Ohmigod she is pregnant!

Jan 14th, 2009, 08:42 AM
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Ohmigod she is pregnant!

My wife just told me she is pregnant so I am freaking out! It is our first child. I need to plan a trip ASAP before our life is altered forever. We can go from late April thru early May 2009 for 18-20 days total.

We are experienced adventure travellers (late 30s from USA) and have been to some of Asia - Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, India. Our honeymoon was in South Africa (safari), Mozambique and Swaziland 5 years ago.

We want unique and diverse culture, great street food (for me, not her), native crafts and interesting markets (for her) and maybe some adventure (scuba diving?). As the dollar continues its decline, we prefer "cheap" 3rd world destinations. Just laying on the beach won't work for us as we like to move around alot.

My wife (who is an MD) is a tad worried about malaria and I know Asia is pretty hot in April.

I have narrowed it down to -

Sri Lanka
Papua New Guinea

But I am more than open to ANY new suggestions any of you may have!

I know this is an Asia board but I know many people from other boards lurk on this board as well. We have lots of FF miles with AA and Delta and can go pretty much anywhere in the world.

Please let me know your thoughts and please pray for my soul!


kewilliam is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 09:11 AM
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kevin - when i told my husband I was pregnant, he felt faint and had to sit down. i think he would empathise with praying for your soul - but congratulations!! can't post more now - baby's bathtime calls. but will try to post later. one thing which will affect your travels is the pregnancy, although it sounds as if your wife will be in 2nd trimester by then and the deep-never-been-so-tired-in-your-entire-life feeling that dominates the 1st trimester will have lifted, pregnancy does really slow you down. so whatever you could do in your travel time before, knock off a third of your plans or half - seriously. your wife may need more rest time than you anticipate! at least you have a good 2.5-3 weeks away.
bath ready now - btw, we still get to travel, the birth of your child will alter your life immeasurably but (mostly) in a good way, we just avoid malaria areas as kids are still little and some of the more way out places we would have previously visited. going to thailand in a few weeks, hence lurking on the asia board
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 09:21 AM
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As you know, malaria is a life-threatening illness in a pregnant woman. All of those destinations are malaria risk areas with the possible exception of Iran... which currently has other risks. I'd recommend that you consider non-malarious destinations.

Bells'a advice amount how much rest your wife will need is also good information. You won't likely be traveling the way you used to this trip.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 09:49 AM
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Kevin - here's what you'll find at those destinations that I am familiar with:

Sri Lanka - unique and diverse culture, some SCUBA diving, "cheap"

Burma - unique and diverse culture, native crafts especially paintings, and a few interesting markets, very "cheap"

Papua New Guinea (I have not been but researched extensively) - extremely unique and diverse culture, excellent native crafts, expensive

None of these destinations is known for their street food but all will keep you moving around a lot if that is what you want to do. You will definitely need some sort of organized tour for PNG.

Craig is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 10:10 AM
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What about Morocco, excellent time of year to go - thinking of Marrakesh, atlas mountains, essaouira - could you offer you quite a lot of what you are looking for
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 10:17 AM
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I would suggest Bali...it is a very interesting destination, fascinating culture, wonderful native crafts, great restaurants, etc, but also has plenty of opportunities to relax and take it easy (which your wife might appreciate at that point). No malaria worries either.

I'm an experienced traveler, and was in Ethiopia last year. I really cannot imagine visiting there while 6 months pregnant. A fascinating place, but not exactly "clean", street food = a raw beef dish, and definitely not relaxing.
cruisinred is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 10:35 AM
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Cruisinred...good point about Ethiopia...I have been reading some trip reports that sound chaotic to say the least..so that may not be the best idea. I'll look into Bali...but I want to avoid the crowds if possible. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for the help.

kewilliam is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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Bali would meet your requirements as well, although there is some malarial risk in rural Bali where you would likely be visiting. Also with 18-20 days, you'd probably want to visit other areas such as Lombok, Java or maybe even Singapore, depending on your flights from the USA. In any case, it has a very unique and diverse culture, great native crafts and good shopping in and around the town of Ubud. Good diving around Menjangan Island off of northern Bali too. It is also "cheap".
Craig is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 10:37 AM
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Good point about slowing down, BB..that is usually not our pace but this time we have "extenuating circumstances"!

I'll look into Morocco..might be a tad pricey for our budget but it is worth a look.

kewilliam is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 10:38 AM
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Kevin, Bali is not crowded especially in April/early May.
Craig is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 10:48 AM
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'I have narrowed it down to - Burma,
Sri Lanka, Iran, Ethiopia, Uganda,
Papua New Guinea'

Has SHE had any input in this list?

I'm supportive, more than you can possibly know, of this last grasp at the feckless days of youth before bub comes along and changes things.

But I have observed that certain changes do tend to occur in women when pregnant and, in my long experience, have not yet heard of many pregnant women willingly ready to hurl themselves into the wilds of P.N.G. or Uganda.

She's a M.D. you say?

'my wife is a tad worried about malaria...'

err... ONLY malaria? Aren't you just a tad worried about your wife? I am. Am I being overly protective here? Do I have out-dated ideas? Do pregnant women really go on holidays to Ethiopia? Is Iran the destination of choice for go-ahead mothers-to-be?

I've been to P.N.G. - fantastic location, mind-boggling; I couldn't, in my wildest dreams, imagine subjecting either mum or bub to that awful food, lousy roads, uncertainty, bumping and bashing around in the humidity and heat - 'cos that's what you have to do if you want to see anything.

Bless you. Good luck. Please don't think I'm being censorious. I love your spirit and style. Stop. Take a deep breath, just for me, eh? Maybe choose Sri Lanka? Please? Otherwise Grandpa Dog will worry.
dogster is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 11:09 AM
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Bali may suit perfectly. It is interesting and relaxing. You can definitely go at your own pace. You can easily combine it with a trip to Java, Lombok or Singapore. There's a long thread on here about accomodations that might be of some assistance.
Gpanda is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 12:45 PM
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While Bali would be lovely, and is relatively low risk for malaria (not no risk, but low risk), Java has a higher risk, and there are regular outbreaks of malaria in Lombok.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 01:31 PM
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You can't lose with Thailand, it has everything!
Mango7 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 02:17 PM
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What about China?
Shanghainese is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 02:23 PM
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Congrats to both you and your wife. Parenthood is not a death sentence and hopefully you have supportive parents who will want to play grandma & grandpa to allow you future travel experiences without the child. Since you indicated that you were open for suggestions, would you consider Turkey? We spent 3 weeks there in late May and it was wonderful. We rented a car and drove around, which was very easy and interesting. It may be an ideal combination of relaxing and adventure. Even if it is a bit too cool for swimming, the vistas along the coast were some of the most beautiful we have ever seen, the ruins are fabulous and the scenery in the Capadoccia area are phenomenal. The people were very friendly and we felt very safe. No need to worry about malaria or other diseases there. The culture is unique and diverse, there's definitely shopping, and the prices were right.
dgunbug is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 02:30 PM
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Oh kewilliam, I am very concerned about you two trying to fit a trip to Asia in during the pregnancy. You didn't say how far along she is, but the 5th and 6th month are probably the best. By then you both will know how the pregnancy is progressing and how your wife is feeling.

BUT...having said that, even if she is feeling well at home, taking her to the far corners of the world may not go over so well being pregnant - jet lag, food issues (cravings or aversions), access to medical care if any problems arise, plus the pressure to go sightseeing and travel bumpy roads, etc. The strong unfamiliar smells of some of these places, heat, and crowded people conditions may have her puking in the street.

DON'T make this trip out of panic that your life will be forever altered. Yes, it will be altered with the addition of a baby, but the worst is that you delay this kind of travelling until the little one can either stay back with family or join you.

Take a deep breath...relax and re-think your planning.
Jaya is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 03:33 PM
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I traveled extensively in Thailand when I was pregnant. This was 25 years ago when Thailand was not as developed as a tourist site as it is now. I would say it was then equivalent to the development level of Indonesia today, including most of Bali.

The key point for your wife and you to remember is that pregancy wears you out and slows you down. Many high energy, high achieving women deny that this could happen to them, but in fact their bodies trump their ambitions.

What this means on a practical basis is that in addition to low risk health conditions, you also want a serene and restful environment, not a go go go holiday. The afternoon nap takes on a whole new signifcance. The importance of access to toilet facilities cannot be grasped by anyone who hasn't experienced the hormonal changes a pregnant women goes through. This is NOT life as you knew it.

What I enjoyed most about my travels during my pregnancy were sojourns to spiritual sites, temples, mossy Buddha statues with flower offerings. A lot of sitting and musing, thinking about the future with the newcomer, massages, facials, long meanders, sunsets.

So what I'm getting at here a long way around is that Bali/ Central Java sounds like a perfect combination: restful, serene but at the same time full of fascinating culture, superb arts and crafts and profound natural beauty.

You can get everything on your wish list and also be reasonably accessible to healthcare in Singapore. Your dollar will go a long way. Inexpensive accommodations are charming and hospitable.

There is malaria in Indonesia as well as dengue and typhoid, but with reasonable hygiene the risk is low.
marmot is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 05:16 PM
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i would vote a few days in singapore followed by time in both bali and lqunci villasombok...

look at these hotels: bali--alam shanti, gangga room
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 07:13 AM
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Shanghainese- I can go to any Chinatown in USA and feel content that I have no need to go to China.
Mango7 is offline  

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