she deals with confined spaces.

Our destination hasn’t been finalized yet, but I’d love a little retreat at the Hotel November in Gangneung. Either that or glamping at the Raventree Resort in Gyeonggi-do. Winter camping with a newborn might be a bit much though…no matter how “glamorous” it is. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Baby Steps: A Korean Roadtrip
Next up – a more ambitious road trip around Korea. With our wee one aboard, we’ll head south, and explore the western side of the peninsula. A stop in Jeonju to sample the country’s best bibimbap, and wander around the traditional hanok village, before continuing onwards to Damyang’s 25 acre forest of bamboo trees. Some as high as 20 metres tall.

"DamYang Bamboo Forest," by Byoung Wook - Toughkid Kim, CC Attribution

“DamYang Bamboo Forest,” by Byoung Wook – Toughkid Kim, CC Attribution

From there, a visit to the coastal city of Mokpo and perhaps, one of the 3000 islands in her vicinity, before circling back up to Seoul through the Boseong Green Tea Fields, 2012 World Expo city, Yeosu, and the coastal wetlands of Suncheon Bay.

"Boseong Green Tea Farm," by Byoung Wook Toughkid Kim, CC Attribution

“Boseong Green Tea Farm,” by Byoung Wook Toughkid Kim, CC Attribution

That is, of course, unless our little one, has a meltdown along the way. Upon which, we’ll be turning that car around and heading straight back for the sanctuary of home.

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Walking: Japan: Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe
I’ve been wanting to return to Japan for quite some time now, and the 2 hour flight from Seoul to Osaka seems like the perfect training run for Naia. Once there, it’s a high speed train to Kyoto and a wander around the city’s traditional areas and temples. We’d also take a little side trip to Kobe, to eat the world’s most pampered beef – something I’ve wanted to sample for as long as I can remember.

Running: Albania, Greece, France, Italy and Portugal
There’s a lot of people in Europe anxious to meet the newest member of the family. If all goes as planned, we’ll be packing up our suitcases and our daughter, for the longest trip of her life. She’d get in touch with her half-Albanian roots, lie on the beaches of Greece, and eat Italian, French and Portuguese food (well, see and smell it anyways).

A summer well-spent, and the beginning of a lifetime of passport stamps for our cutest world wanderer. At least, I hope it is.

What do you have planned for 2016? Please share any tips you have for traveling with a newborn, in the comments below. We need all the help we can get. ๐Ÿ™‚

26 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love the structure of your post – very clever and cute – and also think it’s the perfect way to get little Naia on board with your travel plans! Traveling with kids is fun, just a little slower! If you adjust your expectations and assume everything will take MUCH longer, you will be fine!

    January 4, 2016
    • Even a simple trip out to the mall, or cafe seems to entail so much more stuff! A big change for 2 people who love to travel as light as possible. Lol. We are adjusting. Great advice about expecting things to take longer…we’ll just have to slow down and smell the roses along with little Naia. Can’t wait! Especially for Europe!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      January 5, 2016
  2. Great plans you have already. For ourselves we will b going to China in spring time with my parents and in summer we have a trip to east Germany in mind and a two week holiday in Finland. Besides that I would love to travel to west Poland in autumn and visit my father families old holdings ๐Ÿ™‚

    January 5, 2016
    • Oooh, I’ve always wanted to visit Poland and eat pierogies. Haha. I’ve heard it’s very beautiful there. Have you been before?

      January 5, 2016
      • I have been there only twice. Once visiting distant relatives at th Baltic Sea but I was too young to remember and the second time for a swimming competition in Lodz ten years ago. Though I can’t remember the things from my first visit my parents do have tons of pictures and it really looks great there ๐Ÿ™‚

        January 5, 2016
        • We’ve spent a lot of time in the Mediterranean, but should explore more or Eastern Europe I think. Perhaps we’ll make a point to try this summer… ๐Ÿ™‚

          January 6, 2016
          • Yeah Europe has much to offer but then again any continent is like that. I would love to travel to several countries throughout Asia but for now that’s just some future dream for the next years

            January 6, 2016
  3. Oooh wow!! Happy New Year to you all ๐Ÿ™‚ How exciting for your to be planning Little Miss first adventures abroad.

    We are off to mainly local for the start of the year and then we have plans to go to Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland in Sept/October. We are really looking forward to that!

    We will be following your adventures unfold as it happens.

    All the best for 2016 xx

    January 5, 2016
    • Happy new year to you two as well! ๐Ÿ™‚ Sounds like you have an amazing trip planned in the fall. Trying to see the northern lights? Look forward to reading all about it!

      January 6, 2016
  4. We’re hoping to do a couple of diving trips – maybe Andaman Islands and somewhere in Indonesia. Maybe a trip to visit home (in the States and UK respectively) and lots of exploring where we’re living now.
    No kids yet so no travel advice there but I think it’s all totally doable if you give yourself lots of time for extra naps and break downs ๐Ÿ˜‰

    January 5, 2016
    • Oooh, Andaman Islands look so beautiful. Would be amazing to visit there and dive! Lol…yes, lots of time for breakdowns. Yikes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      January 6, 2016
      • Yeah they look incredible! We’ll see what happens. Good luck to you guys!

        January 7, 2016
  5. EM #

    Happy travels! Cant wait to hear the stories of the traveling bear family.
    One good tip that I got from a friend…change of clothing not just for baby but for you too! Nothing worse than enduring a plane ride smelling like vomit or poop. The best things ever for travel…freezer sized ziploc bags to store everything…the aforementioned clothes, toys, diaper change stuff. Helps to compartmentalize and much easier to carry that into an airplane washroom rather than your whole diaper bag. And I’m a huge fan of wet wipes. Good luck and bon voyage!

    January 6, 2016
    • Thanks Em! Change of clothing is great advice…I hadn’t even thought of that. But you are right…cannot imagine a long-haul flight smelling like vomit. Lol…I still don’t even have a diaper bag. I’m the most unprepared mommy ever. Haha.

      January 6, 2016
  6. Shelley, congratulations to the bundle of joy. I wish the three of you all the best for 2016. Traveling sure is going to be diffferent from what it used to be but I am positive you guys will manage! ๐Ÿ™‚

    January 7, 2016
    • Aww thanks Susanne! Even though I’m quite nervous about taking her on a plane for the first time (heard so many horror stories), I can’t wait to start traveling with her. It will make travel brand new again, I think. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy holidays and all the best for you in 2016!

      January 9, 2016
  7. Carolin #

    Actually, while they are still so little, itยดs very easy I found. Dominik was 1 year and 4 months when we came to your wedding, and it was really such a great experience. It gets more stressful when they get older ๐Ÿ˜‰

    January 8, 2016
    • Carolin!! Your first comment on my blog!! ๐Ÿ˜€ It was so great having you guys at our wedding…and I have heard that it’s easier to travel when they are babies, but I’m still a bit worried. I remember Dom as being very sweet-tempered, so maybe you were lucky with him? :p Miss you much…hopefully we can meet up again somewhere in the world soon.

      January 9, 2016
  8. It’s going to be more exciting ๐Ÿ˜‰ Wishing you a lovely 2016!!

    January 12, 2016
  9. Sounds good. Lovely photos.

    January 13, 2016
  10. Wishing you lots of luck! ๐Ÿ™‚ We only traveled locally when ours were babes but times are very different.

    January 25, 2016
    • Thanks very much Jo! We’re a bit nervous, but starting small, and hopefully she’ll be a jaded professional traveler by the time next summer rolls around…

      January 26, 2016
      • I think our son was bored with travel before his teens ๐Ÿ™‚

        January 26, 2016

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