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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Travelling with Baby Liam: What’s it really like to be on the road for one month.


City Travel, Travel Videos, Europe, Family Travel, Travel Blog , 0

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I am full of what the Portuguese people call “saudades” right now. Saudades, a term deemed to describe the indescribable: A feeling of nostalgia, melancholy, a feeling of far-away-ness.

The way it is, pictures like these won’t become reality quite so soon again, as it still was the case earlier this year, in January 2020, at the south-westernmost point of Portugal. Thinking it family culture, as travellers, we naturally took our son Liam on a one-month road trip across Southern Portugal and Spain. Now, only three months later, half the world is in “lockdown”, and by any luck, we can hopefully explore closer to home again over the upcoming summer months.

Yet still, let me share some final anecdotes from this trip here, focusing on what it is really like to travel with a small baby for one month. (Travelling, not holidaying. There’s that difference!).

 

Travelling with baby: Hop on board, and take a look behind the scenes of how it really felt like for us.

Travelling with a small child can be totally draining and wonderfully elating. What it definitely is, is a far cry from the beautified ads you sometimes see, the “mum-and-dad-and-child-run-happily-across-the-beach” pictures. Er. Not really. As before they can run, they ask to be carried, and sometimes whine about that, too. But a baby child that does not move on his own yet is easy to handle on a trip. Is it?!

In den Startlöchern: Mit Baby am Flughafen Wien Schwechat ...

Ready for takeoff: A fairly relaxed daddy Georg, with Liam in his beautiful baby sling at Vienna Airport (those were the days) …

 

... ein Baby das noch nicht (sehr) mobil ist, sprich krabbelt ...

… and at just over seven months old, not crawling yet, it’s true that Liam “mostly” enjoyed sitting on our laps during the flight …

 

... meistens ...

… looking like this, a baby seat belt attached to either mum’s or dad’s own seat belt …

 

... und ehrlicherweise war die Mama bisweilen schon ganz schön nervös ...

… I must admit, I was somewhat nervous there …

 

... doch schon wenig später, hoch über den Wolken, ist Liam dann einfach im Tragetuch eingeschlafen und wir hatten noch dazu das Glück, das ein Sitzplatz zwischen Georg und mir frei war. Perfekt!

… but sleep still takes it all: After walking Liam up and down the plane aisle for a while, he fell asleep in the baby sling and we could place him in a chair between us, that happened to be free! He remained calm throughout the entire flight. Wonderful!

 

Let’s face it (Part I): How much luggage did we really need/carry?

That’s it.

Gepäck ...

Luggage …

 

... Gepäck ...

… luggage …

 

... und nochmals Gepäck: In Wahrheit

… and more luggage: The truth is …

 

… that we just love travelling with handy backpacks, and don’t know any different. Despite what you might think, backpacks – no matter how big – make moving around really easy, especially when it comes to also pushing a stroller (new!). The stroller, too, became a natural place of storage, and as little as it first seemed, it could hold quite a few things besides baby …

... wie hier schön ersichtlich beim Spaziergang in Sevilla (hach, waren das noch Zeiten ..!).

… something you can see here, while walking along the Río Guadalquivir in Sevilla (oh, the TIMES ..!).

 

Auch der Vater: Immer top modern gestylt, hier beim Blick durch die Gässchen von Marbella, Südspanien.

And credits of course to the happy father, much better than a donkey really 😉 Maximum load one big backpack, one small one, stroller and baby. On our way through the old-town streets of Marbella, Southern Spain.

 

Let’s face it (Part II): How did we care for Liam while on the road?

A good part of the answer to this question lies in the fact that I was still breastfeeding at the time. However, we did also provide four little baby meals each and every day: For breakfast and dinner, we just needed hot water to pour into his baby porridge and semolina – too easy really. To heat up his veggie or fruit stew (in Portugal and Spain, you can buy baby food either at the supermarket or the pharmacy) we often simply had to point, or use my Spanish / Portuguese to communicate and have his food heated at either a restaurant, a café, a hotel bar, a breakfast room, a rest stop on the highway, etc. People go out of their way to help you with baby, and in countries such as Portugal or Spain, this is especially true. We love thinking back of the many sweet encounters baby Liam prompted, making our trip extra memorable for sure.

Der Blick ins Supermarkt-Regal verrät ...

Taking a look at the range of baby food in a Spanish supermarket…

 

... hier wie da (Spanien bzw. Portugal) ...

… or Portugal …

 

... konnten wir stets babygerecht und ähnlich den Standards von zu Hause einkaufen ...

… the conclusion is that we could always buy what we needed for Liam …

 

... wichtigstes Kriterium: Liam hat es geliebt ...

… and the main criteria – him liking it – was fulfilled …

 

... egal wo wir ihn gefüttert haben ...

… no matter how (or where) we fed him …

 

... oder mit wem (hier mit lieben portugiesischen Freunden in Faro, Algarve): Hauptsache, Futter für mich !!

… or with who (together with sweet friends in a Faro restaurant in the Algarve): Main thing is I get my baby food !!

 

Let’s face it (Part III): Where (and how) does baby sleep while on the go?

Baby’s sleep. There is hardly anything young parents talk about as much as their offspring’s sleep patterns. Also when travelling. Fact is: We seem to have a very relaxed baby, who falls asleep easily and everywhere we are. That is my answer to the eternal question: How can you travel with baby that needs his daily (and nightly) rhythm?! Well, it was never an issue. We were relaxed, and so was baby Liam. Unless he was teething, but that would have made nights more complicated just about anywhere. But overall, we had no problems in having him sleep, either in his baby sling, in the stroller, on the bus, in the car, on the train, on the plane or in one of the different baby beds we were provided with at our accommodation. Our little sleeping star!

So ein Babyleben ist schon hart: Wenn ich von der Welt genug gesehen habe, mache ich einfach meine Äuglein zu ...

It’s a hard life being a baby : If I get tired, I just close my eyes …

 

... geschlafen wird ...

… I sleep …

 

... wo Platz für mich ist ...

… wherever my parents make space for me (we brought this cushion and baby sleeping bag from home for comfort reasons) …

 

... denn ich schlafe ...

… as I do sleep …

 

... glaubt es mir ...

… anywhere …

 

... einfach überall !!!

… honestly, anywhere really !!!

 

Our conclusion: Do make that trip with your baby, in case you haven’t yet. You won’t regret it.

Time flies (something ALL parents always say – and it is true!). Already now, Liam is just shy of one year, no longer “baby-like” as in the photos here, but more agile by the day. We have made a photo journal of our trip, and leaf through it often, thinking how blessed we are to have been able to travel with him in this way.

Of course, parts of it were exhausting. Some nights, some moving around, some more breaks we might have needed. And after four weeks, it was good to return home again, too (twice as intense, returning home as parents with baby). We did use the weeks following the trip to relax from it all, as good as possible. We would do it all over again in the blink of an eye.

"Daddy, I love you!" - "Baby, I love you!" Stilles Gespräch in der U-Bahn von Lissabon.

“Daddy, I love you!” – “Baby, I love you!” Silent conversation on the Lisbon underground.

 

Bis zum nächsten Mal ...

See you next time, #BabyTraveller …

 

... wenn es wieder heißen kann: See you somewhere in the world!

… when we are able to say again: See you somewhere in the world!

 

If you are keen on reading even more about our travel adventures through Portugal and Spain, I can recommend you the following travel stories – my entire digital travel journal of our trip:

 

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
Madrid with baby, day trip to El Escorial & Toma Café.
Working-Travelling Mum: One year on the road with #LittleLiam

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