You could say this is a transitional time in my life. I'm getting to grips with my new role as a Mum whilst recovering from the trauma of having a 25 week premature baby. These two things have been paramount. My priority. I've made a conscious effort to take things slow, be kind to myself and to appreciate how lucky we are to have Theo with us today.
But all the while I am aware that I seem to have become the travel blogger who stopped travelling.
In amongst the tough sleepless nights and the joy of the first giggles, I've been trying to hold on to my own identity (something that seems to be quite a common struggle for new Mums). I am a travel blogger and an woman who has built a business from scratch. This blog was my first baby. It's like a plant that needs constant watering and love, but since Theo came along it has inevitably taken a back seat. Regardless of Theo being premature, I always knew that having a baby was going to turn my world upside down. The same goes for any woman that has a baby. I was always going to allow that to happen, but Theo's difficult start in life has definitely made the transition even more extreme.
Before becoming a Mum, I travelled abroad at least every other month, mostly for work. I could jump on a plane at the drop of a hat. Scott has always been so supportive of my lifestyle and my work, so I had no strings holding me back. In short, I lived a pretty selfish and fabulous existence in which I spent every single day trying to 'water my plant'. I built a lifestyle that I loved and there was no other job in the world I could think of that I would rather do, but in 2017 travel burn out began to creep in (I blogged about this in my big travel blogging confession). I'm so proud of and grateful for all of the fast-paced, whirlwind travelling I did in my early to mid 20's, but I can honestly say I don't want to travel like that anymore.
At the point of writing that blog post I realised I wanted to adapt my lifestyle a little. I had recently bought a house with Scott and finally felt like I had a base that I loved and wanted to spend time in. It was the first time I felt 'anchored' in life. Suddenly the thought of jetting off every month and leaving Scott became less appealing. I will always have itchy feet and a passion for travel, but I realised that you don't need to travel to the other side of the world for a sense of discovery and adventure. I realised at that point I wanted to evolve my blog to embrace 'slow travel' and explore beautiful places closer to home and around the UK . So I took trips to places like Cornwall, Edinburgh and St Andrews.
Now that Theo is here, the blog is evolving with me once again. I will always be a travel blogger, but my life has changed so much and yet again, I am now going to travel in a different way. I am no longer the independent solo traveller. I am the experienced traveller who is gearing up to explore the world in a completely new way, through the eyes of her curious, wide-eyed baby boy. I am the new Mum learning how to travel as a family, and give her son a lifetime of adventures.
We're gearing up towards our first family mini break in September, which will be 3 nights in the Yorkshire coastal town of Whitby. I can't wait to show Theo a beach for the first time, to dip his toes in the sea, and to let him breathe in some fresh sea air. We plan to build our confidence with UK trips, working up to Theo's first trip abroad to Almunecar next year (because of Theo's prematurity we want to stay close to the NHS for now).
So no, I am not the travel blogger who stopped travelling. I am the travel blogger who temporarily stopped travelling, during a transitional time in her life.
I am the travel blogger who is embarking on a brand new chapter of her life and learning to navigate the world as both a traveller and a mother. Once again my blog will evolve with me as I grow, and hope you all come along for the ride.