When Jimmy, (my fella), and I decided we wanted to have a child, I was so ready. I was traveling for Ghost Hunters at the time, but the schedule was not what it once was. The second year I was on GH, I was on the road 300 days of that year. We cranked out over 30 episodes, for two new seasons at the time.
When Charlotte came, I was entering year five with the production and the filming process had become much more streamlined. Plus, in my heart, I knew I was ready to leave the show if my having a child was going to be too much to juggle. Ultimately, it did prove to be so, but I lasted just over a year. Much of that travel was made easier for me because I would just bring Charlotte.
I never considered leaving her behind all the time. When ever a new filming location was put on the schedule, my first thought was, “Can I bring Charlotte on this one?”
We started small. I’d bring a nanny and we’d stick to semi local film shoots. That, coupled with a few trips for appearances and to visit family in California, meant Charlotte became well traveled in her first year of life. She also started her adventures meeting her road family, all of my paranormal buddies from various television shows.
We drove, we flew, we took a few boats. Adventuring is the norm for my little girl and I think that’s why she has become such a savvy traveler over the years. I also think that’s why I’ve pretty much figured out every trick in the book when it comes to traveling with a kiddo, and one of the biggest reasons I started this blog.
There have been challenges. As many parents know, kids pick up every germ on the way from here to there. We’ve visited a few urgent care centers on the road. I even once made the tough decision to leave my sick kiddo behind with Daddy and the nanny, while I went away to film.
There have been a few meltdowns. There have been flight delays, traffic jams, lost luggage. But mostly, Charlotte is none the wiser. Travel hiccups are part of travel, and as I teach her that they are inevitable, her patience astounds and outweighs mine.
I am often asked, “Why not leave her home with Daddy?” Well, Daddy works two jobs. So leaving her home would mean she would still be with a sitter or in daycare most days. And if it’s a weekend appearance when Dad works nights, we would need a sitter at night too. We decided the advantages of having her with a parent as consistently as possible, plus the experiences of traveling, would outweigh the cons. We stick to a schedule as much as we can on non-travel days. We also limit trips to once or twice a month.
Now, Charlotte is three. We have yet to travel internationally, other than a few cruise stops, but I’m sure that will be here before we know it. In the meantime, please enjoy these tidbits of our journeys. I’ll post some of my favorite tips and tricks, plus some of our more inspiring moments. The ups and downs, the highs and lows, I’ll try not to leave any stones unturned. Not only do I want to impart what we’ve learned over the years to you, but I want to document all of this for her.
Thanks for reading, all. More soon….