Life · Parenthood · Travel · Zero to Hero - 30 Day Challenge

A Plane, A Toddler, & Two Inexperienced Parents

Image courtesy Google
Image courtesy Google

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share this, but it’s official, we are going to Japan! With our toddler. On a plane. For the first time. Woohoo!!!

I am all at once beyond excited and nervous! But you know, I figure, if you’re going to make a decision to travel for the very first time on a plane with your baby, why not just go all in and book that international 10 hour + flight, right? It’s all or nothing!

In all seriousness though, I am nervous, but I’m also very, very much excited. I absolutely can not wait to visit Japan for the very first time with my husband (who has also never been there either) and what better way to do it than share this experience with our little one in tow.

We originally wanted to make this trip back in March of 2011 and even had our package set and purchased with Expedia. Then the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan and I found out I was pregnant. I was worried about going to Japan given my pregnant state and the events that had transpired, and so was most of our family, with the exception of my brother who jokingly pumped his fist in the air while chanting “go, go, go, maybe your baby will have super powers”. Despite that tempting possibility (kidding), we ended up changing our travel plans and visited Paris instead. It turned out to be a lovely trip, filled with tons of walking miles added to my feet, and afternoons filled with me napping at nearly every park we visited while in Paris.

Then our daughter came along as did all the exhaustion, beauty, adventures and adjustments of being first time parents, coupled with me working on finishing school and then deciding to switch careers. 2013 was a year filled with huge accomplishments for us. My husband, who had passed the Captains test at work, finished his probation period and I earned myself my college degree. We definitely deserve a reward, and so when my husband told me he wanted us to book our trip to Japan this year, and made that our top item on our 2014 goals list, I knew that any hesitation on my part was mostly fear/unknown driven and that we needed to just dive in and enjoy whatever came because quite honestly, we could keep putting this off for the “right time” and that right time may just never come.

I am pretty much filled with the typical questions (concerns haha) of how our daughter will react to the flight, the duration of the flight, and that dreaded thought that she may have a complete and total melt down while we are trapped 30,000 feet in the air…but then I stop myself and realize, I have absolutely no control over what the outcome will be. I can go prepared and take the proper supply of entertainment and distractions for her, but mostly what I need to do is accept that I have no control of what my or may not go down and I just need to breath and let each moment and experience come in its due time and manner.

So for you experienced parents travelers with young children, I would love to hear any input/thoughts/ideas that you may have! In the meantime, stay tuned for updates as we get closer to our departure date of 3/24/14.

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8 thoughts on “A Plane, A Toddler, & Two Inexperienced Parents

  1. I can’t speak from experience with kids, but I spent 4 months in Japan just a few months after the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. It was the best 4 months of my life and I can’t wait to go back. I hope you have an amazing time there! What parts of Japan will you be visiting?

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    1. Hi Jason, thanks for the like and your comment. We’ll be spending a few days in Tokyo and the rest of our time there in Kyoto. I can imagine what an amazing experience you must have had there for 4 months! Any must see things in either place that you recommend? We have seen pictures from other travelers and are in awe of it’s beauty.

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      1. Take a day trip to see the big Buddha in Kamakura, for sure. It’s a fairly easy train ride from Tokyo. The kids will love Ueno Park Zoo. Be sure to go to Meiji Shingu and Harajuku. And Kyoto is just…amazing. If you have the opportunity, take the train to Hiroshima for the day. It’s worth the trip. I’m green with envy!! 🙂

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      2. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I can not wait to share this with my husband. I seriously still can’t believe we are actually going. I’ll definitely be sharing our experience!

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      3. I look forward to reading it!! May I also suggest that while you’re there you find a restaurant called “Yamachan.” They have the very best fried chicken wings I’ve ever had. It’s like they’re cooked in crack. The kimchee fried rice is great there, too. And try Mister Donut!! The kids will enjoy that. Just be careful you don’t get a seaweed donut…unless you’re into that. 🙂

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      4. Hahaha definitely not into seaweed donut! Very much appreciate the food recommendations! Feel free to share as much as you want. We can take all the help.

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    1. Thank you for the tip, it’s definitely something I will do before our travel date 🙂 Also, I love the picture of your pup. We have an Olde English Bulldog that has more of a boxer than flat bulldog face.

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