Some of you may have noticed that it’s been a little quiet on the blog recently and I can only apologise and hope that you’ll forgive me when I share my news…
You see change is a-coming to The Grown Up Gap Year household, as we have our own little explorer on the way.
Yep, I’m six and a half months pregnant.
And even writing that down still doesn’t quite feel real. I cannot believe that in just a short few months Mr A and I will have a whole new person in our lives, someone else to share our adventures and explore the world with.
As any mum-to-be will do, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how much my life is going to change when I have a baby. Some of it I absolutely can’t wait for – cue the non-stop baby cuddles! – and some of it scares me to death: sleep deprivation, constant crying and the small matter of being responsible for another human being for the rest of my life to name but a few.
However, despite all of the warnings and well-meaning advice I’ve received about becoming a mum, I don’t think anything can truly prepare you for when your baby is born. But one of the areas of my life that I know is really going to change is travelling. No more impromptu weekends away, no more rolling up into town without any idea about where we’re going to stay that night and certainly no more 30 hour bus rides. So while I’m still hoping we’ll be able to travel with our little one, and brilliant bloggers like Mama Ayla’s Adventures and Taylor Hearts Travel are totally inspiring me, I know that future trips are going to be very different.
While part of me was looking forward to all of the changes ahead, the other part felt quite scared because travelling is what has defined me for so long. What if I become a mum and I lose the sense of wanderlust that has always been so central to who I am? What if I’m no longer able to talk with such passion about the places I’ve been, that I’m able to persuade complete strangers to book their own trips there? What if I stop wanting to explore new places and meet new people?
But the more I thought about it the more I realised this was a natural progression for me and The Grown Up Gap Year. I started travelling when I was 19 years old and I’m about to turn 35 (gulp). Over the years I travelled solo, with friends and on group expeditions. I climbed mountains, jumped out of planes, watched sunsets and swam in oceans around the world.
This blog began as a result of my 30b430 trip, which saw me travelling alone through nine different countries, completing the trip of a lifetime. Then I met Mr A and my adventures became about couple travel. Suddenly I had a partner in crime, someone else with the same spirit of adventure, who would hike up a volcano in Chile, hang out in a weird Spanish spa and break into a Japanese guesthouse with me (a very long story!). And I love it. I love having someone to plan trips with, to point things out to, to catch his eye and grin across a crowded restaurant in a country where we don’t speak the language, knowing that he’s loving the same craziness I am. Yes, the way I travelled changed, but only for the better.
And soon we will have another little person to join our gang and I hope that we’ll be able to show them the world too. To take this tiny being who is growing inside me to places so beautiful we thought they only existed in storybooks, to meet total strangers who become friends and to see all of the joy this planet has to offer.
So my little future explorer, we can’t wait to meet you in two-and-a-half months, Because I have a feeling that we’re about to begin the biggest adventure yet!