Guest post: Confessions of a pregnant travel journalist

Today I have a guest post from the marvellous Cathy Winston, who’s a travel journalist, lemur juggler and blogger at the multi award nominated MummyTravels cathy winston mummytravels

Cathy’s known for reporting from exotic trips, so has that been affected by her current pregnancy? Does having a plus one on board necessarily slow you down? This is what Cathy says:

“I love travel. I really really love travel, and having carved out a career as a travel journalist, I’m lucky enough to get to indulge it under cover of work, visiting over 50 countries so far (and counting). I’m also lucky enough to be pregnant. Which, according to almost everyone I meet, means I’ll have to give up the travelling. The only problem – I don’t want to.

But even as I’m putting my fingers in my ears, going ‘la-la-la I can’t hear you’ to everyone’s dire warnings, I know there’s a few concessions I’ve got to make. All right, quite a few.

For starters, large chunks of the world are suddenly off-limits because of a threat so tiny, it’s invisible to the naked eye. Malaria. I’d been so busy smugly congratulating myself on updating all my travel vaccinations before getting pregnant that I’d forgotten about the mosquitoes – until I was in the middle of making plans for one of my dream trips, visiting Burma with my Burmese sister-in-law showing me the sights.

Most anti-malarials have a barrage of side effects so horrific that the only thing that’s worse for the baby is getting malaria itself. Depending on the areas you’re visiting, there’s one which is OK ‘if you have to’ take it – but even I couldn’t convince myself that desperately wanting to go equalled having to visit. And while I’d probably have been OK, it wasn’t a risk I could take.

Also off my list was everything from tree climbing and canoeing and boat trips (as a lot of operators won’t insure you) and almost as depressingly, having to forego the almost limitless free drinks and wine tastings that seem to come as standard on press trips. My vague first trimester excuses about medication must have seemed as thin as my smile. Oh and out goes shellfish, various cheeses, rare steak and a string of other gourmet treats.

Thankfully, I didn’t get morning sickness too badly so after the first exhaustion lifted, I packed in as much as possible before the bump grounded me – racking up a respectable total including the Cayman Islands, Belfast, Israel and the Azores.

I’ve even managed to find a few mild adrenaline thrills which are pregnancy-friendly, including swimming with stingrays off Grand Cayman and floating in a geothermal pool before eating volcano-cooked food in the Azores. Maybe not quite on the same level as my previous exploits, including the world’s fastest zipwire in Italy, an Edge Walk on Toronto’s CN Tower and canyoning in Jordan, but enough excitement to keep a smile on my face.

And while my third trimester means flying and ferries are now out, cars and trains are still in, so to tackle my itchy feet I’ve found myself casting a closer eye over the best of the UK.

As for not travelling after the birth? I’m already plotting to branch out into family travel. Well, babies look fairly portable – and this one’s already had plenty of experience of planes!”

Cathy Winston blogs at and is on Twitter at @mummytravels