In 2014, ten weeks after having their first child, Karen Edwards and Shaun Bayes decided to make the most of maternity leave, packing up their belongings, renting out their London home and hitting the road for an adventure that took them across New Zealand and South East Asia, all with newborn daughter Esmé in tow. Karen’s unique experiences led to her starting a successful blog called Travel Mad Mum, where she offered advice and information to other parents and would-be-adventurers. And now, having had a second baby in June, Karen and Shaun have done the exact same thing again, this time heading to Central and South America with the now three-year-old Esmé and the latest addition, four-month-old Quinn.
The first time we did it, we would not have changed it for the world. We had a year together and our undivided attention was solely on Esmé. We loved exploring with her and we feel it has somewhat shaped her personality. Of course she doesn’t remember anything from her first year but we show her photos and she recalls as far back as being two. So far her earliest memory is from Venice when we took her on our honeymoon last year. She remembers going on gondolas!” Karen told Lonely Planet Travel News. That first trip taught the family how to make decisions on the bare necessities needed for travel, taking only one backpack for the three of them.