We were searching for takers of these expiring flight vouchers fittingly creased in my seasoned organiser when I suddenly realised who these possible takers just might be – us.
I was eight weeks pregnant and was still battling some morning sickness that didn’t want to end, which was why we wanted to give away those flight vouchers. But since I was getting better and nobody took up our offer, I thought the flight vouchers were really meant for us. Perhaps the universe wanted us to use our remaining annual leave days to go on an adventure before the baby arrives.
My husband and I have always been travel junkies, constantly on the lookout for adventures on a shoestring. Since I was with a precious cargo in my belly and had occasional discomforts from the pregnancy, extra care has to be taken. I traded huge backpacks and mountain hikes for lightweight roller suitcases.
We spent quite some time choosing the perfect destination. After some twists and turns, and long enough to finally feel my baby kick for the first time, we eventually settled on something suitable. The flight vouchers gave limited destination options, so we agreed to hop on the following week’s flight to Sydney. In the little time we had for planning, we managed to doodle a rough itinerary for a coastal road trip around New South Wales.
I knew I needed to be comfortable while taking care of the little one in my womb, but I was also itching for some adventure. We decided that a trip in Spring would fit most of our requirements. The weather would be cool enough for my hopped-up metabolism and it wouldn’t be too cold to send me screaming over tormenting leg cramps. A road trip also meant that I could always rest my head and my belly over cushions in the car while my husband drove. We could choose to stop wherever we wanted and at as many spots we desired. We wanted a taste of adventure while relaxing our minds over amazing views of undiscovered valleys and mountains. The scenic views and fresh air would be perfect to give me even more relaxing, happy thoughts in the midst of pregnancy.
The last thing we needed to tick off our checklist was a visit to my gynaecologist for a check-up and the much-needed go-ahead with regards to our travel plans. We had a scan, a urine test, a blood pressure check, some questions to answer and some foreign medical lingo we simply nodded off to. And finally, she announced that my condition was perfect for traveling. We were so glad that we wanted to immediately dash off to the airport but our flight wasn’t until a week later. In a nutshell, I needed to get comfortable, get the husband to carry anything heavy (which could mean even my handbag), stay hydrated and perhaps pack a light pregnancy survival kit of vitamins, medications and some healthy snacks.
I was entering my twentieth week of pregnancy when we boarded the flight. It was a really great time for traveling because my morning sickness and fatigue had subsided. I was also not too heavy yet for all the walking and adventure I so wanted.
The road trip turned out to be as amazing as all our previous travel adventures together as a couple. This one was extra special because we got to celebrate my halfway point of pregnancy while cruising along the beautiful Grand Pacific Drive, tasted amazing apple pies in Kangaroo Valley, witnessed beautiful rainbows over the Fitzroy Falls, basked in the beautiful serenity of the little Woy Woy town over some seafood, and enjoyed the sea breeze with the company of seagulls at Jervis Bay.
Overall, I managed to both feed my adventure-seeking soul and listened to my pregnant body’s needs. And that is the best tip I could offer on traveling with a bump.
Azalia Suhaimi is a poet, an occasional photographer and a travel junkie, currently enjoying the much-treasured pregnancy to her first child. She hopes to tell beautiful poetic stories to her children someday.