Is Irish baby Esme the world’s youngest back-packer? Mum makes the most of maternity leave to travel the world
An Irish nurse has made the most of her maternity leave by taking the opportunity to travel the world with her new daughter and boyfriend in tow.
Karen Edwards (31) and her partner Shaun Bayes welcomed baby Esme in 2014 and decided to set off for ten months of backpacking in Asia when she was just ten weeks old.
The couple leased out their London home in November 2014 and Shaun, who is a landscaper, took leave from his job while Karen was on maternity leave from the NHS.
The nurse admitted that her family in Ireland thought she was mad to take Esme with them on their world tour where they visited Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Taiwan and Hong Kong throughout the ten months.
“I was thinking about maternity leave and decided I'd like to take her travelling,” Karen told MailOnline.
“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 Esmé when she arrived.
“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.
“We have no regrets, she got to experience new sights, scenes and smells as she grew and that is incredible."
The mum documented the family’s travels on her Instagram account Travelmadmum.
“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.
“You can still do everything, including snorkelling and diving, but you just take it in turns. I can't imagine having spent my maternity leave any other way.”