I'm actually not sure how to start this post.
So, I guess I'll just come right out with it from the get-go.
Yep, my husband and I are expecting a baby girl this October. So as you can gather I've been sitting on this news for a while!
One reason I took so long to share the news is because she is a rainbow baby and so I wanted to wait until I was quite far into the pregnancy before publicly announcing it. And, secondly, and the reason why it has taken me this long to make an announcement here, is that my husband and I recently made the decision to move from Tokyo, our beloved home base for the past 10 years, back to Melbourne, Australia. So we've spent the past few months prioritizing efforts to make that happen.
We had felt that a change has been approaching for a while, so the pregnancy is not the only reason for the move. But the answer to why now, at this particular time in 2019, is most certainly the baby.
Once we decided that I'd give birth in Australia rather than Japan, the timing of our departure was dictated by my due date, and the time it would take to pack up our lives in Tokyo and get everything organized for my delivery here, while also considering airline rules for flying internationally when pregnant.
Basically, we wanted to stay in Tokyo as long as we could while considering all of these factors. There was a lot to do and after a decade of building a life there it wasn't the kind of situation we could or wanted to just pick up and leave from in an instant.
We flew back to Melbourne in mid-July and with most of the major plans now in place for the arrival of our daughter, I'm keen to update you on what's been happening and to continue working on posts that I hope you will enjoy.
Here is a snapshot of the pregnancy at this moment.
Gestational age: 32 weeks
Due date: 10 October 2019
Current weight: 2kg+ (tracking in the 71st percentile)
Current favourite pastimes: Moving and jumping around in the womb, kicking the umbilical cord, generally making life difficult for ultrasound technicians, listening to bedtime stories.
One of the more interesting reactions I've gotten from people when they've heard the news is, “So, what are you going to do with Travel Solo Anyway?” “Are you going to close it?” “You won't write about solo travel anymore, right?“
When I hear comments like this, it only reiterates to me how far we still have to go in this conversation. And how fundamentally many people are still at odds with the idea that someone could have a child and still do things for or by themselves too, simply because society has moulded us into thinking these two concepts couldn't possibly co-exist in a positive way.
Will I continue to travel solo at times after having a child? Yes!
Will I also travel solo with my child? Absolutely! In fact, I can't wait to start showing her the world.
Will I continue travelling with my husband? Of course! I love travelling with him and we are really looking forward to all the trips we want to take with the baby as a family of three, as well as planning time for just the two of us.
We have to let go of the “either/or” mentality that it's either kids and no travel, or travel and no kids, or that travel with kids is the worst, or that solo travel is only for a select few who aren't “attached” to partners, jobs or children.
As you can see, it will be a real mix of different travel styles and how we spend our time, just as it is now. We'll play things by ear, adjust and prioritize as necessary, and make the best of things when they don't go to plan, because, let's be honest, that will continue to happen. Some may argue even more so when you throw an infant into the mix, but that doesn't mean the stories that people tell themselves about travel with kids, and travelling without them, are necessarily any truer either.
We have to move past the idea of something being “impossible” simply because we've put up these roadblocks in our minds, because of something we “think” to be true based on stories we've heard from others or that we keep telling ourselves. That doesn't mean it doesn't feel impossible at times, or at least so very difficult, or that we don't face challenges or have to make constant changes to our plans based on how things are going that week, that day or even that hour.
But we do need to stop expecting that something can't be done or that we can't find a way to get something done simply because we've decided it can't. We have to let go of the “either/or” mentality that it's either kids and no travel, or travel and no kids, or that travel with kids is the worst, or that solo travel is only for a select few who aren't “attached” to partners, jobs or children.
All that this pigeonholing does is to create less flexibility, less freedom and less happiness overall because we don't look to these other “boxes” for ways that work for us, our relationships and our families. There are so many different ways to live, to travel, to parent, and I'd rather look to the possibilities rather than confining myself to ideas that only limit them.
I'm excited to become a mum, I'm excited to share my experiences of travelling with a child, I'm excited to continue sharing the ways I approach solo travel as a married woman and soon-to-be parent, and I'm excited to exchange ideas with you that can help us all to feel more uplifted and supported in the paths we take.
So to answer those questions about the future of this blog, Travel Solo Anyway is here to stay. If anything the topics I share about will only expand. While I will talk about (solo) travel with kids, I will also continue to write articles about solo travel in general and more about traveling solo while married or in a relationship.
There are all kinds of travel we do or can do throughout different stages and moments in our lives, and I want the range of posts here to reflect that. There isn't one uniform type of (solo) traveler and I hope that you can relate and find inspiration for your own Travel Solo Anyway lifestyle here.
Thank you, as always, for sharing in this journey and I hope that you're excited as I am about the impending arrival!
Why you might not like solo travel at first (in fact, you'll probably suck at it)
Should married couples take separate vacations?
Best Places to Travel Alone in Asia (for first-time solo travelers)
Allow me to get to know you better by sharing a little about yourself and the kinds of travel you like or would like to do in the comments.
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