Published on January 30th, 2014 | by Kellie Bright
5 ways travelling is a lot like being pregnant
Read time: a bit over 3 minutes
Being pregnant has given me a lot of time to think about ridiculous stuff. Considering I work for a travel company, it was only a matter of time before the two worlds collided and I came to this epiphany – travelling and being pregnant are scarily similar. Here are a few things I’ve learnt along the way:
1. They both make you fat
One is due to all the amazing food on offer. The other is due to the fact there’s a human growing inside your stomach. I’ll leave it to you to decipher which one is about travel. If you don’t come home from a trip to Italy, Peru, Argentina, the United States or Turkey without needing to undo the belt at least one notch, then you just haven’t done it properly.
2. You’ll probably vomit in public
It begins with a dull ache. Then the rumbling begins. Suddenly, there’s a squeak and a cramp and before you know it you’re squatting in the gutter beside a man selling plastic bags of freshly killed chicken and puking your guts up.
Was it the freshly squeezed juice you bought at the market? Could it have been the KFC you desperately had to try, just to see if it tastes the same as home? You refuse to believe it was the lukewarm beer you bought from that street vendor. Whatever the reason, you can’t let it slow you down. That’s why you bought that jumbo pack of Imodium, after all.
3. There’s a whole new language to learn
Being the modern gal that I am it’s safe to say I’ve looked at a few pregnancy forums lately. It’s mostly to reassure myself that I’m not the only over-dramatic person out there and that the world is full of psychos who think it’s a good idea to live on Pepsi and hot dogs when pregnant so actually I’m doing just fine. One thing that has seriously creeped me out is the lingo. “My DS has just started eating solids. Will pumpkin give him a runny bottom? TIA,” says MotherEarth_81. “DH and I are currently TTC. Any hints on some fun new positions?” says SexyMummy69. Besides being generally grossed out, I had no idea what language these people were speaking.
Turns out, there is an actual glossary of terms that these weirdos use to communicate online. DS= Darling Son. TIA = Thanks in Advance. DH = Darling Husband. TTC = Trying to Conceive. I could have tried learning it, but I just backed slowly out of the chatroom and fled for the safety of Lainey Gossip instead.
Similarly, with travel you are not always going to understand what’s being said. There’s a few ways around it. You can dive in with a flurry of hand signals and the inevitable disaster of speaking loudly and slowly in the hope it will overcome the fact you’re doing it in the wrong language. You can eat solely at places with pictures on the menu, or point at whatever the person at the next table is eating and give the thumbs up. You can even take a few lessons before you travel (this is sometimes a good idea if you’re going to South America).
4. Everyone thinks they’re the expert
“Always bring a roll of toilet paper with you”, “Pack comfy shoes” and “Avoid the mussels” are phrases you’ll hear a lot in both situations. The minute you announce you’re either having a baby or going travelling, you’ll learn that everyone’s an expert. Oh, the things you will hear. My advice is to nod, smile and take it all with a grain of salt.
5. You’ll need a stiff drink and a lie down at the end of it
Travel isn’t always about lazing on the beach with a cocktail in your hand. It can be hard, emotional, challenging, disappointing, overwhelming and frustrating. The same can be said for pregnancy. You might only get one shot at each of these these big adventures, and if it were easy everyone would be doing it. So make the most of it and know that in nine months or less you can come home, put your feet up, pour yourself a stiff drink and give yourself a pat on the back.
If you’re really lucky, you might do it all over again in a few years. Whether you’re travelling or having a baby there’s one thing for sure – at the end of each journey you’re coming home with something awesome (and you’re probably going to need to lose some weight).
(The photo at the top of this article is a stock photo. It is not a picture of Kellie Bright. Kellie has now had her baby – she’s called Pippa Alice Lambert and she’s going to grow up to be just as kick-ass as her mother)