This post was updated in May 2020.
When I wrote this post, so many things were uncertain: would we be able to keep travelling with a baby? How would life look like as a digital nomad mom? What would happen to Jey Jetter? All these doubts and questions are in the article below. I keep them there to show how life is not always clear.
Fast forward to today, we are still travelling and Jey Jetter is still our online business that funds our travels. But, we are now a digital nomad family of four, as Niklas Fynn was born in May 2019, on La Palma, Canary Island, Spain
It’s been a while since I’ve had the time, or energy, to sit down and write something for the blog. Apologies to all of you who have been following our adventures up until recently. But, I think I have one of the best excuses (if not THE best!) In May 2017, I gave birth to our beautiful little son. This has not only been one of the most amazing experiences in my entire life, but it has also changed everything for me. Here are my thoughts about how things were, what is happening at the moment, and what lies ahead for life as a digital nomad mum.
When Life Happens – What Changed After Becoming A Mother
The news took me by surprise, to say the least. We did not plan to have a baby just yet, but at the same time, we were ready to embrace it whenever it happened. And it happened at the very least expected moment: during summer 2016, after an epic 10-month trip through Central and South America, we crossed the Atlantic on a cruise ship. It was part of a re-location and also part of a digital nomad event that we didn’t want to miss. Once we were back in Europe, we spent the summer in Germany, catching up with family and friends. Check out one of our videos from Berlin.
Berlin is also where we found out about our little one. We were still in travel mode, booking flight tickets to our next big adventure: a trip to Dubai, followed by a month in the Philippines where we attended our first Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) event. At TBEX, we met so many inspiring people from all around the world. We even stayed in touch with one woman and discussed the option of working for her agency in Melbourne. We took this as a sign, and spontaneously decided to apply for an Australian work-visa and planned to have little bubba in Down Under.
But Then Things Took An Unexpected Turn…
While working through a ton of paperwork, we enjoyed a very peaceful and mindful six weeks in Bali. We were planning to stay in Asia for as long as needed until our Australian visa was approved. The baby was already turning into a jolly little figure in my belly and we enjoyed those pictures – a tiny little human was growing inside me! The first check-up was actually back in the Philippines. To be honest, it was a bit nerve-wracking with all the ZIKA news surrounding us. Friends and family from Europe seemed to be more on edge than the locals in all the places we visited…luckily, it turned out all ok.
Becoming More Pregnant And Less Adventurous…
With my hormone levels rising, and an undeniable belly bump, I gradually became less adventurous. Suddenly, I longed for a break, and for the first time in more than nine years of travelling full-time, I wanted to be with my mother. It was a strong feeling, I then realised that I had never been homesick before that moment. Today, it makes perfect sense for me; I was going to become a mother myself and I wanted to share this with my family and spend time with them.
After almost six years of travelling non-stop around the globe, it suddenly made no sense for me to be so far away from the soon-to-be-grandparents. On top of that, one day in the middle of planning our move to Australia, my mom fell sick and told me that she was going to need surgery. This was the tip of the iceberg for me, and our final reason to cancel our current mission to settle down Down Under. There were no more discussions needed; we wanted to be home by Christmas.
Take The Long Way Home!
Luckily, travelling was still not a problem for me. Apart from the constant fatigue, I was feeling great. My belly did not draw much attention, so we easily passed through airport security with little hassle. To take it easy, we decided to break up the journey and spend a few days in Kuala Lumpur, another week in Istanbul before finally returning to Germany in December 2016. Check out my article with travel tips for Istanbul.
Finding My Way Back Into The System
Back in Germany, I spent the last three months of my pregnancy filling out tons of forms and spending gazillions of hours on the phone with all sorts of institutions. Gah, what a pain…! Who would have thought that re-settling into your home country would require such effort! Since I didn’t even have German health insurance and had been gone for more than five years, there was no way around it. I simply had to fill out all those forms and play by the rules…
Fast forward to May 16th when our sunny boy was finally born. Words can’t describe what I felt that day. I consider myself very lucky. I had an amazing pregnancy with no major symptoms and on top of that, giving birth was such a beautiful and overwhelming experience – I would do it all over again! All in all, little bubba has brought only joy and has been a wonderful addition to our lives. We are endlessly grateful to have him!
What Happens Next In My Life As A Digital Nomad Mum?
You might be wondering how this digital nomad lifestyle is going to work with a baby? And, to be honest, that’s still a question we haven’t answered for ourselves. But we’ve tested the waters and introduced our little one to the world of travel. At the age of 3 months, we took him on a 10-day trip to Italy. It was such a blast seeing him enjoy the new surroundings. He passed his travel exam! We are not only very proud parents but also reassured that our little bubba might become the next digital nomad…
What Happens Next On The Blog?
For now, I am simply grateful to be able to spend some time with my mum. She is the happiest grandma ever, and luckily she has recovered and is doing fine now. I am also currently enjoying some time to catch up with my writing. There are so many stories I haven’t told, and tons of destinations I’ve yet to write about. So, the baby break won’t actually mean a halt to Jey Jetter, but a revival of my stagnated writing habits.
And of course, being a digital nomad mum now, my spectrum of interests has widened. That’s why I’d like to give this blog a bit of a revamp and introduce an additional focus. Don’t worry, I won’t discuss diapers or similar hot topics! But, there might be soon a section about travelling with kids or family-related topics. We’re still working on it…so, stay tuned for our upcoming posts!
Leave a comment and tell us what your experiences are! Don’t be shy, tell us what you think!
NOT DONE READING YET?
Are you still contemplating if the digital nomad lifestyle is something you might like? Then check out our post on how nine years of travelling full-time have changed my life.
Or do you wonder how to actually be able to finance your travels? Then check out our article on how to earn a little extra while on the road!
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