After traveling through more than 50 countries together, my husband and I are planning our biggest and best adventure yet.

Of all the experiences, challenges, and new things we’ve shared together, it’s time to embark on a completely different kind of trip.

This one takes a lot of planning and preparation, months of waiting (somewhere around 9 to be exact…), it’s physically taxing and exhausting, expensive, and definitely a one-way nonrefundable ticket to a place unlike anywhere we’ve been before.

We’re having a baby!

It is still so hard to even wrap my head around, but the closest analogy to how it feels is like planning our next big adventure. This time we will be more out of our comfort zones than ever, and we can’t wait. I’m currently over halfway, and our “takeoff” date is in July 2016. We’ve had doctor’s appointments all over the world from London to South Africa to the Netherlands, getting a slightly different due date each time. This baby is already preparing us to be quite flexible.

The best part is that it truly doesn’t feel to me like our adventurous life is “ending” in any way. We know we’ll want to slow down and things will change, but if anything life is only going to get more adventurous as we learn and grow with a little human on our hands.

As we ended a three month backpacking adventure through Europe last summer, all we could talk about was how we wanted the next phase of life. Instead of getting wrapped up in travel and the amazing places we could see together, it made us appreciate what we had done and look toward the next, greater, and even more fulfilling experience of starting a family. I always worried that our travel bug and love for these experiences would make us never want to settle down, but it’s done just the opposite. It has given us time together as a couple, brought us more fun and beauty than imaginable, and also gotten things out of our system a bit. We will always love to travel, but we’ve learned that it’s not travel that is fulfilling – it’s who you share it with, and what you have to come home to after a trip.

Now we want to add to that with the most important thing of all: a child!

So far I have been hit full force with the humbling power of pregnancy. I like to think of myself as a capable, tough, adaptable world traveler who is up for any type of adventure. While this is true for pregnancy, I have to admit I’ve been surprised at this process so far. Pregnancy is a time when we truly have no control over our own body. It’s overwhelming but also so amazing to experience. There have been some hard moments when I’ve been throwing up, crying, tired, and overwhelmed…but it’s normal and I know the payday is so worth it.

The physical symptoms happen to force us to slow down and get ready for the emotional transition that is coming. When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that our body knows how to slow us down and prepare us in every way—or maybe this is just me looking at the bright side of feeling so terrible for months!

Feeling like I have no control over the changes and sickness happening to my body is probably a small fraction of the change that is coming in our life with a little one.

Through severe nausea to hormones, stress, exhaustion, weight gain, and unexpected changes, I’ve gained so much respect and appreciation for all of the mothers around me who have gone through this—not once, but multiple times. I am so in awe of this experience and those who have done it before me.

To all of you moms out there, I already have a new admiration and respect for you just for putting yourselves through this crazy emotional and physical transition to bring a miracle into the world. I’m starting to get it now and feeling grateful for the chance to experience all that is ahead.

Let the adventure begin.