|Little R and me at a historic site in HK|
Then I had a baby. When she was really little, she was basically just a heavy and inconveniently shaped piece of luggage. She would just sleep in her carrier, and we could still spend the day out and about. As she's gotten older, though, this changed. First she could only nap in a crib, meaning we had to return to the hotel 1-2 times a day; then she learned how to walk and insisted on getting exercise every day; then she developed preferences for activities, and now will protest vigorously (as in, screaming) if she's bored or cranky. The best way to make her cranky is to skip her naps or usual bedtime hours. Thus, either B or I must now spend at least 14 or 15 hours out of the 24 in our hotel room, while little R gets her beauty sleep.
|Listening to gamelan music in Bali|
|Swimming at Tanjong Rhu, Langkawi|
|A hike along the beach in Pulau Ubin|
|Checking out 18th century cannon|
|Little R is awed by the Chinese temple|
These minor negatives are more than compensated for by the positives. Traveling with a baby is a wonderful way to meet locals. I am pretty shy/introverted, but little R is a great icebreaker. Since traveling with her, I meet at least four times as many people, all in really warm, genuine interactions. We also get better treatment (less scamming, less rudeness, fewer waits in line, friendlier service) thanks to our baby ambassador.
The best part about it, though, is watching little R. There is something so special about watching your child have a wonderful time playing on the beach, or being awestruck by a Balinese dance performance, or gaping in wonder at a Chinese temple. I absolutely love seeing her reactions to everything, and being able to see the world through her eyes. Traveling with little R has been truly magical, and has given me some of my most precious memories.
|Admiring some tropical flowers in Malaysia|