Babymoon (n): The last holiday you take with your partner before the arrival of baby, during which you realise you’ll never be alone again together for at least the next 18 years (gulp!)*
*Or something like that
When you find out you’re pregnant, it feels like there’s a million things you suddenly need to organise. But in amongst booking the NCT classes, sorting out the little one’s nursery and signing up for mummy yoga classes, one of the things which quickly made its way to the top of my to-do list was where should Mr A and I go on our last holiday together?
Of course, we’re still hoping to travel when our little explorer comes along, but this would be our final trip just the two of us. So the pressure was on to plan the perfect adventure. This meant that deciding where to go was a bit of a challenge. Should we go somewhere far-flung and exotic, where we’d be unlikely to travel with a baby, like the Maldives, or to a destination we’ve always dreamed of visiting like Cuba?
But one of the biggest lessons I had to learn, which I think I’m going to have to get much more used to, is scaling back the crazy expectations I have of myself.
As Mr A pointed out, I was going to be seven months pregnant when we took this trip so we should a) probably stay a bit closer to home and b) plan something low-key, which would be more about relaxing and spending quality time with each other, rather than running about following a over-ambitious schedule.
So instead we turned our sights to Europe and immediately knew where we wanted to go. Ever since I met Mr A we’ve said we would go to Italy one day because, and I feel I should probably whisper this as it’s so unbelievable, I’ve never been before!
People often find it strange that for someone who’s travelled so much I’ve never been to Italy. But in truth, there’s lots of European countries which I still haven’t got round to exploring. I guess when I was younger I would choose further flung places, safe in the knowledge that I had plenty of time to explore and that prices would be cheaper. But over the last few years I’ve been trying to rectify that and choosing destinations which are closer to home and I’m definitely hoping to do more of that in the future.
With the country chosen it was time to get down to the business of deciding whereabouts to go and once you start researching Italy it’s hard to stop! Also what makes things more difficult about planning a trip when pregnant is that you have no idea how you’re going to feel further down the line. When we first started planning the holiday and I was four months pregnant and still full of energy, I remember asking Mr A ‘Do you think I’ll be okay doing a ten-mile hike when I’m seven months pregnant?’and him looking at me like I was mad.
Eventually we decided on the Italian lakes for a number of reasons. We wanted somewhere relaxed, where there wasn’t too much to do and we wouldn’t feel bad just sitting in coffee shops or lying on the beach all day. That instantly ruled out places like Rome and Venice, where I knew we’d be tempted to try and squeeze in all of the tourist attractions. We also wanted somewhere that was easy to access and wouldn’t be too crowded and hoped that by arriving just after the peak season had finished things would be a bit calmer.
So Lake Como and the gorgeous Cinque Terre – which I’ve been lusting after for a long time thanks to Instagram – became our destinations of choice. Adding to that a couple of nights in Milan, where we’d fly into, and our two-week babymoon itinerary was complete. (If I’m being totally honest I may have tried to squeeze in one or two extra stops but Mr A, quite rightly, managed to rein me in!)
We’re now a week into our adventure and having the best time. There’ll be lots of posts coming up about our trip in the next few weeks, but for now I’m off for another gelato. Ciao!
You can follow our Italian adventure by checking out the hashtag #GUGYbabymoon on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Have you been to Italy? I’d love to hear about your favourite parts…