In May of 2015, Americans Bryan and Andrea Leblang sold most of their belongings and set out to travel the world. With just one suitcase each, remote jobs and hearts full of love for each other, they had the tools to flourish.
In fact, as they embarked on their journey they were not yet married. Kicking things off with a quaint wedding in Barcelona seemed to be the appropriate send-off for what would be an adventure of a lifetime.
Quickly after their wedding they gallivanted around the Greek Islands, sipped wine in Brussels, and toured the many historic sites of Amsterdam. Quite the honeymoon, right? Their travels continued through the Middle East, Australia and Asia. I know what you’re thinking; “I just got a week in Cancun for my honeymoon!” The difference here is that this is their lifestyle. They purposefully sold their items to live a life of adventure. Seriously, why should one delighting in travel be reserved just for the honeymoon?
In the summer of 2016, they decided to settle for a few months in Amsterdam, a city they cherished greatly. It was there that Andrea felt a few changes in her body and realized she had missed a cycle. After purchasing (more than a few) pregnancy tests, she was shocked at the results. “Maybe I’m translating the Dutch instructions incorrectly!” But after 10 tests (and multiple re-reads), she accepted the facts. She was now a world traveler with a baby on the way.
Would this information stop her travels? Would it send her running back to the comforts and ease of America? This pregnancy must mean the purchase of a state side large house and heaps of baby gear, right?
Bryan and Andrea stood firm in their desire to continue their travels. It’s sightseeing and experiencing different cultures that make these two thrive; continuing her lifestyle only gave her a better pregnancy. Was she a bit tired? Sure. But her mind, and her heart were settled. This sweet child who was growing full in the safe haven of her mommies tummy visited 12 countries.
And don’t worry; maternity care did not take a backseat. Andrea always put her health, as well as the baby’s health, first. After months of research, they decided on Lisbon, Portugal for their home base, due to its impeccable maternity care and low infant mortality rate. Their main doctor in Lisbon approved their desire to continue traveling and aided them in finding respectable doctors to visit along the way.
She chose to not have a baby shower and to collect only the essentials. This has come down to a few outfits, a portable changing table, a folding basket that acts as a crib and a blow-up baby bath. Instead of a bulky stroller, they have a carrier.
And in lieu of nesting during her final months, Andrea took part in pre-natal yoga and luxurious massages in Tangier, Morocco. Her and dad-to-be explored caves, visited camels on the beach and meditated mountainside. Her experience with pregnancy was relaxing and positive, not rushed and busy like it is for most American moms.
Delilah was born in Lisbon, Portugal and has already seen more of the world than most. Her first day out of the hospital was spent nestled in the arms of her dad as they walked down the cobblestone street that led to their temporary home. That day, the area was crowded and the noise level high. But new mom Andrea only saw the beauty of their lifestyle and the love for her wanderlust family.
Why is it that we’ve been taught to think bigger is better? That the arrival of a baby means a ridiculous amount of stuff? And the start of a family should change who we are?
Andrea shares wise wisdom to new moms and expectant mothers, “finding your own groove during pregnancy, and staying relaxed is paramount. With irregular hormones and uncomfortable body changes, I recommend avoiding anything that is stressful, even if it’s something that you think needs to be done, or something traditional (like a party or shower, or even the stress of getting the nursery ready in time). Ignore what everyone else thinks, eliminate any pressure, and make your pregnancy your own. Do whatever is right for you – make the time unique and special.”
Incorporate your children into your world. Introduce them to the things that bring you joy. You don’t have to travel the world to gain this understanding, but look at your surroundings and ask yourself, “What makes me happiest? What eliminates my stress?” Here’s a secret, whatever it is will be exactly what your children need. When the parents are comfortable, the children benefit.
Bryan, Andrea and Delilah plan to continue their travels. At some point, they will look at slowing down and giving their little girl a home. And when that time comes, it will be a place that brings them all great joy and a place that justifies their voyaging lifestyle. But for now, travel on team. See the world. Be. Happy.
Follow Their Journey: