Family travel writer Yashy and her husband Chris continue to maintain their pre-baby lifestyle with two kids under the age of 6. With a passion for travelling the world as well as exploring all that downtown Toronto has to offer, they focus on food, fun, and culture. You’ll find some hilarious parenting stories along with inspiration and tips for your next family adventure on their family blog, Baby & Life. The family is about to spend the next few months travelling abroad, and we at Orange Naturals will be following their journey as they embark on this brave, new adventure.
Author : Yashy Murphy
I have often dreamed of abandoning my every day responsibilities and travelling the world. Before starting a family in Canada, I lived an itinerant life. I was born in Sri Lanka but mainly grew up in Dubai and Pakistan. Both of my parents worked in the airline industry, and every couple of years, my dad’s job required us to move to a new country. These frequent moves exposed me to travel at a very young age and I found that I enjoyed seeing the world. In my university years, I studied in the United States, Australia, and England before coming to Canada in 2005 to pursue a Masters Degree. I thought my stay in Canada would be limited to two years of study, but here I am eleven years later, still living in the same Toronto condominium I moved into after first landing in the country!
As you can tell, yes, I met a Canadian guy during my MBA program and the rest is your typical fairytale, complete with two destination weddings, one on Cape Breton Island and one in Colombo, Sri Lanka. After a few years working a corporate job in the glamourous world of beverage alcohol, I went on my first maternity leave. While sitting at home, getting bored with a 2 week-old, my brother convinced me to start a blog to share stories about the crazy idea I was planning, which would involve a month long journey to Europe and India with a two month old baby. That is how Baby & Life was born.
My husband, Chris, and I have continued to travel frequently. Our daughter, who we refer to as our Little Monkey, clocked in 18 flights in her first year. The arrival of Baby Boy two years later didn’t slow us down either. Working a full time job in Canada, with its woefully limited number of vacation days, meant that most of our trips were weekend getaways, but we also took an annual multi-generational vacation with one or both sets of grandparents.
I kept dreaming about abandoning my job in Toronto and moving our family to a new city or better yet, becoming nomads. It was a dream I often spoke about to Chris, but he is the level headed one in the relationship. He kept telling me that we would be better off saving for an early retirement when we could travel freely and endlessly in the long term, but I wasn’t convinced. And well, after years of nagging, Chris finally gave in last summer and agreed to go travelling for a year. We made the decision in August of 2016 and yet, here we are in early 2017, still living in the same downtown condo! We just can’t seem to get fully moving on our idea.
Planning the trip has been tough. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about this upcoming adventure, but we are faced with many challenges. There are many small steps that we need to take in order to make our dream a reality, leading to a lot of anxiety as we make preparations to travel with two young children on a full time basis. I have spent many nights cuddling up on our couch with a warm cup of tea and a few drops Stress + Calm my go to homeopathic tincture, before going to bed!
Trying to figure out where we want to go has not been easy. Toronto is quite a vibrant city and we love it here. Trying to find a safe, affordable city on par with Toronto is limiting the number of potential destinations. I am also about to leave my comfy day job to focus on our consulting business. Purging years of junk in the house was ultimately cathartic but also stressful. Plus, we have been struggling to find someone willing to rent our condo for the short term. Oh, and I also need to mentally prepare myself to spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the kids. There’s going to be plenty of family time where we’ll be creating memorable moments that will forever be ingrained in our minds. Let’s hope the challenging family moments are far and few in-between!
My mind has been churning through many sleepless nights. These nights see me desperately grabbing for Orange Naturals Sleep another natural remedy that I use in order to be relatively alert for the next day’s 7:30 am school bus drop off, full work day at the office, and frequent evening events.
It has taken us almost 6 months to get things in order but we finally have a few plans! We don’t fully know where we’re going to go but would like to explore Spain for a bit. We do have a time limit. Baby Boy will start Junior Kindergarten in September, and Little Monkey will enter Grade 1. She hated her first year of school but we felt that it helped her to start JK with other kids that were similarly anxious. We don’t want Baby Boy to have to start late and so we plan to return to Toronto by September.
Our house is now on the rental market, and we are really hoping to find a lovely family to rent our place. When we do, we plan on hopping online, finding a cheap flight to Europe and commencing our journey. We have no fixed destination and plan on keeping our plans flexible. That’s part of the charm for me. For the first time in a long time, I will not have to worry about planning or following the rules. We get to take six months to do as we wish, and yes, our savings will take a hit, but we will be putting our efforts into safe, budget travel. We consider this trip to be a working, practice retirement.
It’s a big risk but we’re relatively young and the time is right. So why not fly away, right?
Stay tuned for more updates from us! As soon as we rent our place out, we’ll let you know where we’re going, how we plan to pack for our trip, and what items we plan to bring with us!