Is baby Esme the world's youngest backpacker?

Little Esme was just 10-weeks-old when she headed off on a backpacking adventure with her parents.
Little Esme was just 10-weeks-old when she headed off on a backpacking adventure with her parents. Photo: Instagram/@travelmadmum

For many new mums, venturing to the supermarket with a newborn baby is enough of an adventure. 

But 31-year-old Karen Edwards decided to ditch the supermarket altogether and, along with her partner Shaun Bayes, went backpacking with her baby instead.

 

A photo posted by Travel Mad Mum (@travelmadmum) on

Edwards, from London, told the Daily Mail that she couldn't imagine spending her maternity leave any other way.

"I was thinking about maternity leave and decided I'd like to take (Esme) travelling. Both Shaun and I were keen backpackers before I fell pregnant and everyone thought we were completely nuts when we said that we were going to take Esme when she arrived," she said.

The family headed off when Esme was just 10-weeks-old when the family headed of on the 10 month adventure.

They have already visited Ireland, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

Esme was given travel vaccinations before they left the UK and received boosters in New Zealand.

 

A photo posted by Travel Mad Mum (@travelmadmum) on

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Edwards says that while travelling with a baby wasn't always easy, she and Bayes have no regrets about their decision.

"She was really well behaved and because she was small it was easy enough to keep her in the harness when we were on the move. She got to experience new sights, scenes and smells as she grew and that is incredible.

"The only time I felt Esmé was missing out was not having much socialising with other children," Edwards told Daily Mail.

While many seasoned travellers would argue that having kids signals the end of travelling, Edwards disagrees.

"People say having a child ruins travelling, but it really doesn't. Obviously there were times, like at night in the hotel room when you fancy a beer and the baby is asleep, and when you crack it open she wakes, that makes it harder. But it's worth it," she said.

 

A photo posted by Travel Mad Mum (@travelmadmum) on

"You can still do everything, including snorkelling and diving, but you just take it in turns."

However, Edwards does admit that travelling with a young baby was challenging at times. The main issue was the family all being in one room together when Esmé needed to sleep.

Edwards also says that she found it difficult to have lots of people around them when their daughter is having a tantrum. Another issue was not having enough toys around and having to rush through dinners before Esmé became "cranky".

Edwards, who is a nurse with the UK's NHS, was able to fund the adventure with her maternity pay. Bayes also did some landscaping work while they were in New Zealand to "earn a bit of extra cash."

Edwards hopes to inspire other inspire like-minded travel loving parents with her blog Travel Mad Mum and colorful instagram posts.

"I want to share factual information, personal stories as well as top tips for travelling with little ones," she said.

"your travel days do not have to be over. It is all about incorporating your little person into your way of life."