The birth of a baby brings a lot of responsibilities and no mother can think of venturing outdoors for few days. However, Karen Edwards, a 31 year old mother of a ten week old baby made the most of her maternity leave.
1. Travel trips with the family
Karen Edwards, along with her partner Shaun Bayes and child Esme, redefined the concept of maternity leave when she headed on a travel trip. She wrote on her blog that it could be safely said that she did not have a typical maternity leave plan though she was on leave.
Karen has completed several road trips, has been on long ferry journeys and has taken many long and small flight hauls in the last few days. Many more are expected until the time she completes her quota of maternity leave.
This she completed with her baby in tow and Karen describes herself as a travel freak who always desired to see as many countries as possible during her lifetime.
2. Travel freak girl
The craze and love of Karen for travel can be gauged from the fact that when she came across the fact that she was pregnant, she was determined to maintain her status quo and decided that she would not let this become a limiting factor for her travel plans.
She revealed her plans in the month of November 2014 and her family initially believed that Karen had lost her mental balance. Over the last ten months, this family of three has travelled over the world.
3. An uneasy decision to take
Karen is a citizen of Ireland but lived in London at the time when her baby was born. When Esme was only three months old, Karen along with her husband decided to travel and they did sell off their car to fund the trip to some extent. Karen rented their home and also packed off their belongings to be left in care of others while they travelled the world during her maternity leave.
It was not easy to manage things as it is always difficult to travel with children and that too with a three week old baby alongside. Perhaps, Esme would be the youngest child to have travelled multiple countries while still being in the cradle and she will definitely relish the fact when she grows older.
4. A trip well deserved
This holds true in case of Karen as she has visited many countries ever since she embarked on the trip. Since leaving London, the family has travelled through Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Karen, however, had words of wisdom for Esme despite the fact that it is not always easy to keep a watch on the young baby. She said that Esme was a well behaved child and they kept her in the harness all the while.
5. Some challenges
The only regret Karen had was that Esme could not socialize with other children they met on the trip. This happened as Esme was too small and it was not possible to leave her in company of others, even when they came across such families on trip.
However, Karen said that she was proud of the fact that her young baby could experience so many cultures at a young age and that it will definitely leave its mark on Esme’s memory.
The difficult part however was that being with a baby always meant that Shaun and Karen could not leave her in another room and they always had to stay in one room along with Esme as she was quiet young.
Esme also did not have too many toys to play as it was never easy to carry all her belongings during the travel time.
6. The journey is not yet over
Karen is a nurse by profession and she documented her travel experience in her blog and also shared her pictures of the days on Instagram. The couple returned after a 10 month trip by the end of 2015 and Esme who is 17 months now, will now be travelling to New Zealand, Cambodia and Thailand. A lucky girl as Esme is, she would be thanking her parents as she grows old.
Even as you read this, Karen would be hopping in her next flight or taking a nap on a beach in Auckland while some of you might be busy changing diapers and fighting for your maternity leave extension. One gutsy mom she is!