Travelling as a new parent: nappies, sleepless nights and wanderlust

by on 19th December, 2013

Holidays and travel as a new parent

Kat has returned to work after maternity leave and looks forward to her new lifestyle with her husband Dave and their lovely wee daughter, Lina.


Kat writes:

“It will change your life, they told me.

And how right they were.

In February my daughter Lina was born and I became a first-time mum. A wonderful feeling and a bit of a shock at the same time, no doubt about that.

Little Lina “has a good set of lungs”, as even the midwife remarked. And she made herself heard quite a lot in the first few months. “She must take after her mother”, her dad said.


Bags under the eyes, not packed for travels

Months passed and Lina became more at home in the world, it seemed. And she turned into a delightful bundle of cheerfulness, energy and a whole lot of mischief. Before I knew it she was waving, clapping, walking – and keeping me on my toes from morning till evening.

For me it was the biggest change of my life. Instead of bagging munros I was pushing a pram through our local park. Daily. Instead of socialising over a glass of wine I was drinking coffee at playgroups. Also daily. And I don’t even want to mention the sleepless nights.

But one thing hasn’t changed. I still long for adventure.


Travelling with Lina

This is year our adventures took us to see my family in Germany and to the magical west coast of Scotland. The best investment (after Lina’s passport) has been our child carrier, which is wonderfully light (so my husband tells me) and allows us to take our little lady up and over hills.

The walks have become shorter, but they still allow us to get out and about and do what we love. And for me that’s all that matters. I am happy to sacrifice sleep, learn a thing or two about patience (not my forte!) and put Lina’s interests above my own.

But I wouldn’t want to lose my wanderlust.


More to share

If there is one thing that I have learned while working at Andean Trails, it’s just that. You can travel with a little one. I have a good example of a travelling mum sitting here in the office with me. (Step forward Kathy Jarvis and son Lewis).

And a whole lot of family friendly trips to choose from. Yes, it will be less about me alone and more about making it work for Lina, too. But it will still be a chance to explore and enjoy.

I can’t wait to take Lina to the countries that I love, especially as she gets older. South America is such a child-friendly place and I love the idea of Lina seeing different cultures from an early age.


Back to work, back to travel

Last week I returned to the office, full of fresh energy and keen to take my mind off nappies for a few hours and instead dedicate myself to planning your travels and liaising with our partners abroad. And guess what?

The wanderlust is back. I can’t help but wonder where the road may take the Dougal family next. Ecuador maybe? Argentina? Or back to Peru?

Wherever it may be, it will be a whole new experience. But I think I’m getting quite fond of all these new experiences lately.

So here is to 2014 and some new adventures ahead!

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