Travel normally offers me an introspective time away – a break from everyday demands that allows me to do some reflecting on my life. For the most part, it is an inward journey through my thoughts, peppered with conversations with travel mates when the time is right. In addition to the joy and richness that comes from exploring new places, or challenging myself physically, this opportunity to reflect is one of the reasons I enjoy travelling, and make it a priority in my life.
It hits us from time to time just how travel with a baby is different. This morning, I couldn’t help but think of the first episode of Breaking Bad when at 2am I looked over at Paul, who was sitting in his underwear, half-awake, cutting grapes into quarters. Given some context, it made total sense: baby, still on Mountain Time, was up for some playtime and breakfast.
I don’t think I have ever felt so scattered trying to prepare for a trip. I say “trying” because it feels like a bit of an uphill battle. Babies are sneaky little creatures. No matter which tactics you use to distract them, they somehow manage to undo any progress on the packing front. Items laid out neatly on the bed end up on the floor, under the dresser, in the hallway. I wouldn’t be surprised if Maya managed to make some items disappear altogether by snapping her sticky little fingers.
Outside Magazine called her the “Mother on the Mountain”. Back in November 2013, I had the chance to interview The North Face athlete, Hilaree O’Neill, about the ongoing balancing act between her career as a ski mountaineer and as a mother of two young boys. What’s it like to climb Everest with two young kids back at home? How does she manage risk? What lessons has she learned over the years?