Seventy Days in the South Pacific

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.

Feature photo by Alessandro Caproni via Creative Commons.
Island of Fakarava. Feature photo by Alessandro Caproni via Creative Commons.

So, what’s our plan? Travelling abroad with our daughter in her first year was a dream of ours even before she was born. Both my husband and I have a real passion for adventure travel, and we wanted to take full advantage of our daughter being free or cheap to travel with while she was a baby. When we were choosing destinations, we considered where it would be summer, where would be fairly stress-free in terms of public transportation, and where we could still get off the beaten track, but be closer to some comforts and amenities if we needed it. We decided on the South Pacific, starting in New Zealand, then hopping over to Niue, exploring various islands in French Polynesia (including Tahiti, Moorea, Huahine, Maupiti, Bora Bora, Tihekau and Fakarava), and concluding with a short stay in Hawaii. Check out my Instagram account for map.

The trip is a bit of an experiment on the professional side. While we’ll take a hiatus from some work contracts, this trip will be the first time we’re taking a “working” holiday, with Paul continuing with his photography and me writing from the road, which includes an assignment for Women’s Adventure Magazine. We’ll pitch to additional publications once we’ve done some field research.

Island Hopping with an Infant. Read about it on

We are experienced travellers, but preparations for this trip have been a bit more challenging than we’re accustomed to. “If it was just us travelling,” my husband said to me yesterday, “we could have left four days ago.” It’s true. If it was just us, we would have felt ready to leave at the drop of a hat. But this time we’re heading off with a baby, and we’ve got some extra things to think about. It’s nothing insurmountable, but some of the details can be overwhelming. When will we neat a car seat? What do we need for the plane? What will our sleeping arrangements be? How much driving should we tackle in a day? Which immunizations does she need? Every step of the way, you’ve got a two-foot-high person to think about. 

I look forward to the moment we’re in the air and there are no more details we can take care of.

For the most part, the trip is planned. Seventy days of travel are laid out fairly spectacularly in a spreadsheet to beat all spreadsheets. Both my husband and I are hyper-organized when it comes to travel. We leave the actual day-to-day up to some spontaneity, but like to know where we’re sleeping each night. And the trip we’ve planned would be a bit of a logistical nightmare if it were not for some planning beforehand. We’ll be sleeping in 24 different locations – campgrounds, holiday parks, hotels, guest houses and bungalows – and having this booked in advance will relieve a lot of pressure upon arrival.

I’ll be blogging as much as I can while we’re away, so I hope you’ll stay tuned. You can subscribe to receive posts directly in your email inbox by clicking on the blue Follow button below this post, or by tuning into my social media streams. I look forward to sharing our journey with you!

What are you most interested in hearing about from this trip?

Author: Meghan J. Ward

Meghan J. Ward is an outdoor, travel and adventure writer based in Banff, Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Meghan has written several books, as well as produced content for films, anthologies, blogs and some of North America’s top outdoor, fitness and adventure publications. She has a forthcoming travel memoir (Fall 2022), to published by Rocky Mountain Books.

15 thoughts

      1. Oh man! I bet walking means a whole other set of challenges. I forgot to ask – what are you planning to do about diapers? Buy along the way?

  1. Sounds like an exciting adventure! My hubby and I are expecting our first in June. I enjoy traveling and going on adventures. We initially thought no more adventures for us, at least in the near future. But your blog along with a few other blogs have encouraged us it can be done. Can’t wait to hear about your updates along the way. Have fun 🙂

  2. This sounds like a heck of an adventure so I hope your baby is a good sleeper; that’s what put me off traveling early on with young ones. I expect doors will be opened when you travel with a little one that wouldn’t otherwise be – and the New Zealanders are so friendly you’re bound to have a fantastic trip. Good luck with the flying part of the trip – may your daughter sleep for hours at a time!

    1. Either way, it’ll be an adventure! I’m also curious about how she’ll sleep but try not to be worried. So far, my daughter has been very adaptable in many situations. Let’s hope she gets the hang of sleeping when she needs to. 🙂

  3. I’d like to hear about all the logistics of bringing a baby (how to handle planes, car seats, strollers, needing naps, diapers, packing lists). That’s what I find most daunting about travel with baby. I’d also love to beat how you made the trip affordable as I’d always thought travel in the South Pacific was $$$$. Have a great trip!

    1. Thanks for your ideas, Sarah! I will try to cover those at some point or another. “Affordable” is a relative term, but I know what you mean. French Polynesia is a collection of many, many islands. If you only visit the most expensive ones like Bora Bora, then yes, it is rather unaffordable. But even on Bora Bora you can find guesthouses and campsites! I’ll be writing all about that kind of thing for Women’s Adventure Magazine.

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