This Nurse Used Her Leave To Travel The World

Mum Karen Edward has been using her maternity leave as nurse to go travelling with her two young children and husband.

Her children are probably better travelled than most – they’ve seen 17 countries so far – and set off when baby Quinn was just nine weeks old and older daughter Esmé was three.

The family are currently based in Peru and it’s their second time travelling, after they piloted the idea when older daughter Esmé was born.

The cultured family come from different corners of the globe – with Karen from Ireland, dad Shaun from New Zealand and the children born in England.

Karen, 33, and Shaun, 32, had previously set off around with globe when Esme was just a baby.

Despite the sometimes hectic nature of travelling, Karen thinks that this lifestyle is easier.

The family have been to 17 countries so far
She said: “If I was at home in London, it’s harder to keep the kids entertained all day – I think this lifestyle is actually easier.

“People think I’m crazy but our kids are constantly entertained.

“Quinn is so quiet – I know he won’t remember it, but I think he’s taking it in in his own way.

“Esmé loves it, she really enjoys going to new places – she’s always asking ‘Where are we going now?'”

She document her travels with her family on the blog
She continued: “Esmé tries to say the names of the countries and she’s obsessed with maps.

“Maternity money has given us that extra edge and because I’m the higher earner of both of us, it means we can go.

“It’s a huge factor for us. Most husbands have to go back to work within two weeks.”

The countries the family have been to include Canada, the USA, Belize, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador and the Caribbean.

The family are currently based in Peru, after spending time trekking the Americas
Nurse Karen reckons that the family won’t ever stop their travels completely – even if they aren’t doing it full time.

“This time we’ve been to Canada, trekking the Americas and now we’re currently in Peru.

“I don’t see us ever stopping travelling – [but] the kids are so young I’m holding back on some of the places we want them to remember vividly. Even at home we travel about once a month.

“One of the places I want to take them is the Antarctic, but I’ll wait until they’re at least nine or 10.

“The best thing is being with the kids all the time – it’s a year with my baby, not having to worry about going back to work.

“The three-year-old tantrums are not fun – but it’d happen anywhere, and there’s the issues of limited clothes supply and managing tiredness.

“A lot of the trips we centre around [Esmé] – lots of museums, outdoor space and kids’ play areas.

“A big thing is being able to socialise her with other kids – we try to meet up with other families who travel.

Karen wants to take her kids to the Antarctic in the future, but will wait until they are older
Despite the amount of time she and Shaun spend together, Karen says that dates seem to fall by the wayside.

“Every time we go to date night something comes up, so as much as we see each other all the time – we don’t get to talk much. I think the chances of a third child are slim to none.

“I’m not really looking forward to going back to working nights, seeing our kids less and missing them – although it makes financial sense for me to go back to work.”

The first time the family travelled, Karen started the blog to help her deal with being a first-time mum and to capture the incredible memories they were creating.

“I think because we’d travelled so extensively before, it was an easier decision to make than it might have been otherwise.

“While we were travelling first time around, I started the blog to try and stimulate my brain over nappies. The blog has grown into such a huge success since – it’s been great.

“I don’t think my kids are the youngest travellers out there, but I think Quinn has to be the most intrepid baby.”