Traveling solo with a toddler – challenge accepted!

I wrote awhile ago that when you travel with a baby/toddler, you can no longer travel with them with only a backpack. I mean think about the number of their “favorite” toys that you have to bring on the trip… But I did it last week – well, I brought a backpack, a small tote bag, and a stroller with me. Not bad, huh? :p

Day One 

So last week, Alia and I took our first overnight trip together to Bandung. We took the morning train from Jakarta. I brought along our usual survival kit – stickers, a set of coloring kit, a notebook, and a ton of snacks.

Once we got to the station, we got picked up by Pak Tono. He’s the driver that we hired through a car rental company. He was our driver during our previous trip to Bandung with Alia’s dad, and he was great! Very knowledgeable and helpful. So this time I specifically requested him again (ask for Pak Tono if you need to rent a car and a driver in Bandung). We’re off to Lembang then.

Our first stop was Farm House. It is known as one of the “instagramable” locaIMG_20160803_144811tions since there are many unique spots to take pictures worth sharing with the world. Honestly, this wasn’t the place for me and Alia. Granted that we went there on a Wednesday, but this was a common sight at Farm House: people everywhere – and everyone seemed to be taking a million pictures!

I can’t imagine what this place must be like on a weekend… In addition, to the number of visitors, the paths are narrow and they don’t always have ramps that can take you to certain parts of the site so it wasn’t stroller friendly.

We spent most of our time at the petting zoo. It was OK; I think the one in Kumtum Nurseries in Bogor is much better.

Afterwards, we went to Jendela Alam – another must go place with children. I didn’t have high expectations after our experience at Farm House. When we got to there, the parking lot was empty. It turned out that the place closes at 4 pm, and we reached there at 3! We literally got the whole place to ourselves! YEAH! 😀

Had we come earlier, we would have been able to feed the animals, join the flora and fauna tours, ride the pony, etc. But Alia seemed to be happy just to (finally) be able to run around without getting trampled over. It was a nice way to end the day…

Before we headed over to our hotel, I did some shopping at one of the factory outlets. Alia has officially become my shopping buddy! She definitely has some opinions about some of the outfits I tried on :p Around 7 pm, we got to our hotel. Bath, dinner, and bedtime. Oh, my cousin whom I had not seen in years stopped by the hotel and we caught up with the latest family gossip stories :p. Overall, it was a #funday, but I was #superexhausted…

Day Two 

When you have a toddler, you can’t quite start the day quickly. They seem to have a million  stalling tactics to slow down your day. Right? :p We finally managed to leave the hotel around 10 am and made our way to Ciwidey area. It took us almost 2.5 hours to reach Kawah Putih (a sulfuric crater lake). It was a very hilly ride to reach the crater lake, but it was worth the trip. The view is breathtaking!

Pak Tono then took us to see a large tea plantation. Alia is big tea drinker, so I thought that it was a perfect learning opportunity for her. Again, I couldn’t put in words how beautiful the view of the plantation. Just stunning!

Our last stop before we went back to Bandung was Ciwidey Valley Resort, a hot spring water park. I brought our swim suits, but we didn’t get to experience the water park. Huh? So what did we do at the water park? Lunch, playground, and then a stroll around the park. 😀 I’m a fish in the water, but my dearest daughter is a cat in the water if you know what mean :p The resort is clean and has a great view. I think it would be a fun place to spend the night.

Around 3:30 pm, we started driving back to Bandung. We got caught in a traffic jam, but we managed to arrive around 6 pm. We had dinner with a friend and her family whom we met in MA. It was another #funday, and this mommy was #superduperexhausted.

Third Day

In the middle of the night, I started to have a weird stomach pain and felt nauseated. Long story short, I got a terrible stomach flu! Just what I needed, right? I barely slept that night. My body ached and I couldn’t keep anything down.  I sort of panicked thinking how I was going to get the two of us home on the train that afternoon in my condition… But I’m blessed with a toddler who seemed to understand that her mommy was sick. She was very cooperative that day – she had a big breakfast with no fuss, she then let me sleep without interrupting me because something went wrong with Youtube Kids, and she kept herself busy playing stickers and markers on our way back (I was too tired to take a picture of her with stickers all over her body – it was cute!). As soon as we got to my parents’ house in Jakarta, I crashed till the following morning. What a way to end our trip…

Another trip?

So would I go on a solo trip like this with Alia again? Absolutely! Yes, it was very tiring because I was on own the whole time. But that’s what Youtube Kids is for #justkidding :p When we’re on vacation, I’m usually more relaxed about our gadget use policy for the sake of everyone’s sanity. Despite my stomach bug, we both had a fun vacation. I learned how to  be a better mom for Alia – to be more flexible and patient, and to appreciate such opportunities because the next trip will be different… Till our next mommy and daughter trip! 😀


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