Pregnancy announcement

Exciting news: The Grown Up Gap Year is growing!

It feels very strange to be making a pregnancy announcement in the middle of a global pandemic. But times are strange right now, so we are where we are.

In just over two months time, all being well, we will welcome our second little adventurer into our family. And right now I am feeling all the feelings.

Being pregnant at a time like this is quite weird. We have been in isolation for around six weeks now and my growing bump has only been seen by family and friends via video link.

I’d imagined these last few months as a family of three would be filled with special trips with our little adventurer. Instead our world has become limited to the four walls of our house and our garden, punctuated once a day by a walk around the block.

As a family that is always out and about this was somewhat strange to get used to at first. And yet, after a bumpy start, we are now settled into our little routine. We are getting to spend way more time with Mr A, we are enjoying hours pottering around in the garden and I have even become a mother who crafts (albeit badly). 

Mostly we’re just thankful to be safe and healthy and able to stay at home. A luxury we know that many others, particularly key workers on the front line, do not have.

Pregnant in front of wisteria
Preparing for change at The Grown Up Gap Year

The future of The Grown Up Gap Year

However obviously this fast-changing pandemic is making us think about the future more. Although I’m trying to keep my stress levels down by not engaging with the news too much, I can’t help thinking about the world my baby is going to be born into.

Mr A and I have already discussed how our attitude to travel might change when all of this is over. That, in turn, has been making me think about the future of The Grown Up Gap Year.

I’ve always wanted this blog to be a place of support and encouragement for people who are thinking about taking a career break or sabbatical, no matter what stage of their life they’re at. I began it when I was travelling the world solo and continued to write it after I met Mr A. So it only felt natural to carry on when my little adventurer came along and slotted in so easily to our way of exploring the world.

Like many bloggers who write for love, rather than money, my feelings towards The Grown Up Gap Year ebb and flow. There are some days when it feels like just another responsibility to add to the never-ending pile. Something to feel guilty over if I haven’t written a post for a while. Or fret about if I put something personal out into the world.

But on other days I love the freedom of being able to write for myself. As a freelance journalist and social media manager, so much of my time is spent making other people’s ideas come to life that sometimes I miss being able to talk about whatever I want.

I also feel that my little corner of the Internet has become an online diary of my life over the last nine years. I’ve never been very good at keeping a paper diary, so being able to read about my past adventures, especially those I’ve taken with Mr A and my little adventurer, feels very special. 

So I hope that I’ll be able to keep going with this blog in one way or another. 

Mum and daughter stand in garden
Trying to savour these moments

I don’t know when it will happen, but I hope that I’ll be able to travel in some capacity with my little family.

However, as I mentioned previously, I think the way in which we travel will probably change going forward.

Here are a few of the things I’m hoping for:

We’ll travel more in the UK

We’ve always enjoyed travelling in the UK and I think once our world begins to expand a little the first places we’ll choose to visit will be nearby.

We’ll definitely be going to see family and friends, who we’re missing so much right now. Plus, I’m hoping we might be able to take a couple of staycations to make up for the trips we’ve had to cancel over the past couple of months, including our babymoon in Albania.

As much as I’ve always loved travelling abroad, I want to foster in my little adventurers a love of their home country. I want them to know that there is beauty and magic to be found in the place that they call home.

We’ll continue to have microadventures

If there’s one thing our daily walk has taught us it’s that there is always something new to discover, even if it’s directly on your own doorstep.

Microadventures are a great way to get out and about without having to spend loads of money.

We love exploring our local area and I already have a list of places I can’t wait to visit once our movements aren’t as restricted.

We also really enjoy camping. It’s such a cheap way to have a holiday with a family and I love the freedom it provides. So I’m hoping that we’ll be able to do more of that once our new little adventurer comes along.

We’ll try to ensure that our money goes to local businesses

This is something we’ve always tried to do in the past. But I think now more than ever it will be independent businesses that need our support.

Whether it’s here in the UK, or somewhere abroad, small family businesses are going to find it tough to continue in the flagging economies which look likely to follow this pandemic. So we’ll be trying to ensure that we book directly with businesses, eat locally and use local tour guides.

We’ll (hopefully) still have some big adventures

In my last post I said that I think we will travel more mindfully in the future. I’m still hoping that we will be able to have some big adventures as a family of four. But I think that these will be more carefully planned and thought through.

We’d love to take a big once-in-a-lifetime trip like Taylor Hearts Travel has recently done to New Zealand with her two little ones.

And one day I hope to be able to take them to Japan. This country stole our hearts on our honeymoon and we always dream about returning.

So, for now, The Grown Up Gap Year will continue and I hope that this will remain a place where I can document our family’s adventures, as well as encourage other people to pursue theirs.

If there’s anything you would like to see on The Grown Up Gap Year, then please do let me know in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post you can read more about microadventures here, read some tips about camping with a baby here and find out more about travelling during your maternity leave here.

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