15/02/2016 06:37 GMT | Updated 14/02/2017 05:12 GMT

Have Child, Will Travel

If you were to listen to all the advice that people offload on you when you become a parent, you would go insane. From 'sleep when baby sleeps' to 'don't buy more than you need, as you won't use it' - I'm glad I had the sense to override these tiresome tales of woe.

But above all, there's one piece of advice I'm glad I ignored, and that was to avoid going on holiday with a newborn. For some reason, everyone felt the need to tell me what a mistake it would be, how hard it would be to travel with an entourage of luggage and how my little boy would really hate being in a hot climate. Well they were wrong, wrong, wrong.


It's just as well that I like to do the opposite of what everyone tells me. So contrary to the advice bestowed upon me, in my first year of Motherhood I invested in a Trunki, got Boo's passport photo done (unavoidably looking like one of the Mitchell brothers) and booked a holiday every four months. In his first year alone, little Boo visited America, Scotland and Italy, which worryingly, is more than his Grandparents have in their entire lifetime. But you know what, each holiday was better than the last. The flights weren't stressful, and in fact the cabin crew and passengers were adorable, the heat was manageable, and my son was so wickle, that it was just like travelling with your favourite teddy bear... albeit one that likes to poo a lot.

Travel broadens the mind - it also reminds you that having a baby is just the next stage in your life, and shouldn't stop you from doing everything you want to. Adopt that attitude and you'll see that your baby too will go with the flow. Get stressed or anxious - then you'll pass this on to little one.

So when I read this week the controversy around Karen Evans and her partner deciding to take their ten month old baby 'travelling' around the world with them, I felt a lot of love and compassion for them. What a fantastic and liberating thing to do - I can't think of a better way of spending paternity leave.

The couple in hand were brave enough to pack their bags and take to the road when their daughter was just ten weeks old. By her own admission, the Mother is 'travel mad', but you kind of have to admire that kind of lust for life, it's rare to see.


If anything I'm rather jealous. I'd rather be trekking around the rainforest looking at the origins of coffee beans, than sipping a week coffee at the local church playgroup on a wet Wednesday morning. And I would most definitely rather be taking selfies with baby to the backdrop of the ocean, than the germ-ridden indoor pool in Bracknell (complete with too many Dads with hairy backs)!

In her blog, Karen said; "I guess you could say I have not had your typical maternity leave" - most definitely not. Even though I love to travel, she has truly inspired the wanderlust within. If a new parent with a ten month old baby can backpack in Bali, then I can definitely flee to five-star Fiji... well, I never said I'd be slumming it now did I!

Sophia is the Editor of leading parent blog Milk Drunk Diary, follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @milkdrunkdiary.