“I love adventure. I love nature, food, and exercise. I love experiences. Give me blood sweat and tears. I don’t want to look at pictures of places – I want to experience these places!”
This Adventure Baby… Abroad segment is a little different. I have a chat with Nadia – a new mama who decided to get out and see the world during her second trimester of pregnancy. After you get a taste, check out her own blog about pregnant travel or take a look at her Instagram – aptly named @hiking4two. Those photos will inspire you to pack your own bags.
“I could literally sacrifice sleep to keep the experience (obviously with the help of my beloved coffee). We’d start the day at 5:30, drive 1-2 hours to get to these destinations, exhaust ourselves, drive back, eat, shower, bed.” Whoof. Let’s not get too carried away. This mama LOVES her sleep… but I yearn for adventure too. So what’s a girl to do? I guess adventure trumps all!
Here we talk travel, pregnancy, things you learn, how far you can push yourself, and of course – some practical tips and advice.
“I want to see the natural beauty, monuments, views, sunsets, hikes, greenery, culture, rocks, waters and incorporate good food and fun exercise along the way as well as experiencing all this with great company.”
Her big pregnant adventure
When I say she went to see the world, I mean THE WORLD. Hong Kong → London → LA → Calgary → San Francisco just to get warmed up before the real trip started. From San Fran they drove up to a really cool cabin near Yosemite National Park. The days were filled with stand-up paddling and hikes – real adventure – absolutely amazing. Then off to Zion National Park in Utah “Angels Landing is such a fun hike, rocky, chains to pull yourself up, walking along the cliff edge – it was great!”
After that, off to Flagstaff in Arizona for a five day camp/hike/kayak tour. “At this stage I was 20 weeks pregnant, hadn’t slept much due to pregnancy, but I couldn’t wait for this tour!” This tour involved 16 km of hiking down the canyon (and then back up,) camping overnight in a beautiful cove, hot springs, and lots and lots of kayaking… against the wind. It was EXHAUSTING but so much fun (my girlfriends were ready to kill me though.) The winds were so strong you couldn’t afford a rest because you’d be blown backwards.” Not your average pregnant girl’s trip but this isn’t your average girl.
And what about accommodations? It’s all about variety: hotels, motels, Airbnb. Sprinkle that with camping, glamping, tents and cabins. That kept everyone happy – not that they spent much time in their accommodations anyway. That’s what makes for a good adventure!
What she learned during her travels
Nothing opens your eyes quite like travel and pregnancy. This trip led Nadia to think about her future, her family, and her ambitions.
“This trip made me realize how I would be able to take kids. Maybe not to the hard hikes I was doing but bike rides, sand boarding, climbing, rock climbing, kayaking, water rapid boats, SUP, swimming, waterfalls, this would all be captivating for children. I honestly want to do the same trip all over again when I’m finished with kids and they’re old enough to appreciate it. I think showing them different cultures is the best form of education.”
“Travelling requires teamwork, problem solving and experiencing how others live in this world, make them appreciate things a little more and also that they have to work hard to get far in life and experience all this.”
Traveling while pregnant – how things change
“Travel does not need to change when pregnant.” Nadia professes. She found herself impressed with her own stamina and sense of adventure. “I literally didn’t have to change anything, I just couldn’t be as crazy on adrenalin as I usually would be. And I also realized I didn’t need sleep to enjoy every minute of this adventurous, exhausting trip I was planning.” Wow. skip out on sleep isn’t advice I’d dole out readily, but I have to admit that when I was pregnant abroad, jetlag and excitement kept me awake for more hours than I thought I could handle. Travel brings things out of you. Strengths and wonders you didn’t know were in you.
The hardest part of pregnant travel
Food and Coffee. “Coffee was the hardest adjustment, we were always up early and on the move so I needed energy, I may have pushed my daily caffeine limit at times.” Yes. I can totally relate. I traveled Spain while pregnant… I mean – who can pass up on those cappuccinos and espressos? Not me. As for food? “ We would come across so many nice food places and I would have to be cautious on how its cooked, how long its been sitting there etc etc.” What else? “Toilet breaks is hard. I constantly needed a toilet and whilst hiking I was always in the bushes squatting.”
Another sucky thing? Zika. I can personally relate – South America has been my playground for years, and now it’s a strict no-no. As for Nadia – she planned to climb Machu Picchu, but in the end had to change her plans.
Advice to pregnant adventure junkies
You know we wouldn’t end this article without some practical advice. Here’s what Nadia says:
1 – “Always carry water and snacks”… and by always, we mean pregnant or not
2 – “Always go to the toilet before you start your trek” Good advice for pregnant mamas, GREAT advice for when you have kids
3 – “Don’t be afraid to create an adventurous trip when you’re pregnant – as long as you are healthy and fit, and get medical clearance – have some fun with it all.” – Honestly, pregnancy helps to open your eyes to the world, and travel gives you wonderful new perspectives. The two really go hand-in-hand.
Now it’s your turn: How far would you push yourself for an experience? Leave us a line on Instagram either to me or Nadia.
You can read more about this trip on Nadia’s own blog
And read more Adventure Baby… Abroad: