When you think of your dream bucket list, what comes to mind? Skydiving? Eating the world’s biggest burrito? Running with the bulls in Spain?
For many people, the ultimate goal of visiting all 50 U.S. states tops the list — a feat that’s near impossible, considering the expense and time it takes to do so. But one little lady by the name of Harper Yeats is about do just that, and is set to become the youngest person ever to join the “All Fifty States Club” (yes, it’s a real club!). And get this — she’s only 5 months old.
(Hey Harper, thanks for making the rest of us hanging out over here in the “20 states and under club” look bad!)
Seriously, how cool must the first 5 months of her life have been? I mean, I can only dream of making it to Alaska some day, but Harper can grow up being all, “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.”
Harper’s parents, Tristan Yeats and Cindy Lim, are originally from Australia, but are usually based now in Canada. That is, when they’re not traveling. They tell Babble that they’ve “been living in the road for a while.”
On October 18, their little Harper will cross into her 50th state — Vermont — after what we can only imagine has been an incredible 5-month journey.
The couple says the whole idea actually occurred to them by happenstance.
“Before she joined us, we had already visited 19 states as a couple so, when we started planning this trip, we only envisaged trying to get to the remaining 31 states,” Tristan and Cindy tell Babble. “It was only after we crossed into the U.S. that we came across the All Fifty States Club online and realized that if we did do all 50 with Harper, she could be come the youngest person to achieve the feat.”
So they got to planning; but not too much. The family says that when they travel, they actually plan as little as possible. And with a newborn in tow, that makes sense.
“We actually think that less planning is more!” the world travelers say. “The more you plan, the more daunting the whole trip seems. From the beginning, we always agreed that if Harper wasn’t managing well with the travel, we would just turn around and go home. Inevitably, Harper has had ups and downs — she is an infant after all! However, we have just taken it one day at a time, and that has worked out well for us!”
They also share their best piece of travel advice for parents of young ones: “Pack as little as possible and buy what you need as you go!” This way you take up less space and travel more comfortably, using only the essentials.
Also, it appears that Tristan and Cindy don’t have my type-A control freak mentality, which may have been why traveling with my own kids when they were babies was so stressful. Parents could learn a thing or two from this chill mom and dad!
The young parents are practical enough to know that their daughter won’t remember these trips, but that’s okay. After all, they’ve been documenting her travels on her very own Instagram account, @harper.yeats — so she’ll be able to look back on her adventures for years to come.
“When she looks at the photographs and [reads] stories of not only what we did as a family, but also how much fun we had along the way, we hope that it instills confidence in her that she can do anything she puts her mind to,” they share. “We also hope that it inspires a sense of curiosity about the world around her and that she will be inspired to go on her own adventures as she grows up.”
Pretty sure she’ll have that travel bug, whether it’s from nature or nurture.
As for the future, the couple says the next big adventure could be a plan to visit all the countries in Europe. But they’ll also settle for short weekend trips just a few hours from home as well. As long as they get to keep “experiencing new cultures firsthand to see what they are really like beyond what is portrayed in television and movies,” they say they’ll be fulfilled.
And their daughter will continue to make amazing memories with her adventurous parents, who seem to be handling parenting a lot better than I did that first year!
Best of luck to this traveling trio as they continue to venture around the world.