Life

This Mom Used Her Maternity Leave To Travel The World With Her Husband And Baby

They've now been to 17 countries, and the photos are incredible.

Have you always wanted to travel the world with your partner… and 10-week-old baby? Well, you can. Just ask Karen Edwards.

Hailing from London, the 32-year-old nurse used her year-long maternity leave (remember: this is the U.K.) to travel to 10 countries with her partner, Shaun Bayes, as well as their newborn daughter, Esmé.

They also sold their car and rented out their house while they went off to travel—and with just one backpack. They spent 10 months exploring Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

As of now, they’ve been to 17 countries, and they continue to add to that list.

“It’s an amazing time for all the family to be together, to get used to being a new family,” Edwards said. “Shaun, her dad, got to spend the year with her just as much as I did, and their bond is just as close.”

She talks all about how they do it on her blog, Travel Mad Mum, and offers advice for other parents, too.

And look at that face—Esmé seems to like it!

These days, she even likes helping with the luggage.

“The overall aim is to inspire like-minded travel loving parents—your travel days do not have to be over,” Edwards writes. “It is all about incorporating your little person into your way of life. You can still do everything, including snorkelling [sic] and diving, but you just take it in turns. I can’t imagine having spent my maternity leave any other way.”

Edwards started her Travel Mad Mum blog in May 2015, when they were about halfway through their 10-month trip, the start of many trips to follow.

And they learned as they went.

For instance, she found Taiwan to be more kid-friendly than she’d imagined.

“Every Metro station has nappy-changing facilities, and they’re so extensive as well,” she said. “They have free wipes, and they have a big sofa where you can sit down and breastfeed, and it’s really, really child-friendly.”

Now, Esmé is 2 years old, and she and her family travel about once a month.

Here are some highlights of their trips.

During their travels, they find time for sand, solo.

Having a fab time in South Africa. We have been visiting safari parks for the last few days. Crazy how happy a little one is in the car when she is distracted by lots of amazing animals. She ordinarily hates the car! We had a very close encounter with a few giraffes this morning which was amazing! We finished our day off with a trip to the coast and had a lovely late lunch sitting in the sand on the beach. The restaurant we went to tries to create a camp type feel, served on tin plates sitting on long wooden benches we were served food that has been cooked on the fire. All the food was incredibly fresh and not to mention delish… . A lovely experience.. We don't want this holiday to end !#lovesouthafrica #visitsouthafrica @visitsouthafrica_uk

A photo posted by Travel Mad Mum (@travelmadmum) on

As well as together.

And time for surf.

They find time for fun.

And relaxation.

They travel on trains…

Plymouth bound with @travelmaddad ? #firstgreatwestern @visitplymouth

A photo posted by Travel Mad Mum (@travelmadmum) on

Planes

Absolute mission of a day! Trying to pack for our trip to SA from our moving boxes!.. Last dash to the beauticians to get holiday ready .. I had to get my claws sorted out ?.. Thinking it would be all relaxed once we got in the cab.. Esmé moaned the entire way .. I thought she was being a little shit but then she spewed everywhere!!! Luckily it was only a car sick situation.. I spent my arrival at Heathrow sitting on the ground with a packet of wipes scrubbing the car seat …Currently sweating a bead after chasing her around the airport for the last half an hour.. And of course security was its usual assault course with a kid.. Here's hoping Esmé sleeps all night so we can kick back with a wine and a film.. Who am I kidding ?! On the plus side we are going to South Africa wahoooooo.. Every cloud has a silver lining and all that.. ?✈️?

A photo posted by Travel Mad Mum (@travelmadmum) on

And automobiles.

Of course, some days are more challenging than others.

But there’s always opportunities to make new friends.

Want more? Check out Travel Mad Mum’s blog or Instagram. I know we will.