Are these Britain’s tiniest backpackers? Mum uses maternity leave to travel the world with her babies
Are these Britain’s tiniest backpackers? These two children are probably better travelled than most of us.
Mum Karen Edward has used the maternity leave from her nursing job to travel the world with her babies and husband.
The travelling tots have been through over 17 countries and have seen numerous incredible sights.
Currently based in Peru, the intrepid family are on their second time travelling the world.
Baby Quinn was just 9 weeks old when they set off and older daughter Esmé was 3 years old.
The cultured family come from different corners of the globe – with Karen from Ireland, Dave from New Zealand and the children born in England.
Karen, 33, and Shaun, 32, had previously set off around with globe when Esme was just 10 weeks old and took the chance to set off on another family adventure after Quinn was born.
Despite the sometimes hectic nature of travelling, Karen thinks that this lifestyle is easier.
She said: “If I was at home in London, it’s harder to keep the kids entertained all day; I think this lifestyle is actually easier.
“People think I’m crazy but our kids are constantly entertained, Quinn is so quiet – I know he won’t remember it, but I think he’s taking it in in his own way.
“Esmé loves it, she really enjoys going to new places – she’s always asking ‘where are we going now?’ she tries to say the names of the countries and she’s obsessed with maps.
“Maternity money has given us that extra edge and because I’m the higher earner of both of us, it means we can go.
“It’s a huge factor for us. Most husbands have to go back to work within two weeks.
The family have now been to: Canada, USA, Belize, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador and the Caribbean.
Nurse Karen reckons that the family won’t ever stop their travels completely – even if they aren’t doing it full time.
“This time we’ve been to Canada, trekking the Americas and now we’re currently in Peru.
“I don’t see us ever stopping travelling – the kids are so young; I’m holding back on some of the places we want them to remember vividly. Even at home we travel about once a month.
“One of the places I want to take them is the Antarctic, but I’ll wait until they’re at least 9 or 10.
Karen says that one of the best things about travelling whilst on maternity leave is the time she gets to spend with her children.
“The best thing is being with the kids all the time –it’s a year with my baby, not having to worry about going back to work.
“The three year old tantrums are not fun – but it’d happen anywhere, and there’s the issues of limited clothes supply and managing tiredness.
“A lot of the trips we centre around her – here in Ecuador there’s so much stuff – lots of museums, outdoor space and kids play areas.
“A big thing is being able to socialise her with other kids – we try to meet up with other families who travel.
Despite the amount of time she and Shaun spend together, Karen says that dates still seem to fall by the wayside
“Every time we go to date night something comes up, so as much as we see each other all the time – we don’t get to talk much. I think the chances of a third child are slim to none.
“I’m not really looking forward to going back to working nights, seeing kids less and missing them – although it makes financial sense for me to go back to work.
On their first world travels, Karen started the blog to help her deal with being a first-time mum and to capture the incredible memories they were creating.
“I think because we’d travelled so extensively before, it was an easier decision to make than it might have been otherwise.
“While we were travelling first time around, I started the blog to try and stimulate my brain over nappies. The blog has grown into such a huge success since – it’s been great.
“I don’t think my kids are the youngest travellers out there, but I think Quinn has to be the most intrepid baby.”
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