Por Camila Londoño
10 febrero, 2016

Ella es probablemente una de las mochileras más jóvenes del mundo.

Justo después de que su hija Esmé naciera, Karen Edwards de 31 años y su esposo Shaun Bayes de Londres, decidieron empacar unas cuantas maletas para recorrer varios lugares del mundo. La pequeña tan sólo tenía 10 semanas cuando emprendieron vuelo para explorar Asia, Australia y Nueva Zelanda en un viaje de 10 meses. Empacaron una maleta, repartieron sus pertenencias, vendieron su carro, rentaron su casa en Londres y Shaun renunció a su trabajo.

I've heard so many people say I can't do this or I can't do that with a baby … Ok .. Traveling may be slightly more restrictive with a little baby but it still very possible to have a great time. The only difference for us was we had to take things a little more slowly than normal and you may have to take turns with activities such as diving. This little angel has clocked up ten countries in her one year of life … She seemed to love all the different sites and sounds on a daily basis.. Wondering where to go next now that we've been settled home for a few weeks…. I really miss the sun and beach …. #travel #travelwithbaby #travelmadmum #adventure #backpacking #instagood #instatravel #instapassport #holiday #jetset #travelgram #wanderlust #wonderlust #familytravel #travelwithkids #picoftheday #traveltheworld #babywearing #flying #welltraveled #jetstar #balibound #brisbane #ergobaby @ergobaby

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So excited to let you know I have my travel blog up and running. Please check it out at travelmadmum.com This day next week we leave New Zealand to embark on a seven week backpacking trip through SE Asia with our ten-month old girl. Needless to say, many people think we are a wee bit nuts to do so much travelling with a baby. Whilst our friends without children funnily feel the opposite. Classic comments so far include: “So good your not letting your baby rule your life” “My friend can’t even go for lunch but the baby is loosing his …. for a sleep” I guess from my perspective this backpacking trip is going to be quite different to the one I did when I was 25, young single and care free!..I think she will rule it, well a bit anyway!… All I want to try and do is incorporate her into our way of life. We both love travelling and can’t see why we should stop or change our lives. I am confident the different sites, smells and sounds will stimulate all of her senses. She gets stir crazy just as much as I do when we sit around the house for too long so I am sure this can only be good for her. Time is closing in on us, so we are trying desperately to get all three of our belongings for the trip into ONE BACKPACK!! Yes just one. I have to say not one person I have spoke to believes we can manage travelling with one backpack. I really want to prove them wrong (awful personality trait) so I must do it! I have a few tricks up my sleeve which I will share later, not many, so on that note: What are your magical tricks for travelling light and compact?? #travelmadmum #backpacking #travelingwithababy #southeastasia #excited #travel

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So the day has arrived! The start of a 7 week adventure. One ten-month old baby, two adults, one backpack (supposedly), six countries and ten plane journeys.. I have had so many people ask why the hell bother getting everything into one backpack?  Good question.. literally every time I have travelled I have brought clothes I never wore on the trip. The other issue is when you have a baby that decides to have a wobbly it's not ideal to be tied up with several pieces of luggage. I for one, get myself into a tizzy. We are going to be moving around a lot so it needs to be comfortable and stress free. I would be lying if I told you it's been easy to get everything for the three of us into one backpack. We have had to be extremely ruthless and a little resourceful.  For those of you interested in how we did it: 1.We worked on the basis of 5-6 outfits and baby has about ten. 2. We used cloth draw string bags to section our respective belongings. Otherwise if you are looking for one item you will end up pulling the whole pack apart and that would be a right pain in the backside. 3. All products shampoo, SPF, moisturiser etc etc have been decanted into small reusable plastic pouches with a tap. We are considering all products unisex. I don't mind smelling like a man for a few weeks! Haha.. This saved a heap of space. 4. I searched high and low for compact light weight comfortable baby paraphernalia. Keep an eye on travelmadmum.com for reviews of our teeny weeny cot, compact buggy that also holds the car seat, teeny feeding chair and baby carrier.  5. We have brought a vacuum bag. We haven't actually used it yet but we will definitely vacuum pack our warmer clothes once we get to warmer temperatures. That will also give us a bit of space if we want to buy anything along the way. 6. I sabotaged my huge make-up bag by popping eyeshadow out of the larger boxes and making little protective pouches. We do have a couple of other miscellaneous pieces of hand luggage consisting of a bag of toys and a nappy bag. Please feel free to spread the word about this blog with those that might be interested by liking and sharing. #travel #travelmadmum #travelingwithababy #backpacking

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Su familia dijo que estaba loca pero los planes siguieron…

Como Karen creció en Irlanda, esa fue una de sus primeras paradas. Seguido de Singapur, Australia, Indonesia, Malasia, Vietnam, Taiwán y Hong Kong. 

I am so glad the erupting volcano did not stop us from getting to Bali. The sporadic spews of ash over the last week had been bringing air traffic to a halt. Luckily we were not affected! This place provides a sensory overload for any adult, child or baby. How can I take you here without actually being here? Imagine: The burning smell of incense everywhere you go. This seems to make me feel automatically very relaxed. The perfect warm temperature. Unless you exert yourself too much, making it the perfect excuse to take it easy and have a couple of the local bintang beers. The beautiful beaches with perfectly formed waves. I, the person that does not put there head under the water, very badly attempted surfing today! Needless to say I was tossed around like a rag doll by the waves. So I have a bikini that fits fine and also had my hair tied up. However , no matter what, I consistently emerged from the water with one boob out and hair all over my face. Haha.. How do these surfer chica's always look immaculate? Luckily I was hollered to my baby watching from the sideline that had just woke up and felt the need to intervene with the chaos going on in front of her eyes. The beautiful Balinese people. Their warm smile and friendly attitude. They seem to just LOVE baby's. The food is just so yum! An explosion of lemongrass, lime, spice and all things nice is how I can explain it simply. My biggest concern about travelling through these countries with a baby was related to the food. Especially as she is extremely fussy and egg allergic. What the hell would she eat? I can safely say she has eaten more over the last two days than ever before. Our small selection of toys have become null in-void. Instead she is being stimulated by the hustle-bustle of the narrow cobbled streets, the local people waving and showing their affection, the beautiful scenery and endless activities. Here's to another eight days in this awesome place. #travelmadmum #travel #baby #travelingwithababy #backpacking #amazed #bali #balibaby #padma #bintang

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Very sad to be leaving Ubud today. Nestled in the heart of Bali's jungle it has so much to discover and explore. It is a nice place to be with a baby. We visited monkey forest and wandered around beautiful rice terraces hidden behind the bustling streets. The streets are littered with little shops selling colourful dresses, scarves and harem pants (proper mum attire), beautiful home furnishings and much more. So many nice places to eat, it is ridiculously affordable for good food. There is definitely a hippy vibe going on as it is a big hub for yogis. There is an abundance of places to practice. This is the only activity I feel I missed out on because of clingy baby.. As you can see she likes to stay close! Turned out to be quite helpful as not a great place for a buggy. If you are thinking of coming to Bali, I highly recommend Ubud. Now for the next part of our adventure .. Nusa Lembongen Island here we come .. #travel #travelingwithababy #travelmadmum #adventure #backpacking #instagood #instatravel #picoftheday #instapassport #holiday #jetset #travelgram #wanderlust #familytravel #livingthedream #baby #babywearing #bali #ubud #indonesia #jungle

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Karen explica esa foto: “Siento que tengo que explicar esta foto… Estábamos sacando una foto familiar… El mono estaba encima de papá porque él tenía una banana… Nunca esperé que saltara encima de la bebé… Afortunadamente estaba siendo amigable… Una foto divertida para no compartir… Jaja… Puedo imaginar que esto podría horrorizar a muchas mamás…”. 

Esmé, que aún tomaba leche materna, tuvo que ser vacunada antes de partir y en Nueva Zelanda.

This is the view from the steepest cable car ride in the world -Langkawi island, Malaysia. Crazy how baby's seem not to fear heights. I was definitely feeling an adrenaline rush when the cross winds started blowing, just as we were climbing up a sheer rock face. This island definitely has a totally different vibe from other parts of SE Asian destinations. Beautiful coast line and a place with lots of potential. The easiest way I can explain it is it lacks character, charm and that welcome feeling you get in other places. I think we may have been a bit spoilt in Bali with their help and love for baby's! #travel #travelingwithababy #travelmadmum #adventure #backpacking #instagood #instatravel #picoftheday #instapassport #holiday #jetset #travelgram #wanderlust #familytravel #baby #mumblogger #langkawi #malaysia #cablecar

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Gracias al pago que recibía durante su licencia y un trabajo realizado por Shaun en nueva Zelanda, pudieron costear el viaje (14.000 dólares).

Además, Antes de irse de Londres, aseguraron los vuelos aprovechando que ambos recibían un gran salario. También utilizaron millas de avión.

Después de los 10 meses, volvieron a Londres. Esmé tiene ahora 17 meses y ha sido un reto para ellos entretenerla tanto como en los viajes.

“La parte más rara del viaje fue volver a casa. Esmé no había vivido en un lugar estable por mucho tiempo porque siempre estábamos cambiando de hoteles y cuartos. Es también duro encontrar cosas para ella en Londres”.

-Karen-

This sounds crazy but today is the first day (after a year) I have really felt like I was on proper maternity leave. All I did was go to the gym, hang out with bubs and take her to the park for a swing. A pretty normal day. I guess this is how I imagined maternity leave to be. It's made me realise how crazy and amazing this last year has been, that a normal day comes around only now. I feel incredibly lucky for the maternity leave I have had. The NHS gets bagged a lot! And ok yes it has plenty of faults but I am eternally grateful for the fact I could have an entire year to be with my baby. I have met so many other mothers whilst traveling that only get a few weeks and then have no choice but to go back to work. I can't even begin to comprehend that. The days are closing in now and I am going to cherish these last couple of weeks. I have mixed emotions about it but I genuinely miss the buzz of the hospital and my job. Time to get the uniform and stethoscope out #travel #travelwithbaby #travelmadmum #adventure #backpacking #instagood #instatravel #instapassport #holiday #jetset #travelgram #wanderlust #wonderlust #familytravel #travelwithkids #mumblogger #travelblogger #blogger #babywearing #ergobaby #maternityleave #life #nurse #sitenurse #hospital

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Por eso decidieron hacerlo de nuevo. Viajarán este febrero de 2016 a Tailandia, Cambodia y Nueva Zelanda.

Están convencidos de que la experiencia de viajar ha enriquecido a la pequeña Esmé pues ha crecido registrando distintos escenarios, razas, olores y sabores.

Yesterday we had quite a busy day making our way back to Taipei. Luckily we got to stop off at this amazing place on the outskirts. It's called Silver Stream Cave in Xiandian district. It's a temple literally carved into the highest part of a very steep cliff face. Incredibly, it is also behind a waterfall. It's about a twenty minute climb up. Baby was on dads back and of course he in true kiwi style insisted on wearing jandles (flip flops). I would never trust myself to do that but equally I wouldn't want to carry baby myself for fear of face planting! You can walk through the temple and behind the waterfall. You also get the most spectacular views of taipei nestled in between mountains. It had that hazy look but I later realised that was rain making its way towards us. We got completely drowned on the way back down, it felt like a proper rain forest experience. Poor baby was absolutely dripping. Felt like a bad parent for a millisecond and then I was like mehh she'll live! #travel #adventure #travelgram #instatravel #instagold #picoftheday #backpacking #backpacker #instagood #instapassport #jetset #holiday #vacation #familytravel #takethekids #travelwithkids #livingthedream #wonderlust #wanderlust #mum #baby #blogger #mumblogger #travelblogger #taiwan #taipei #silverstreamcave #hike #hiking #babywearing

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Y obviamente no ha sido fácil, pero aseguran que vale totalmente la pena.

Las personas dicen que los niños arruinan los viajes, pero ellos creen totalmente lo opuesto. De hecho, Karen ha aprendido de su pequeña hija (incluyendo a cómo dejar el miedo a sumergirse bajo el agua) y nunca han dejado de hacer nada por tenerla a ella. 

Siempre habrá piedras en el camino, pero el reto está en saber cómo enfrentarlas de la mejor forma.

Como madre y viajera, Karen ha sabido muy bien cómo hacerlo. Por eso ahora comparte sus experiencias y aconseja a todas las madres que quieran hacerlo. ¿Qué consejos tiene? Ir a lugares como bibliotecas para que los pequeños socialicen con otros niños, tener suficientes juegos infantiles en el celular o iPad, empacar ligero, planear, no llenarse de pañales (en casi todos los lugares del mundo los venden), tener suficientes suministros de bebé y lo más importante: NO TENER MIEDO.

Empieza de nuevo la travesía:

Que tengan un buen viaje (otro de tantos).