I’m Natalie, the Community Manager for Club Bébé Voyage! You’ve probably seen me commenting, connecting, and managing many of the Facebook posts with the signature xoxo #admin.
I live in San Diego, California, with my husband William, stepson Aeron (12 years old) and daughter Esmé (two-and-a-half years old). We love heading to the beach, eating delicious Mexican food, and visiting the San Diego Zoo a few times a month. I’m lucky to be a stay-at-home mom. Esmé and I try to explore San Diego as much as we can. She has dance class once a week and the rest of the week we try out different places like the New Children’s Museum, Balboa Park, or just take a nice walk to the beach to enjoy the sand. You can also often catch us doing art projects at home or practicing scooter or balance bike riding in our neighborhood.
In 2017, two-and-a-half months after Esmé was born, we moved to Hamburg, Germany for my husband’s job. We were both excited about the opportunity to live abroad. We wanted learn about a different culture. Living in Europe gave us the opportunity to really explore.
The first chance to see more of Europe came two weeks after we moved. It was Esmé’s third flight and I had to brave it alone. I clearly remember being terrified! I made every rookie mistake possible. I didn’t check my luggage and ended up carrying my suitcase, my daughter in her carrier, and my backpack up and down stairs to get to the plane. When handed a baby seat belt, I was clueless about how to use it. A grumpy businessman next to me scowled as I nursed my daughter to calm her cries.
I was in tears when I landed at the CDG airport in Paris and realized that I needed to figure this travel thing out ASAP. After asking my trusted Hamburg Mothers Meet-Up, I found my savior–Club Bébé Voyage! I was amazed at what I read. Parents flying all over the world with their kids! They had tips, tricks, hacks, and recommendations that were all kid-friendly. I devoured every post and began asking questions as well.
Our next trip two months later to Barcelona was a major improvement! We checked our bags despite my husband’s complaints. I wore a nursing shirt for ease, lightened my backpack, and really set out to explore. We soon had a travel stroller and devised a more strategic way to pack for trips. This included finding diapers at our destination, something I never would have considered if it weren’t for the Club Bébé Voyage village.
We traveled almost every month while we lived in Germany. My stepson joined us during his Christmas break and in the summer. Club Bébé always offered ideas for activities for him to do in the various cities we explored. Some of our favorites included Paris, Prague, Croatia, Copenhagen, and Munich, especially at Christmas or Oktoberfest time. Living abroad made me appreciate a different way of life. With lots of beautiful farmer’s markets, spielplatz (parks), and reliable public transportation, we had a wonderful quality of life. And no jet lag when we “jetted” off to Paris for the weekend!
We love being back in San Diego, near friends and family, but feel blessed that we got to explore such an exciting area with the help of this incredible Club! Even though we have been on at least 30 trips with Esmé, we still forget things or something goes wrong. I always try to remember–it’s not the flight that matters, it’s the destination.
As the community manager, I love being able to engage with traveling parents all around the world. If you are ever having issues in the community, please use the search function for #admin and don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any of our admins! We are here to make your visit to our page enjoyable and informative.
Feature image credit: Cassema Photography
For more behind-the-scenes with the Bébé Voyage team, read about Features Editor Marta Conte here!