Where Our Baby Has Traveled
One of the first things we did after Campbell was born was apply for his passport. As I gear up for my next solo Hong Kong to Vancouver flight (eeek!) with Campbell, I can’t help but reflect back on all of the use that passport has gotten during during his first year as a little traveler. As per our goals for life in general, and overall lifestyle of living in Hong Kong, Campbell has done his fair share of travelling in his life so far!
By the time he turns one on September 4th, Campbell will have amassed some impressive travel stats:
Hemispheres: 1) North, 2) South
Continents: 1) Asia, 2) North America, 3) Australia
Countries: 1) Hong Kong, 2) Thailand, 3) Canada, 4) Australia, 5) Indonesia
Destinations: 1) Koh Samui, 2) Vancouver (x2), 3) Hua Hin (via Bangkok), 4) Melbourne, 5) Sydney, 6) Gili Trawanga (via Denpasar, Bali)
Longest Flight: 6370 miles (Hong Kong to Vancouver)
Shortest Flight: 438 miles (Melbourne to Sydney)
Total Distance Flown: 44098 miles (that’s equal to 1.77 times around the world!)
As I have failed to keep up with individual travel accounts on the blog since Campbell’s arrival I thought I would attempt a quick overview of his jet-setting, along with some of the high-lights (and low-lights) he has experienced so far.
Koh Samui, Thailand
Who: Alison & Campbell
With: my cousin Julia, her husband Brian and their baby Theo (3 months older than Campbell)
When: November 3 – 7, 2016 (Campbell: 9 weeks old)
Why: Julia, Brian and Theo were visiting Asia for the first time – so we crashed their party!
Itinerary: travel from Hong Kong to Koh Samui, make our way to the resort, wait for Julia and Brian to arrive the next day, spend a few days with them and then fly back to Hong Kong while they continued their Southeast Asia adventures!
Modes of Transportation: 1) plane, 2) taxi
Highlights: 1) Campbell’s first passport stamp!, 2) spending time with Julia, Brian & Theo, 3) having access to a villa with a private pool – this was key for the adults being able to relax while babies napped, 4) watching Brian discover his love for Thailand and earning his new nickname: Thai Bri!
Challenges: 1) my first flight with Campbell, and being alone, wasn’t easy but it was more manageable than I expected, 2) syncing Campbell and Theo’s nap and feeding schedules wasn’t always possible, but we did our best and still had a very relaxing time, 3) it turns out we chose to visit Thailand in the rainy season and, well, it rained…a lot
Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
Who: Alison & Campbell
When: November 12 – December 2, 2016 (Campbell: 2.5 months old)
Why: introduce Campbell to Canada, family, and take advantage of my last few weeks of maternity leave!
Modes of Transportation: 1) plane, 2) rental car
Highlights: 1) Campbell’s first Canadian experience!!! 2) so much incredible fresh air, 3) introducing Campbell to family and friends, 4) walks outside in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, 5) feeling chilling and getting bundled up for the first time with Campbell, 6) one of my longest times away from Campbell since he was born, when I relaxed at the Scandinave Spa with my cousins for the morning (bliss!)
Challenges: 1) flying solo with a little baby isn’t easy, especially when the flights are 12-13 hours long (but we survived!), 2) the jetlag was insane – there is no good way to deal with it with a baby, 3) Campbell didn’t get to see his first snow, which I was hoping for (but obviously that’s not a big deal)
Hua Hin, Thailand
Who: Alison, Braden & Campbell
When: January 28 – February 4, 2017 (Campbell: 5 months old)
Why: after a chilly few months in Hong Kong, it was time to get out of town for some sunshine during the Chinese New Year holidays
Modes of Transportation: 1) plane, 2) private van, 3) scooter
Highlights: 1) time in Thailand in general! We love it all – the beaches, people, food, etc., 2) gorgeous sunshine every day, 3) Campbell’s first time in a pool (he loved it), 4) Campbell’s first time in the ocean (also loved it), 5) Campbell’s first time on a scooter! (don’t worry, it was on a quiet street only for a minute!)
Challenges: 1) escaping from a couple months of quite cool weather in Hong Kong, the Thai heat was a shock to our system (so we got Campbell drinking water, which he loves), 2) a double spit-up on Braden’s shoulder just before boarding the plane home (ha!)
Melbourne & Sydney, Australia
Who: Alison, Braden & Campbell
When: February 25 – March 5, 2017 (Campbell: 6 months old)
Why: I had to travel for work, so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity and make it a family trip
Itinerary: travel from Hong Kong to Melbourne and spend a couple days together as a family before I needed to start work. We rented a car and drove up The Great Ocean Road, which was stunning. While I worked in Melbourne, Braden was with Campbell and met me so I could feed him when it worked with my schedule. Then we flew to Sydney, I did more work while Campbell and Braden explored Manly Beach, and then we finished off with a couple days in Bondi Beach.
Modes of Transportation: 1) plane, 2) rental car, 3) taxi, 4) ferry
Highlights: 1) experiencing Australia together (Braden and I had both been to Australia separately but it was so fun to be there together) (read about my earlier Australia travels here, here, here and here), 2) a road trip to enjoy beautiful Australia scenery at a gorgeous time of year (their fall); sometimes we miss not having a vehicle! 3) seeing wild koalas and kangaroos (yes, we were those tourists!), 4) so many places with the name “Campbell” in it (Port Campbell, Campbell’s Cove, Campbell Parade, etc.), 5) one-on-one time for Braden and Campbell!, 6) fulfilling my longtime goal of swimming in the Bondi Icebergs Pool (even though it was crazy stormy), 7) flying Business Class – it is just too amazing, especially with all that extra space for the baby
Challenges: 1) Braden was quite ill during our 9 hour red-eye flight to Australia – baby duty was all mine, 2) logistics of working and still trying to breastfeed / pump were tricky (but we made it work – my coworkers were incredibly supportive of my atypical schedule – and I’m so glad the three of us could do the trip)
Gili Trawangan Island, Bali Indonesia
Who: Alison, Braden & Campbell
With: Braden’s sister Bryanne, Braden’s brother Daren & Daren’s girlfriend Melissa
When: May 1 – 7, 2017 (Campbell: 8 months old)
Why: Bryanne came to visit for her first experience in Asia, so we all met in Bali!
Itinerary: travel from Hong Kong to Denpasar, spend a night in Kuta, travel by group van from Kuta to Sanur, then a ferry from Sanur to Gili Trawangan. From there we took a horse and cart to our hotel (there are no motorized vehicles on the island). We spent 6 days on the island, and our only way getting around was by bicycle or on foot. To get home we had an early start and long day of travel retracing our steps by ferry, van and then flight back to Hong Kong.
Modes of Transportation: 1) plane, 2) group van, 3) ferry, 4) horse and cart, 5) bicycle, 6) snorkel boat
Highlights: 1) an absolutely incredible opportunity to spend time with our family – just the “kids” (aka Braden and his siblings) was a really unique getaway, 2) Gili Trawangan was stunning, with the most gorgeous water we had ever seen, 3) no vehicles on the island instantly created a chill atmosphere, 4) gorgeous sunsets, 5) Campbell’s first submersion in the pool (he’s a natural), 6) Campbell’s first taste of ice cream (they served Strawberry Häagen-Dazs on the plane, we gave him the tiniest little bite, and he went NUTS)
Challenges: 1) Campbell went through an intense attachment phase and only wanted Mama – exhausting for me, 2) the heat was pretty unrelenting and affected us all (especially when we tried to venture out on a snorkel boat for a couple hours and Campbell had a rare meltdown), 3) Campbell was completely thrown off his eating schedule and basically rejected all solid food during the entire trip, 4) the travel days were incredibly long (and not necessarily super safe); knowing what we know now, we might not have gone to such a remote destination with a baby, 5) now that he can roll and sit up, Campbell is not safe in the bassinet, which makes flying a lot more arduous for Braden and me
Next up is Vancouver in August to celebrate my sister’s wedding (can’t wait!) and then who knows where could be next! What do you think our next destination should be?