My husband and I are fans of backpacking. Cheap, real and full of adventure. With just our packs and relying on local transport and maps, we’ll navigate through our country of choice. We prefer eating where the local eats and try each and every dish they eat. It was fun and liberating.
But our recent trip to Hanoi is fairly different. It was our first time to travel with our 10 month old daughter.Backpacks became one heavy duty luggage bag which can fit all our things. Take note, the little kid’s stuff fill 70% of the bag. Preference for hostel became a decent hotel where beds are king sized and free breakfast is a buffet. Late night drinking sessions were limited to 2 bottles. Early wake up calls turned into 7:30 am call time (Aia’s schedule) and 15 min rest stops became 2 hour nap time to accommodate Aia’s siesta time. Shopping became almost impossible because this trip its too cold for her. And not to mention my engorged milk tanks.
Don’t get me wrong travelling with the little unicorn is one for the books but as a parent it will never be the same again or at least until she’s 4 years old maybe.
I must admit, going around with the little one is challenging and frustrating at times. There are no more i want to go there but more of “Will Aia be okay going there?” But still there are good take aways from this:
a. MEMORABLE WEFIE PHOTOS. I am a very sentimental person and each photo for me has a story. Every first will always be different.
b. FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE IN CONSOLING AN AWAKE KID WHILE LANDING. We did not know that my daughter has some ear infection developing while we are on the trip. She was awake when the plane was landing in Changi Airport. She was in pain. She was crying and this can be a nightmare for parents. The milk and the play with her ear trick did it! Bringing Aia everywhere we go give us a chance to know her better and memorize the things we must do when a tantrum arises. We just discovered how cool a straw is!
c. THE CHANCE TO PLAN FOR A TRIP AGAIN. Its been a while since i last when out for a leisurely break so i am happy to plan again. A weather check is essential specially for packing clothes for babies. Accuweather is my bestfriend when checking on this. It hasn’t failed me since the time I am climbing mountains. Checklist works too!
d. RELAXED PACE=LONGER TIME TO EAT. I love Vietnamese food! From egg yolk coffee to Pho. You just grab a seat along the alleys and eat. If you have a sensitive stomach then go for restaurants. Its cheap too! Vietnamese puts coriander in almost all their dishes. The mango with salt & chili reminds me of home.
e. REMEMBERING MY HUSBAND’S STRENGHTS. From carrying Aia to waking up at night to console the feverish Aia, Thanks partner! Building a family overseas have a lot of distractions and most of the time I forget to appreciate how helpful my husband is. Not to mention, i just watched him play badminton again!!! Pogi! 😝
f. SPONTANEITY IS GOOD. I am used to travelling with a proper plan. The itinerary is detailed up to the timing of rest stops and bus departures. But travelling with a little kid just makes things harder to plan. So, just go with the flow!
I am embracing every change Aia has brought to our travel routines and loving all wefie photos of our new travel group.
P.S. We did not forget to immerse ourselves of the Hanoian way of life. I made a photo journal of the trip in my VSCO journal