Baby, baby, baby, baby — and travel — on my mind
I’ve always said I wanted children, but it wasn’t something that was at the forefront of my life plan. Even when I was 16, I’d say I wasn’t having children until I was 30. Then when I turned 28, 30 sounded way too close, and the new age for me having a baby became 35.
So it came as quite a shock to me when a few months before I turned 32, after getting back from a 6-week summer Europe trip and a subsequent work trip to Ireland for TBEX – both of which were amazing and had me more in love with traveling than ever – that the little baby itch I’d at one point figured I’d address around 34 or 35 suddenly became an all-consuming “I want a baby. Yesterday.” Seemingly overnight, I went from being travel-obsessed to baby-obsessed.
I should clarify. The travel obsession didn’t go away, but the baby longing became much louder.
This change of heart came as a bit of a surprise to my husband as well.
“I know we talked about going to Cambodia and Vietnam this spring, but I don’t think I can wait until next summer to get pregnant,” I explained to him as he looked at me dubiously, particularly since “next summer” was also burgeoning news to him.
A far off part of my brain was like, “Whaaaaat? You’re not doing a trip? So you can have a baby? You are aware you’re only 31, right? You have plenty of years to still have babies. This is stupid. Stop being stupid.”
But I wanted a baby. I was ready to be a mom. Heart overruled brain. I reiterated my longing for a baby to Tom a few weeks later.
He still didn’t take me seriously. (I should note that while both of us were terrified to have children and give up our independence, I was the one who always pushed the baby timeline back further in our discussions.)
Then came an invite from some friends to join in on a group trip for Oktoberfest 2015 followed by wine tasting in the south of France. Now that our Machu Picchu trip was booked and right around the corner, this was the very trip that was holding our top spot of travel destinations to go to next. My baby resolve wavered. But just for a moment. I shook my head at Tom.
This was around the time we sat down for a long, serious talk. By the time I turned 32, Project Baby was about to commence.
Amusingly, this came about soon after our return from Peru where we hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. When asked by people over the past couple years when Tom and I would start a family, my response was always a non-committal “after we visit Machu Picchu.” Perhaps I should take my joking comments more seriously.
However, when we finally booked those plane tickets to Peru back in 2013 I wasn’t ready for that baby yet. Earlier that year, right around the time I turned 31, I quit my job to pursue freelance travel writing and marketing full time and it was going exceedingly well. I was able to travel more than I ever had before and had the independent location career I’d always longed for. I definitely wasn’t ready to slow down my career or put travel on hold.
But call it biological clock ticking or human nature’s need to procreate proclaiming its control or a desire to see a miniature version of my wonderful husband running around, whether it was the right time or not right time, getting pregnant was suddenly at the top of my to-do list…over Cambodia…over France…and over every other destination in the world. Tom and I figured out a plan to ensure my freelancing career wouldn’t suffer. Hurdles were lifted. Project Baby was a go.
To both Tom’s and my surprise and delight, getting pregnant happened quicker than we expected and Baby T will be here this winter. We’re so excited. (Ok, in full disclosure, a bit terrified, too, but mostly excited and happy!) And though we know our traveling style is going to begin to change (good-bye wine tasting weekends in Santa Ynez Valley), travel is still going to be a major priority for our growing family and we’re already planning on making our kiddo an international traveler next summer. (Tom says maybe. I say definitely.)
I can’t wait to start showing this little one the world!