The traveler's greatest fear - Photography by Lola AkinmadeWhen I was younger (think early twenties), I was on a breakneck speed to conquer the world. The perpetual traveler. To soak in everything I could in a short amount of time before finally settling down. The concept of “settling down” to me meant getting married and having kids, and obviously that meant giving up my life of solo travel. That fear of not fitting everything I wanted to see in a certain self-allotted time span within my life was overwhelming sometimes.

I was so scared of this in my twenties. I’d cringe, not in irritation but rather in pity, when a baby was screaming on-board with an exasperated parent or two trying to calm him or her down. I’d watch as parents had to cut sightseeing trips short due to poopy diapers, temper tantrums, hungry mouths, and shrieks at unbelievable decibels.

In a sense, I felt like travel – “true” travel the way I viewed it back then – could only be accomplished before one technically “settled down”. I mean, how could I go hiking the foothills of the Himalayas with a toddler in tow?  Would I ever reach the North Pole now? Oh, and that 3-month South Pacific island hopping trip I’d long dreamed of? Would it ever come to fruition?

How wrong I was.

Obviously that fear was unfounded as I know lots of mommy travelers now. My view of travel was so limited back then. This was before I discovered Matador and the travel blogging community and lots of married couples and mommy travelers all conquering the world with partners and children and screaming babies in tow.

I think this is a question a lot of travelers struggle with. I’m talking about those travelers who eventually want to move into the next phase of life – having kids – at some point in time. They worry if their wanderlust would be sapped dry. They’re afraid to sit tight for a couple months, maybe the first year of their child’s life, for fear of missing out on something. They’re afraid they’ll start updating their Facebook statuses with baby photos (guilty!) instead of enviable photos from remote locations that elicit “I’m so jealous of your travels!” comments.

They’re afraid of somehow “delaying” their passion for independent travel.

How wrong I am.

I write this blog post as the most wonderful gift I’ve been blessed with is lying on a boppy pillow across my lap, sleeping. The most important job I’ve been tasked with: being responsible for someone else’s life. I can’t wait to start showing her the world. We already have appointments set up for her passports this month. Yes, both of them.

My parents took me on my first international trip before I even turned one, and we traveled frequently over the following years. How I lost sight of this fact in my twenties, I have no idea.

Life really is about multi-tasking, balancing, sharing experiences, rising to challenges, and above all, counting blessings and staying grateful every single day. There are so many people who would give anything to have a baby lying on a boppy pillow across their laps. Perpetual travelers included.