Hi friends, it’s been a while! I’ve been quiet for a while and with a good reason.

The thing is…

I became a mother.

After years of globetrotting and adventuring, the biggest adventure of my life just started. The day after my birthday, on November 2 of 2022, on a snowy Alaska day, our daughter Jeonga Josephine was born. We waited for 10 months and the last several weeks leading up to the birth was the longest weeks of my life, really. We didn’t find out about the sex of the baby but we already kind of knew her personality through all those movements she was doing for months.

Yes, that was almost three months ago. I’m writing this at night as my daughter sleeps in her bassinet. 

I’ve always wanted to take a photo like this!

My days revolve around my daughter. I feed her, I sing to her, we dance together, I put her to sleep, I change her diapers, and sometimes she watches us go about the day. I spend a lot of time looking at her face. I still have a hard time believing the reality even though I’m looking at this gorgeous creature in front of me. Did I really become a mother? Am I qualified to do the such job? Did the hospital really send me home with a newborn baby?

The last two and a half months were filled with all emotions. From the highest form of bliss to the agony of childbirth. I haven’t slept longer than 4 hours at a time since November 2nd. Seeing the smile of my daughter fills my heart with uncontrollable joy and sometimes I’m so tired I can’t even open my eyes. There were many a time that I burst into tears mostly due to overwhelming happiness. I’m an only daughter in my family (I have an older brother) and my mother is the only daughter in her family (she has two brothers). I bare an amazing resemblance to my mother and my mother to my grandmother, and I have always liked that. It was like a secret language only we could speak. So, it was only natural that I wanted to continue that tradition. And yes, I’m pleased to say that my daughter has many features of me and that makes me really happy. She looks like Stephen too, of course. 

A few days before Jeonga Josephine arrived

What amazed me was how unprepared new parents could be. If you’re a parent who’s reading this, did you feel prepared? It’s the most important job in your life but you are really, really underprepared. Maybe it’s different if you spent a lot of time around babies but I haven’t. I don’t have many friends who live near me who had kids. My nephews were born more than 10 years ago and we didn’t live close by. During the pregnancy, I read a couple of books and talked to a few parents. Of course, we talked to the doctors too. I wasn’t overly worried because people have babies every day and our parents had us when there were way fewer resources available. I mean, can you imagine life without quick ‘googling’ on your phone? And I thought some kind of natural instinct would kick in when the time comes. 

From the moment my daughter arrived, my days have been full of lessons. I learned so much at the hospital from amazing nurses. They taught us everything from how to change diapers to feed the baby. I remembered some things from the books I read but there was no time to open a book anymore! Everything was new to me, as it was new to my daughter. She was getting used to living outside of my uterus, breathing on her own for the first time. I, was also getting used to having a little human depending on me for everything. The first car ride was nerve-wracking but we made it. We came home as a family of three, with this little bundle of joy, not knowing a lot about how to take care of her. 

Fast forward two months, and here we are. I was probably underprepared but thankfully some of the instincts I was waiting for kicked in. Thanks to my amazing mother, who probably instilled a lot of knowledge in me by being a great mother. Stephen is doing everything he can to take care of us while we are figuring out how to eat, poop, and everything in between. There are a lot of things we could do better but I’m happy to report that we are doing ok. 

Jeonga Josephine’s arrival was the biggest moment of our lives. We cried a lot. And we laugh a lot. I look at photos from the day she was born (I was just looking at them again) and can’t believe that it actually happened. Every morning when she smiles at me, it’s a whole new day. Sometimes I can barely remember my life before her. One of my friends dropped by with a card and present for Jeonga and what he wrote made me uncontrollably cry. I was hormonal but still, it was nice. He wrote, ” your parents will show you the world and teach you the stars”. That’s precisely what we want to do. We want to show her the world and teach her the stars. Like our parents did for us, and someday she can do for her children. 

We feel so fortunate to be surrounded by loving friends and family. My friend hosted a lovely baby shower for me, which was very unexpected. I had a great time surrounded by loving and inspiring women. Both of our families were there for us from the beginning with unconditional support. My mom especially went through all the highs and lows with me. We have friends dropping by to check in and take care of us. It really takes a village, and I’m so thankful for our wonderful village.

So, friends, I am a mother. It’s going to be a whole new adventure. As you can imagine, we are going to travel together. It’s just going to be a little bit different. We are already planning trips with her and you are going to see a lot of content on “family travel”! We’re leaving for our first family vacation next week. Where? To be continued…

4 thoughts on “The Biggest Adventure of a Lifetime: Motherhood ”

  1. Aww Juno, congrats!!! Motherhood is truly the biggest adventure of a lifetime, I absolutely understand what you mean.

    I only found out when I was 6-months pregnant, imagine that! It was challenging at first but the greatest joy has been showing my daughter the world. She’s 7 years old now (where did time go?!), already traveled to 50 countries with us, and she wants to go to Hawaii and Australia next! Miss you Juno and can’t wait to hear more from you. 🙂

    1. Thanks Nellie! That’s wild you found out at 6 months, and she’s now 7 years old!! I have lots to learn about parenting and traveling as a family! I can’t wait to show my daughter the world and travel to Korea. When you go to Hawaii, do a detour and drop by Alaska!

  2. Congrats! A totally new adventure for all three of you, but luckily you and Stephen are both used to thriving in unexpected situations. Enjoy these days!

    1. Thanks Stephen! Hope you are doing well, it’s been a while! We hope our paths cross again. We were already talking about bringing Josephine to Central Asia 🙂

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