A while ago, I wrote about the novel experience of plotting my moves with the added challenge of accounting for baby girl.
The whole advance planning thing felt a bit awkward at the time, but to be honest, it well paid off. Two trips went pretty much flawlessly, and I am relieved to have an apparently budding international traveller on my hands.
As it turns out, traveling with a short one has its perks too. Like priority boarding and bulkhead seats (hip hip hurray for leg room!). Being personally escorted to our seats on the Eurostar (only on the Belgian side though, and after I had the audacity to sneak into the appropriate waiting area). My absolute fave was being instantaneously waved away from the snaking customs queues upon arrival in the United States and being allowed to go through the diplomats’ lane. Loved that. Just never mind we didn’t look particularly ‘diplomatic’.
And it felt great to be going places again! Enjoyed the experience as much as ever. Yes, you do things slightly differently. You might take longer to get out the door and be home earlier to do dinner and bedtime. You may prefer staying in flats rather than fancy hotels because you like the added flexibility of having access to food whenever it suits, and a fridge that works and is bigger than your purse. But really, what you do in many ways is an extension of what you do at home, so things like dinner and bedtime are hardly novel, and wild party nights haven’t really been on the agenda for a while either.
Most importantly for us, it meant having a relaxed time together with friends and as a family, as well as doing things that we might not otherwise have experimented with at home. Like settling the girl to sleep in her buggy at bedtime before wheeling her into a busy restaurant to celebrate our friend’s birthday. Or having nights out, both as a couple and the ever-essential girly evening.
So the only thing I have to get over is the fact that I am hauling more luggage than I would have ever deemed acceptable in my previous life (cue raised eyebrows from my fabulous New York friend when we pitched up with three suitcases and three pieces of hand luggage). But that’s a small price to pay.
I have to of course acknowledge that my experience thus far is only based on two trips but I am choosing to be optimistic. After all, we’ve now covered various new modes of transportation (train, plane, taxi, tram), crossed time zones and done lots of naps and nappies on the move. It will all be a different ballgame when the girl starts moving, and wanting more entertainment than being carried around all day, but I figure we’ll cross that bridge when we crawl to it.
Of course the side effect of feeding your travel bug is that it gets bigger. Far from being appeased with being nourished after long months of abstinence, it wants more. Depending on how you look at it, that’s either a good or a bad thing.
I think it’s bril. Rob’s still thinking…