I get it! I really do! Travelling to a new country is scary with kids. You don't know the language or culture or where the nearest doctor is, or if the food is safe for your kids to eat, if your kids can handle the itinerary and not become exhausted or sick…or sick with exhaustion & exhausted of being sick!
Little wonder that many families opt to play it safe and go to a resort, cruises or stay closer to home. At least, you can get the comforts of home.
Our eldest did get sick with a stomach bug; our baby projectile vomited in the car due to motion sickness while our tour guide, Luis, was zipping through snake-like mountain passes near Medellin. And of course trying to talk to a local paediatric clinic with our broken Spanish and their non-existent English was,
After Medellin, came the heat & humidity of Cartagena and the Caribbean coast of Colombia as a whole. We had clearly underestimated the level of heat as most days the thermostat was above 40 degree Celsius (inching closer to 45, really), ensuring that your skin would burn and you’d be blanketed in sweat within 10 mins of being outside. But, I did lose more of my post-partum pounds through sweating though
So the fear of kids vomiting in the car, the sticky heat and endless bug bites, led us to cancel our planned trip to Tayrona National Park in the North-West of Colombia. And sadly, there went our plans to stay in an eco-lodge in the forest, a different kind of adventure that I had been looking forward to. The drive from Cartagena to Yuluka Eco-Lodge would be about 4.5hrs, but that did not include stopping for food (which we planned to do in Barranquilla) or stopping to deal with poopy diaper and pukes. The drive there could’ve easily taken 7hrs in total!
Moreover, Tayrona is located in the Yellow Fever zone, for which we would’ve needed to get vaccinations, and pay for them in Colombia. And alarmingly, we wouldn’t be able to vaccinate our youngest child against this deadly mosquito-borne illness, as the vaccines aren’t recommended for under a year old. I also would not be able to breastfeed after getting my yellow fever vaccine, a mothering task that I haven’t weaned off of yet.
As much as we wanted to be real and be daring with our kids- we realized that even our kids had their limits. We couldn’t put our kids through misery & suffering, just so we could get off on adventure. With young kids, you can’t always risk it. For their sake, you have to temper your impulses.
We ended up flying to the island of San Andres instead with its unspoiled beauty. Which in itself ended up being adventurous due to our rural, local, accommodations.
can you feel the heat coming off of the picture? This is at Castillo San Felipe Barajas, Cartagena.
Still recovering from motion sickness & exhausted from all the excitement.
Inside of our accommodations at San Andres. Trust me, it’s far dustier inside with broken floors & bugs everywhere.