Travel blogger spends her maternity leave globe-trotting
"I guess you could say I have not had your typical maternity leave," 31-year-old Karen Edwards writes on her blog and she's absolutely right.
Instead of spending the first few weeks of motherhood at baby groups and play parks Edwards was packing up her London life and getting ready to take off around the world, baby in tow.
In November 2014, when baby Esmé was only 10 weeks old, travel-mad Edwards and her partner Shaun Baynes sold their car, rented out their house and jetted across the world.
After a quick stop in Ireland to visit relatives, their first destination was New Zealand. Over the next 10 months the family also visited Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
At the age of 17 months Esmé is now a seasoned traveller, with more stamps in her passport than most adults.
When Edwards, who works as a nurse as well as running her own blog "for parents who love to travel" Travel Mad Mum, discovered she was pregnant she decided she wanted to make the most of her maternity leave.
"Both Shaun and I were keen backpackers before I fell pregnant and everyone thought we were completely nuts when we said that we were going to take Esmé when she arrived," Edwards told Metro.co.uk.
If this is making you rethink your maternity leave plans it’s not out of the question. You don't have to win the lottery to go on a round-the-world trip. Maternity pay and savings funded the trip, which cost around £10,000 in total. Edwards and Baynes got the best prices by booking their flights several months in advance and used air miles to get discounts. While they were in New Zealand Baynes, a landscaper, took on some work to earn extra money.
Of course Esmé’s wellbeing was the couple's main concern, so they avoided countries with a risk of malaria and made sure she had all the necessary vaccinations for every country they travelled to.
Something tells us this family's international adventures are only just beginning. In fact the travelling trio are currently on their latest trip — three weeks in Thailand and Cambodia.