I went to Mexico, Colombia, Aruba, and Curacao for 45 days at seven months pregnant. I floated in a 50-foot mud volcano in Colombia and went swimming into cenotes and sea caves in Mexico, where I felt my baby’s first kick.
MUMBAI, India — At 40 years old, my gynecologist delivered devastating news: I could not conceive a child and passed the of age of getting pregnant. I faced a challenging and emotional time. Then, while in Rishikesh, a city in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, I realized I hadn’t had my period in several weeks. Little did I know life had a completely different plan for me.
As an obedient daughter to well-educated parents in Kolkata, I married at 24 years old to the man my parents chose. The marriage proved unfulfilling and abusive. I stayed for four years before realizing I needed to leave. Thankfully, my parents became a strong support system. However, in our society, non-married women received little respect. Being divorced proved even worse, and society ostracized me. I felt emotionally drained, crying all night and throwing up from overwhelming anxiety. Nothing cheered me up. For months, I changed therapists constantly, hoping to find someone to truly help me.
Coping with being alone felt difficult, and I also faced overcoming the abuse I suffered. Love and respect did not exist in my relationship but at my young age, I could not see that unfolding before my eyes. It took about three years after the divorce to pick myself and move on with life.
I left Kolkata to find myself and liberate my live. For far too long, I lived in the shackles of what others expected of me. I moved to Pune and eventually found a good job. After building some incredible friendships, life felt completely different. For the next seven years, I lived to earn money and travel. I wanted to explore the world.
At the time, I also pondered the idea of starting my own family. I finally met someone I loved deeply, and life seemed too good to be true. Having reached my forties, every doctor I went to told me the same thing: conceiving at my age and in my current health was nearly impossible. It broke me, because I truly a desire to be a mother. My husband and I tried for a baby for three years with no luck. Everyone around me constantly told me I had no chance of ever carrying a child. Though I lived my dream life, the idea of not having a child felt like a sudden void.
My husband supported the idea of adoption, but I felt heartbroken. My anxiety and depression slowly came rushing back. I felt like trapped in that same headspace as before, feeling helpless and lacking joy. Shortly after, I went trekking along Chandrashila in Rishikesh. This once-in-a-lifetime experience felt like an amazing coping mechanism. I wanted to distract myself and needed therapy for my emotions. While returning from the hike, I received a notification. My period was several weeks late.
Not wanting to get my hopes up, I bought a pregnancy test just to be sure. It came back positive. I could not believe it and for hours, I cried endlessly, before finally calling up my husband. He told me to come back right away so we could go see a doctor and make sure. As I made my way back to the house, I recited a small prayer near the river. I wanted to truly feel this moment, and let it sink in.
As an avid traveler, nothing brings me more joy than exploring new places in the world. This felt entirely different. It felt as though my life was finally taking a different direction. Once the doctor confirmed my pregnancy, I refrained from travel and stayed home to ensure the safety of my baby. However, I also wanted to see more places while pregnant. I wanted to hit my 70th country milestone before having the baby, so it would always be special. A few weeks passed and I went back to traveling. I went to Mexico, Colombia, Aruba, and Curacao for 45 days at seven months pregnant.
On average, I walked 10 kilometers a day. I floated in a 50-foot mud volcano in Colombia and went swimming into cenotes and sea caves in Mexico, where I felt my baby’s first kick. It seemed so magical; I could not have been happier. I went to Pink Lake and danced with the locals, snorkeled in Curacao, and hiked 18 kilometers by a beach and on sand dunes in Aruba to watch the most beautiful sunset of my life.
Finally, I drove all around the Caribbean Island alone as a perfect ending to this incredible journey. I got to witness beautiful landscapes, surrounded by warm strangers and good food. After being plagued by so much sadness for years, I could finally take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.
This has been the adventure of a lifetime. I run a blog called Travel Chatter, where I share my journey as a globe traveler. I wanted to make my pregnancy memorable, because it felt like a miracle. Sharing it with the world feels even more exciting. Traveling improved since giving birth to my daughter Kiara. I get to travel with my her, showing her how beautiful and vast the world is. After the baby, I embraced slow travel and tried not to have an overpacked schedule. Traveling with a baby can be tough, but I feel so blessed to even have her that it rarely bothers me.
I feel incredibly happy today. These experiences proved, nothing is impossible as long as you maintain hope and perseverance. I am a very adventurous person by nature, and it should reflect in every special moment of my life. I have taken my two-year-old daughter Kiara to more than 10 countries. In total, I traveled to 81 countries across the world. My parents instilled this passion for traveling in me as a child. They took me to different places around the world and they fascinated me. My love for the curiosities of this world pulled me out of dark places in my life, and I could not be more thankful for all of it.
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