‘Do not ponder, travel!’: Trusting my Intuition

By Julia Malchow founder of Unforgettable Journeys

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When I was a kid, my mother told me how important it is for a woman to focus on the job and not on the family, because with children my own desires, dreams, my self-determination and independence would be over.

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And then I was in my mid-30s and suddenly wanted a child. And I was scared. That my life would be over then. My life as I liked it: Entrepreneur, traveling, being spontaneous, flexible schedule. And such more. But I spontaneously decided to get pregnant, got pregnant, got the baby. Everything was great. And after 3 months, I felt something that I had previously been completely free of: the pressure of society. The conservative German society, when it comes to mothers. Working mothers. Now you finally get normal, said the boring of my friends. Now you stop these crazy trips, others advised. Or: working half-days has to be enough now. And those well-intentioned tips more. And with Baby I was suddenly vulnerable. It was not just about me anymore. I wanted to do it right. For a small being, which I did not know well yet. I felt terrible. And suddenly had this fear that my life was really over. I panicked. And so in the middle of that night I said to my husband: I have to test it. I have to travel. With our baby. I have to test if I can still live a life I love, even with baby? No matter what the others said? Because: ‘Do not ponder, travel!’ has always been a helpful guideline for me.

So: An adventurous journey had to be designed and was quickly found and organized in just one week: 15,000 kilometers from Munich through Siberia and Mongolia to Beijing. 2.5 months on the road by plane, Trans-Siberian railway, fishing boat, jeep, yak carts, maserati, rickshaw and per pedes. Temperatures from minus 15 to plus 32 degrees Celsius.

A great adventure, with which I questioned common family concepts, cleaned up with seemingly medieval beliefs, and freed my head for the world and our new life. And I found so much more as side effects: inspiration and courage for two more life-changing projects: to write a book that got published by a huge German publisher (Mut für 2) and to found my travel company unforgettable journeys

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kelsey bumsted