This post was updated in May 2020.
When I wrote this post, so many things were uncertain: would we be able to keep travelling with a baby? How would life look like as a digital nomad mom? What would happen to Jey Jetter? All these doubts and questions are in the article below. I keep them there to show how life is not always clear.
Fast forward to today, we are still travelling and Jey Jetter is still our online business that funds our travels. But, we are now a digital nomad family of four, as Niklas Fynn was born in May 2019, on La Palma, Canary Island, Spain
It’s been a while since I’ve had the time, or energy, to sit down and write something for the blog. Apologies to all of you who have been following our adventures up until recently. But, I think I have one of the best excuses (if not THE best!) In May 2017, I gave birth to our beautiful little son. This has not only been one of the most amazing experiences in my entire life, but it has also changed everything for me. Here are my thoughts about how things were, what is happening at the moment, and what lies ahead for life as a digital nomad mum.
When Life Happens – What Changed After Becoming A Mother
The news took me by surprise, to say the least. We did not plan to have a baby just yet, but at the same time, we were ready to embrace it whenever it happened. And it happened at the very least expected moment: during summer 2016, after an epic 10-month trip through Central and South America, we crossed the Atlantic on a cruise ship. It was part of a re-location and also part of a digital nomad event that we didn’t want to miss. Once we were back in Europe, we spent the summer in Germany, catching up with family and friends. Check out one of our videos from Berlin.
Berlin is also where we found out about our little one. We were still in travel mode, booking flight tickets to our next big adventure: a trip to Dubai, followed by a month in the Philippines where we attended our first Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) event. At TBEX, we met so many inspiring people from all around the world. We even stayed in touch with one woman and discussed the option of working for her agency in Melbourne. We took this as a sign, and spontaneously decided to apply for an Australian work-visa and planned to have little bubba in Down Under.
But Then Things Took An Unexpected Turn…
While working through a ton of paperwork, we enjoyed a very peaceful and mindful six weeks in Bali. We were planning to stay in Asia for as long as needed until our Australian visa was approved. The baby was already turning into a jolly little figure in my belly and we enjoyed those pictures – a tiny little human was growing inside me! The first check-up was actually back in the Philippines. To be honest, it was a bit nerve-wracking with all the ZIKA news surrounding us. Friends and family from Europe seemed to be more on edge than the locals in all the places we visited…luckily, it turned out all ok.
Becoming More Pregnant And Less Adventurous…
With my hormone levels rising, and an undeniable belly bump, I gradually became less adventurous. Suddenly, I longed for a break, and for the first time in more than nine years of travelling full-time, I wanted to be with my mother. It was a strong feeling, I then realised that I had never been homesick before that moment. Today, it makes perfect sense for me; I was going to become a mother myself and I wanted to share this with my family and spend time with them.
After almost six years of travelling non-stop around the globe, it suddenly made no sense for me to be so far away from the soon-to-be-grandparents. On top of that, one day in the middle of planning our move to Australia, my mom fell sick and told me that she was going to need surgery. This was the tip of the iceberg for me, and our final reason to cancel our current mission to settle down Down Under. There were no more discussions needed; we wanted to be home by Christmas.
Take The Long Way Home!
Luckily, travelling was still not a problem for me. Apart from the constant fatigue, I was feeling great. My belly did not draw much attention, so we easily passed through airport security with little hassle. To take it easy, we decided to break up the journey and spend a few days in Kuala Lumpur, another week in Istanbul before finally returning to Germany in December 2016. Check out my article with travel tips for Istanbul.
Finding My Way Back Into The System
Back in Germany, I spent the last three months of my pregnancy filling out tons of forms and spending gazillions of hours on the phone with all sorts of institutions. Gah, what a pain…! Who would have thought that re-settling into your home country would require such effort! Since I didn’t even have German health insurance and had been gone for more than five years, there was no way around it. I simply had to fill out all those forms and play by the rules…
Fast forward to May 16th when our sunny boy was finally born. Words can’t describe what I felt that day. I consider myself very lucky. I had an amazing pregnancy with no major symptoms and on top of that, giving birth was such a beautiful and overwhelming experience – I would do it all over again! All in all, little bubba has brought only joy and has been a wonderful addition to our lives. We are endlessly grateful to have him!
What Happens Next In My Life As A Digital Nomad Mum?
You might be wondering how this digital nomad lifestyle is going to work with a baby? And, to be honest, that’s still a question we haven’t answered for ourselves. But we’ve tested the waters and introduced our little one to the world of travel. At the age of 3 months, we took him on a 10-day trip to Italy. It was such a blast seeing him enjoy the new surroundings. He passed his travel exam! We are not only very proud parents but also reassured that our little bubba might become the next digital nomad…
What Happens Next On The Blog?
For now, I am simply grateful to be able to spend some time with my mum. She is the happiest grandma ever, and luckily she has recovered and is doing fine now. I am also currently enjoying some time to catch up with my writing. There are so many stories I haven’t told, and tons of destinations I’ve yet to write about. So, the baby break won’t actually mean a halt to Jey Jetter, but a revival of my stagnated writing habits.
And of course, being a digital nomad mum now, my spectrum of interests has widened. That’s why I’d like to give this blog a bit of a revamp and introduce an additional focus. Don’t worry, I won’t discuss diapers or similar hot topics! But, there might be soon a section about travelling with kids or family-related topics. We’re still working on it…so, stay tuned for our upcoming posts!
Leave a comment and tell us what your experiences are! Don’t be shy, tell us what you think![clear-line]
NOT DONE READING YET?
Are you still contemplating if the digital nomad lifestyle is something you might like? Then check out our post on how nine years of travelling full-time have changed my life.
Or do you wonder how to actually be able to finance your travels? Then check out our article on how to earn a little extra while on the road!
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27 replies on “Is Life Feasible As A Digital Nomad Mum?”
[…] asked Julia Jerg, a self-proclaimed digital nomad who has worked out of 86 different countries, how people reacted when she first got pregnant. […]
Excellent writing, this a different type of article, I love to read your article, and so many well-wishings to be a mother and it’s a truth that when you became a mother your lifestyle will change, all the joys become double. Looking forward to your next post. thanks
Thanks, Harriett! That’s very kind of you! I take it you’re a mother yourself?
What a beautiful piece! I look froward to following this stage in your life as my husband and I are starting to think of having kids, but we’re so scared how it will change our lives. We’re still in the selfish stage, I suppose. I too will want to be settled near my mother, so I totally understand that feeling. I’m glad that it was possible for you to get there – even with the headache of paperwork. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Paige! Don’t be scared, it’s the most wonderful experience you’ll have in your life. Trust me, I couldn’t imagine it beforehand and always thought that I would rather wait a few more years. But now that he is here, we cannot think of a greater gift! All the best to you and hope you’ll stop by here again occasionally! Cheers
Congratulations on your beautiful baby! That’s so amazing you took the little one on a trip to Italy so young. I got my first passport when I was 6 weeks old so I definitely can thank my parents for my travel obsession now. Its so interesting to hear your perspective on being a digital nomad mum. I wish you all the best!
Thank you so much, those are really kind words! I hope our little one will discover his passion for travel as well like you then 😉
I think you’ve raised a very good question here: is it feasible to be a mum and digital nomad at the same time?I think this is an opportunity for you to set an example for other mums out there thinking of living a digital nomad life. Best of luck!
Ha, I thought so too! It is exciting and at the same time a bit scary! But knowing myself, I am sure to give it a shot and will write about it here… 😀
Congratulations. The little boy is cute<3 . This article is insightful and probably other mothers-to-be-digital-nomad-mums can benefit the thought processes. I can very well imagine the positive emotional change that makes the digital part take a back seat for now. Best Wishes!
Thank you, Nisha!!! I will give my best! All the best to you too!
What a beautiful story! I think until you actually become a mother, it’s impossible to really know how you’re going to feel, what you’re going to think – however much your friends tell you! My advice would be to just go with the flow and do what feels right. I look forward to hearing about what you decide!
Thank you! Absolutely true! Before, I had no idea and am sure no one can really understanding what it means to be a mom/parent until the moment comes… Will keep you posted how it goes. Best wishes to you!
Great to see things through your perspective. I have no idea about kids but yes, being digital nomad has its challenges but is also the most rewarding thing to do. I jsut enjoy the fact that I don’t have to spend half of my day communing to the office through a traffic jam (which is exactly what I had to do a few years earlier).
Hey, another DN! 🙂 Absolutely, the ups weigh out the downs of the 9-5 lifestyle big time! At least, you can decide where to go and what to do as opposed to the commuter/office life where you are forced to do something for someone EVERY SINGLE DAY! High five to location independence 😉
Haha, that little one is very cute. Did you already consider what additional “shots” he might need when you go traveling to countries that might need some vaccins? That has been an issue with many traveling parents, but I guess there is still plenty of stuff to see in Europe or other countries where nothing is needed. 🙂
Thank you, he is our little sunshine indeed! 🙂 Yes, shots are a constant topic… but for now, we will be mingling around Europe and will vaccinate as we go and as needed! It’s absolutely not a favourite topic of mine, but I guess there is no way around it eventually! Thanks for commenting and happy travels to you 🙂
Congrats! Travelling with kids is the best fun. You see the world through new eyes.
Thank you! Yes, it is a lot of fun and I think every age group brings different and new ways to it! 🙂
Congratulations. I am so glad your mum is well. When I became a step-mum I realised everything my mum did for me and how much I needed her advice. Having your first child probably makes you appreciate your mum so much more. Good luck with whatever you decide
Thanks so much for your nice words, really appreciate it!
I love how you’ve written all your journey right from your travel plans to your unexpected pregnancy.. Things definitely change once you have a baby & also many many congratulations to you.. Hope your plans to revamp your blog kickstarts soon.. cannot wait to read more of your adventures!
Thank you for your comment and your nice words, Tanvi! Glad you will be following along and fingers crossed baby leaves me with enough time to do the revamp soon lol
Wow that’s awesome! Congratulations!
Thank you! 😀
Great article! I am looking forward to read more about your travels as a digital nomad mum!
That’s great, you will soon ;-D