Traveling with Children: An Interview with Debbie Dubrow of Delicious Baby Part 2

Debbie Dubrow
Debbie with two of her children in Gaudi Park, Barcelona

This is the second part of a two-part interview with Debbie Dubrow, author of Delicious Baby. Part 1 can be read here.

MG: Were you nervous the first time you traveled with your children? What did you expect it to be like?

DD: I was nervous the first time I took my son to the grocery store! Everything changes when you have kids, but somehow we keep doing most of it. There is a lot of negativity about traveling with young kids, but if travel is important to you, you keep doing it anyway.

I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the trip, see what we wanted and eat good food. I also worried about what would happen if the baby got sick or injured when we were far away from our trusted pediatrician. I still worry about those things (to a more limited extent) with every trip we take, but I find that advance planning helps a lot.

What I didn’t expect is the way that having a child brings you into local life more. We eat in more casual restaurants, and I try to find the kinds of places that local families would eat. We spend a lot of time at playgrounds, and we end up talking with the other kids and parents. We shop in the markets because we need snack foods and picnic lunches. Plus, in most countries, when people see you traveling with a child, they want to talk to you and spoil your kids a little. All of those things have made our travels richer.

MG: You maintain a professional blog, which is a lot of work. You also travel, which is enormously time consuming. You’re a parent, which (I’ve been told) also eats up a bit of time. On top of all that, you teach at Rick Steves’s Travel Center, you’re a member of the Travel Insights 100 travel expert panel, and you’re a co-founder of Passports with Purpose. How do you manage to handle so many responsibilities?

DD: I’m very careful about prioritizing what I do so that I focus on what is important to me. I don’t watch TV, I have my groceries delivered, I don’t sleep as much as I should, and my house is a mess.

MG: What equipment do you carry for working on the road?

DD: We carry too much equipment. My husband and I are both techies, so we have two laptops, iphones, my Kindle, plus one SLR camera and a point and shoot. Recently we added an iPad to the mix so that we can perfect TripDoc for the iPad as well as the iPhone.

MG: You have achieved near-celebrity status with your blog. To what do you attribute this success?

DD: I’ve tried to develop good relationships with other bloggers, and when I can, I help people out and share information. I think karma really works in your favor in the online world. Travel blogging is very new, and there is still so much room for all of us to grow – it makes a lot more sense to be collaborative than competitive.

MG:: What qualities do you look for in a parenting or travel blog?

DD: I look for someone who has interesting stories and who feels like a “real” person. I love to peek inside a life that is very different from my own and see what it feels like to be that person.

MG:: What are your favorite blogs?

DD: NerdsEyeView, Capitol Hill Seattle – a Seattle Neighborhood Blog, David Lebovitz and Oh Happy Day.

MG: Is there a particularly good book, article, or author that you read recently you’d like to recommend?

DD: I just finished reading Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi. It was so sad that reading it made my body hurt. I wish I could write like that.

I also liked this essay by Pico Iyer.

MG: If you had to choose one moment traveling with your children as the most rewarding, what would come to mind?

DD: It’s just experiencing things through their eyes. It’s cliche, but everything is new to them, and that is such a refreshing way to travel. Now that my kids are getting older, I realize that they are coming to enjoy exploring new places as much as I do (albeit at their own pace, and with their interests as a guide), and that is very rewarding.

This is the second part of a two-part interview with Debbie Dubrow, author of Delicious Baby. Part 1 can be read here.

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