Travel with a toddler can create enough stresses on its own. We found our last trip was made easier by adjusting our travel style and bringing along items that alleviated the draining effects of caring for a busy little toddler while away from home. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it definitely highlights our favourite items.
Seven years ago I met a couple camping on the island of Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, with their three-year-old. It sparked the idea that as parents we could venture off the beaten track with our kids – something I hadn’t really encountered personally before. That spark of an idea has come to fruition in our own journey as parents. Here’s that story.
You can look at it as comical, a “learning experience”, or just downright frustrating. No matter who you look at it, it seems we’ve reached one of the toughest stages as an outdoor family: getting out in winter conditions with a 22-month-old. If Maya’s favourite phrases these days are any indication (I do it. I walk. I don’t want to. No.), we’ve gotten about as far as the curb in front of our house and the “adventure” is already over.
Hello dear readers! I’m sorry I disappeared for a little while. Life with a toddler is busier than I have ever experienced before. Busier than a full course load and 30+ rehearsal hours a week when I was studying theatre at Queen’s University. Busier than when I was working three jobs at the same time so that I could afford my rent here in Banff. Busier, much busier, than life with a newborn.
What’s on the menu today? I’ve been thinking again about the logistics involved in being a part-time working and outdoorsy mama. I first wrote about it in The Transition to Parenthood: 5 Things I Didn’t Consider. And as we’ve entered toddlerhood, I have discovered more things I didn’t consider. People seemed to have appreciated the first post in this series, so why not a second? Here we go.
I have been blogging here on adventurousparents.com since May 2012. Interestingly, I didn’t become a parent until 10 months later, and I started this website before I even got pregnant. Of course the topic was on my mind before we decided to start a family. In fact, our concern about giving up our lives as outdoor adventurers was the catalyst for this whole project.
Over the years I have used this website to reflect on the transition to parenthood, to dig into tough topics (some controversial) and to give my readers a window into what this transition actually looks like. These posts have always proved to be the most popular, perhaps because they are as honest as my writing comes online. Honesty and rawness resonate with people, and help others to open up. I have greatly appreciated the discussion that follows.
These posts speak to the highs and lows of parenthood as someone who also loves outdoor adventure.
Here’s the scenario I left you with in Part 2 of this series: Back in August my husband went on his first big trip since we had our daughter – an ascent of Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Prior to leaving he told me, “This trip could very well be about more than just climbing Mt. Robson. I’ll see how I feel about being disconnected from my wee family up there.”
I left you wondering how things went, and asked: Would he be able to separate himself from his emotions during the climb? Decide it is just too much for him right now, and give up on climbing big peaks for awhile?
I feared that the little one was not born to be wild and that we were imposing our way of travelling on her. As it turned out, my fear was baseless and our trip was a great experience for all three of us. I’d love to share some findings of how we approached different aspects of the trip to make it a success.
Prior to our last trip I read as much as I could about other parents who travelled abroad with a baby. I’m now convinced that the ones who inspired me the most probably had a different kind of baby with them. These parents managed to make things look easy, spending six months or even a year away from home on adventurous expeditions or bouncing around like they were backpackers fresh out of high school. Either they left their real challenges out of the picture or they had miracle babies who slept anywhere, anytime.
I wish I’d had a more accurate picture of what adventurous travel as a young family really looks like before embarking on the last trip. Frankly, I wish I could have read posts like the ones on this website, which is what has motivated me to keep writing.