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Fear Should Not Stop Traveling Family

Petra’s Life Saved for the First Time —

Petra had to have her life saved for the first time this morning. Her mother, Chaya, was the saver.

Kicking, squealing, farting all through the very early morning, Petra wanted to get up and play. It was around 5AM and mom and dad wanted to sleep a little more. Babies do not respond to compromising logic, but they do respond to deception.

“Why don’t you throw her on the tit?” I sleepily suggested to my wife. Petra was not hungry, but maybe we could side track her away from her desire to get up and do her day with a little booby action.

Jerome, Arizona, Southwest USA, North America
Saturday, November 30, 2009
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“Alright, I will change her first and then try to nurse, and maybe she will go back to sleep then.”

Chaya then got out of bed with Petra and laid her down on the changing mat which was on the floor. The mat was placed down next to the bed just beneath the nightstand which had a very large and heavy lamp on it. A large window was just behind the nightstand and the lamp. It was, for all intensive purposes, a rather standard set up. A night stand set up near a window with a lamp on it does not send off alarm signals.

But just as Chaya stuck shut the sticky tabs on the diaper a large gust of wind plummeted the house. In a sudden roar the window above the nightstand broke free from its moorings, smashed into the lamp, and sent the 20 pound thing flying down to the floor with poor Petra in its path.

“Oh shit!” I wailed.

“AHHHH!” Chaya screamed.

But somehow — somehow — my wife was quick enough to move our baby out of harm’s way.

Inches out of harm’s way.

The 20 pound lamp smashed over the floor right next to where Petra’s head now laid. In a flash of a moment, Chaya had managed to move her baby just far enough away from the carnage to be safe. A moment’s hesitation on her part, or if she was not nearby, Petra would have been smushed.

I looked down from the bed and saw the fallen mess of lamp, and just next to it was Petra. She was crying. A good sound to hear.

Petra’s life had been saved for the first time.


People tell me that traveling is dangerous. I have not known this to be true. It is my impression that gallivanting around the world is only slightly more daring than living in a home, driving an automobile, eating fast food, and using household appliances with an air of routine and under a cloak of safety.

When traveling, this cloak of safety is rarely ever very think — you have your eyes open all the time, you trust no person and nothing fully — you are always on the lookout for knavish individuals, and devices, infrastructure, and machines that may not function properly.

In point, when on the road, you keep your life in sight — you realize the extent of your morality. This keeps you safe.

We were staying last night in the home of a friend, we were in our home country. From all outward appearances, the window, lamp, and room were safe and secure. Neither myself nor my wife paid much of a mind towards safety — we were wrapped tight in the illusion of safety. There was no way for us to tell that the window would be blown in from a surprise gust of wind and knock over the lamp just as Petra was being changed beneath it.

But it happened. This could have happened in my parent’s home, in Chaya’s parent’s home, or even in your home.

“Accidents happen,” my mother would always say to me.

It is true, accidents can happen whether you are knee deep wading through a river in the middle of the Amazon or sitting comfortable in a warm home changing a baby in your own country.

The prospects for fear are everywhere, at home as well as abroad. The drive to preserve your organism should not be a factor to keep you from traveling. The drive to preserve the life of your child should also not keep you from wandering the world as a family.

Vagabond Journey series on traveling with an infant
[seriesposts orderby=date name=”travel baby” ]

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Filed under: Arizona, Danger, Travel With Family, USA

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3169 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Puketi Forest, New ZealandMap