Some days with babies the world seems very small and it is refreshingly invigorating to be reminded that the world is big, and that you can still embrace it when you have a baby strapped to your front. Many people looked at us askance when we said we were going travelling with our baby, but we did not know any different. We believed we could do it. We did it. We loved it.
This book is not a How To Guide, it is a gathering together of twenty tales from around the world written by people who tried and survived a journey with a baby. It is by and about mums, dads, sisters, grandmas, uncles, mums yet to be and even a baby the devil jumped over.
In June 2014 – with the magic combination of maternity leave, my mum over from Australia and my ten month old getting into a good sleeping routine – I dreamed up the idea of this book. And more importantly I believed I could pull it off.
The idea came to me in that quiet time while I was lying with Raphael as he drifted off to sleep for the night. During the past few days (with my mother’s help) I had carved out time to work on a travel story about a recent trip to the Isle of Mull. It was for a newspaper competition and I was pleased to have ﬁnished it on deadline. I went on the trip with my mum and my son, but wrote them out of the story in order to conform to my idea of a ‘travel’ story. Surely, I reasoned – solo adventurers are far more appealing to readers and editors than strung out mummies.
As I lay with my Rafa, the centre of my universe, who I had spent the last few days editing out, it popped into my head to wonder if there was an avenue for publishing travel pieces with babies. I had seen a Facebook picture of my friend Lydia and her son Eden on an elephant in Thailand, so I knew I wasn’t the only parent tucking their child under their arm and heading off on adventures. I wanted to know more about that story and I wondered if others might as well. Thus on the basis of having travel tales which featured Rafa to tell, and knowing one other person who was likely to have a baby – travel tale of her own, I decided search out a book’s worth of tales. In homage to the book’s genesis my contribution to the collection is that Isle of Mull tale, with my mum and Rafa edited back in. Lydia was one of the earliest respondents to my ﬁ rst call out for stories – sending a riveting account of her Thai adventures. I read her story on my phone as I pushed the pram home from a supermarket outing. Even her quickly put together notes had me transported away from the leafy Edinburgh street I was walking along – and strengthened my belief in the idea for the travel with babies book...continue reading
Sandy Bennett-Haber - Edinburgh 2016