London parents on epic backpacking trip round the world despite baby daughter only being 7 months old

A London mum is spending her maternity leave traveling the world with her baby as part of an eight-month long backpacking trip. North London mum Milly Godwin is currently halfway across the world in South America on an epic trip with seven-month-old daughter Poppy.

Along with partner Stu, 32, an engineer from Australia, the family have already traveled through the bottom of South America together. Milly, 30, an NHS midwife, told MyLondon: “Stu and I have always been obsessed with travelling. Whether it was cycling around Indonesia or rock climbing in Mallorca, we pretty much lived for traveling adventures together. We felt like maternity leave was the perfect opportunity to travel and bond with our baby.”

The couple, who keep the family up to date on their travels through their Instagram, had originally planned to leave when Poppy was six weeks old. However, the family’s trip was delayed due to a shock health problem.

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Milly says she loves opening Poppy up to new foods, sights and smells

“Our plan was to start traveling six weeks after Poppy was born but it didn’t quite work out that way,” Milly said. “After the birth Stu kept complaining of headaches that I just put down to sleep deprivation.

“However the headaches worsened and when Poppy was three weeks old Stu was diagnosed with a large, benign brain tumor. He had 11 hour emergency surgery and was in hospital for the first few months of Poppy’s life. Fortunately though after six months Stu was given the all clear and we were able to start our adventures as a family.”



Dad Stu was in hospital for the first few months of Poppy’s life with a benign brain tumor

She added: “We started at the bottom of South America in Patagonia, Argentina, and we are now making our way up through South and Central America and along the west coast of the USA, flying back to Europe from Canada. So far we have traveled through Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Costa Rica.”

The family are getting as close to a traditional backpacking trip as they possibly can, and while they are avoiding dorms, they are living out of two backpacks. “Staying in dorms would be a bit too much even for us,” Milly explained. “Just as much for other people’s sake as our own I think.

“We have mainly stayed in Airbnbs, which have been a pretty good experience. Sleep deprivation is our major challenge, like other babies poppy often likes to be nocturnal. But we would prefer to be exploring beautiful parts of the world tired then be back in our flat in London.”



Many of the locals can’t help but fawn over Poppy

But while they may be running off a few hours sleep a night, the couple are absolutely loving the adventure. “We keep joking that the best benefit of traveling with a baby is that we have an excuse to leave the night time shenanigans and go to bed early,” Milly said.

“But actually I think the main benefit is how it allows us to connect with people we meet while traveling in a way we haven’t ever been able to before. It’s been wonderful exposing Poppy to the beauty and diversity of the world.

“Last week we were in Mindo rainforest in Ecuador where she was trying all the tropical fruits and chasing around hummingbirds. But actually what we’ve loved most has been how Poppy has allowed us to connect with the local families and people out here.”



Milly, a midwife for the NHS, is spending her maternity leave traveling with her newborn baby

The family has attracted attention in the different places they have been, with many gushing over baby Poppy. Milly said: “Wherever we go we hear a constant sound of ‘oh muy Linda’ (oh so pretty in Spanish) from the locals.

“And they often run from what they are doing to come and see Poppy and say hi. Other travelers are also equally excited. They often ask, ‘is it difficult traveling with a baby?’”

Milly says she wouldn’t have done the trip any other way, and hopes her friends can do the same: “I’m hoping some of my friends will feel inspired to do similar things during their maternity leave, they are all so excited by what we’re doing. My parents are happy we are having a good time but desperate to have their grandchild back.”

Got a story you think we should be covering? If so, email hannah.kane@reachplc.com

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