When my wife gave birth to our daughter three years ago, everybody said our traveling lives were over. We had met while traveling through Asia and we promised one another on our wedding day that nothing would ever come between our life of adventures.
But the hellish stories of taking kids abroad started when Keko was just 5 months pregnant. So for four long months (and still, when Cami was a newborn), we heard it all: Children will only get in the way; Traveling just won’t be the same with kids; You’ll spend all your time visiting kid stuff.
It was surprising then, when Keko, baby Cami and myself took off for Korea just 6 months after Cami’s arrival. And sure, traveling isn’t the same with a baby. But it’s definitely not the nightmare my friends kept telling me about. In fact, Keko and I have traveled more since Cami was born, than before.
One mom traveling abroad with her baby is Dani, who describes herself as an early years teacher, certified international educator, cross-culture adult, expat, and travel mom to baby Baobao. She and her husband met in Chile and have traveled the world together for four years with their son (who has been to 19 countries already!).
In her bilingual blog, A Baby Abroad, Dani gives parents the inside tips to traveling with young ones. She explains how to survive flying with a baby (if you’re a parent you’ll know why this is important); how to crush routines while on the go, and what it’s like to be a mom abroad (definitely something my wife can and does relate to).
In one of her blog posts, Dani wrote about her mom-and-son trip to Japan which included Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Nara.
“People in Japan are very helpful”, Dani notes. “I traveled for a week around Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Hiroshima with Baobao – just the both us – and people all over were literally stumbling upon each other to help me get on escalators or board/unboard trains. Everyone was so polite and willing to help, that traveling solo with a toddler was very manageable.”
I can’t of anything more enjoyable for a young child than to see deer at a park, so visiting Nara’s deer park was definitely on their list of things to do. But are the deer safe when traveling with kids? Dani can answer that…
“There are signs all over with the safety instructions, and of course it is important for you to follow them. At one point, Baobao was standing in the middle of an open area in the park, when a deer approached him slowly, and out of the blue, bumped him with its head, and caused him to fall over and cry. It wasn’t a big accident at all, but it did scare him!”
Dani and Baobao then went to visit Horyuji Temple and Todaiji Temple, which are both UNESCO World Heritage sites, and boast histories that go back more than 1,00 years.
“All in all, I highly recommend you go through the experience of traveling alone with your children,” Dani says. “Baobao and his father had the opportunity over a year ago, and I loved having my chance.”
Compiled by Nazir Dabiri; All Photography and quotes © A Baby Abroad.
Get up close and personal with the deer at Nara Park and see two World Heritage sites on an afternoon tour by Japanican.