On Monday we arrived home after spending five days in Melbourne. It was 1am by the time I pulled into the driveway. Searching for my house keys while Lucy was in the back being sad was stressful. Taking the last flight home used to be a way of ensuring every moment was squeezed out of the day. These days I question the sanity of that decision. The keys were found after a text message from my travelling buddy. They were in the back seat with Lucy. We had used them as a distraction after she grew tired of all the other toys in the car. Nothing is sacred when travelling with a toddler. All resources can and should be utilised to maintain everyone’s sanity.
My first real trip with Lucy was to Bali when she was four months old. It was my third trip there. I find a level of comfort returning to familiar places. The first time I went I didn’t expect to love it. It was just cheaper than the Gold Coast for a friend’s belated 30th. This trip was a designated girl’s trip with my gluten intolerant friend. The food intolerance was an important factor in deciding where to go. Dining with a coeliac limits dining options. Thankfully Bali, especially Canggu, has unlimited choices for those with food intolerances. That’s one of the fabulous things about hipsters, they do great food and because most of them have food intolerances, there’s options for everyone. We ate our way through our holiday while adhering to the napping schedule of my infant. It was glorious.
The only downside of travelling with such a young baby in Bali was the amount of attention it attracted from locals. They couldn’t get enough of her. Part of this was because Balinese babies do not leave home before six months. They also don’t touch the ground of the first three months of their lives. Lucy on the other hand was an international traveller who ate dirt for breakfast. The fascination with Lucy was a blessing and a curse. She invited real conversations with locals and travellers alike. But sometimes I just wanted to explore in silence. The time we spent in Ubud was particularly intense.
It was in Bali that I realised how much I loved Lucy. The day I took Lucy home from hospital was the scariest day of my life. Here was this little human that I was solely responsible for. Going through the pregnancy this was the thing that scared me more than the expectation of giving birth. The first three months I was in survival mode. Other new mothers were posting gushy feelings across their social media. I felt more like a lioness. There were no great moments of overwhelming love. Just a deep feeling of protection. God save anyone that does anything to hurt or even inconvenience my baby. Being away from the requirements of normal life showed me how much I enjoyed Lucy’s company. Which is weird since she wasn’t talking, eating, moving about or any of those interesting things. One day it just hit me how magical she was and how much I truly loved her.
The second international trip we took was to New Zealand. This time it was just us. Lucy had just turned one, had discovered how good real food is and was a confident explorer. We concentrated our time between driving, hiking and trying as many different types of ice creams as we could. Side note, food is a huge part of my travel. Sightseeing is what you do to kill time between eating.
Taking a trip that was just us meant I could be selfish. There was no need to share her with anyone else. I wasn’t distracted by everyday routines, chores or the other things that can take our attention away. Coming back home I’ve brought us a double swag so that we can escape camping on the nights when I want to get away but don’t have to cash or time to go somewhere more glamourous. I figure it’s a shame to explore other countries without making the effort to check out our own backyard as well.