Baby on Board: Who Needs Disney World, When You’ve Got Nature?

Gay Dads on Vacation

My Family and I just returned from a great adventure.

We’re infamous for our travels you know.

We climb pyramids, ride a camel every so often, drink the water, and follow the locals. We are far from wealthy, but believe travel to be meaningful to our souls. We’ll pinch a penny and brown bag it now and then in order to hit the skies.

Pillow talk in our home has always been about places and cultures. Right now we are in the midst of planning where we will be as the sun rises on my fiftieth birth year. I’m torn between the Taj Mahal or Machu Picchu.  My husband has an Indonesian temple in mind but hey, It’s my birthday right?

I tell you all this so you can appreciate how we felt after our son was born and people started saying horrible things like, “Well I guess your traveling days are over for a while!” or ”Disney World here you come!”

We smiled and nodded and literally felt our hearts silently sinking.

Well our son, Ben, just hit the ripe old age of nine months and to celebrate we hit the airport.

It was destined, in an obvious act of defiance to all those people, the first thing we did when we had Ben’s birth-certificate was to apply for his passport. Even his passport photo has an air of curiosity about it. As if he’s thinking, What’s out there Dads? Show me!

Our first adventure with Ben was to Puerto Rico, but not the sandy, beachy Puerto Rico you see on TV. No, our experience was far more interesting.

I’m fortunate enough to write for a couple of different sources, and as a gift we recently received a cool new baby carrier by Ergobaby. Boy oh boy did that ever set our son free.

We explored the magical Caverns of Rio Camuy, went deeper and deeper into glorious, glistening, God-given underground temples that truly make you thankful to be alive.

My son, nestled safely on my chest just sat silently as we wandered.

There was no fear in his eyes, no trepidation, just a natural acceptance and awareness that he was somewhere special and that his Daddies were right there with him.

We also hiked high into the rainforest of El Yunque. We chose the Big Tree Trail as it led to the beautiful La Mina Falls.

Once again, wearing my son as we made our way through the forest was about as mystical an experience as one can have.

We walked in silence, the three of us, only stopping to marvel at the size of the ancient bamboo, and to occasionally think we could start to hear the Falls only to realize we were being fooled by secret little cascading brooks that had yet to appear on our path.

As we finally arrived to the Falls, my son once again amazed me. He looked up at the source of the thunderous sound and wiped his little face from the water that was softly splashing and began to smile, then laugh.

My husband went for a dip in the Falls. Ben and I, however, were happy wetting our feet and simply taking it all in.

At that moment I was suddenly reminded of all the people who tried putting obstacles in the way of us being fathers.

The ones that throw doubt your way, cast shadows that casually creep in when you close your eyes.

I also thought of those that warned us that traveling with a baby was so difficult, so not worth the expense and the effort.

Nearly impossible.

I thought of them all as my family frolicked at the foot of an old and magical water fall in the Rainforest, a place that would have been home to the Taino Indians, a tribe that I actually descended from. (That’s another story for another day.)

I thought of them all and then simply did as my son does, I began to smile, and then to laugh.


Henry Amador is the author of the DADsquared blog, where he writes about his experiences as a Gay Dad. Along with his husband, Joel, he also runs the DADsquared Facebook page, where they are devoted to building a community of loving fathers: gay, straight, black, white, and everything in between.


  1. Andy says:

    So awesome, we hope to bring James on some adventures when we can. He is almost 6 months old now. Since one of his daddies was home from school all summer he went everyday on a walk through our local open space which seems like a little oasis of trees, steep inclines, streams ponds and little wooden bridges. We want to go on a larger hike and will soon. We actually already have a trip planned soon to fly to Tenn and visit Nashville and friends and Family in Kentucky, though not tropical there are some cool outdoorsy stuff to do. Someday we will venture to Europe with him, or bring him to what is becoming family friendly Key West (our choice vacation spot.) Until then and when money gets better we’ll explore our little state and the hiking trails around us.

    • henry says:

      Thanks for such an awesome response Andy,
      We too are hoping to take our little one to Spain next year..
      I loved what you wrote, I could vividly see your “open space” and could equally imagine how much fun James had!
      Keep exploring! and sharing!!


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