Twenty-one days, a sunshine-yellow camper van and a toddler in tow: In 2017, food blogger and photographer Marta Greber of What Should I Eat for Breakfast Today? and her then-two-year- old daughter, Mia, set off on a road trip through New Zealand’s South Island. Just the two of them, a camera and laptop, basic equipment for coffee and one-pot meals, and the call of the open road.
The trip was a dream come true for Marta. “I did a lot of wild camping, and could feel how it set me free,” she recalls. This adventure is only one of the myriad journeys Marta has embarked on alone or together with her daughter. From six months through South America to a 35,000 km road trip across Europe, the creator has paved her way towards a life many can only imagine, combining her passion for food, photography, and travel with motherhood and work. Hailing from Warsaw, the former lawyer started her blog as an outlet for the food an enforced cleansing diet prevented her from eating. Instead, she cooked flavorful meals for her husband, Tomasz, captured her creations and shared her recipes online. “After two weeks, he had gained two kilograms and I had a blog,” she notes. Several years later, she also has more than 412,000 engaged Instagram followers and an insatiable appetite for travel.
Despite the natural ease with which Marta recounts her adventures, challenges were inevitable. In New Zealand, the first hurdle was thinking she could do it all: “Travel where I wanted, go on walks, blog, cook everything for us, and be an awesome mom.” After the stress subsided, an epiphany led her to realize that “the only thing I needed to do was to make Mia happy, which changed everything.
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I drove while she napped. When she told me that she didn’t want to go for a walk, I didn’t make her.” This switch in approach transformed their travels – as did a few efficient strategies, like packing light. Marta’s luggage for long journeys often consists of “one backpack, my computer, camera, and two lenses. I used to put Mia in a carrier up front – and that was it.” As an ardent foodie, Marta is well-prepared when it comes to cooking on the road. “When you’re wild camping, you don’t waste water cleaning pots,” she says. Crêpes, soup, and porridge provide the base for meals, supplemented with ingredients picked up along the way.
To keep her energy up while away, Marta prioritizes taking time for herself when she can, which she describes as “crucial for remembering that I am Marta, not only Mia’s mom.” A favorite ritual revolves around morning coffee before Mia wakes. “I step outside with the cup. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot, cold, or raining, it’s time just for myself. It gives me so much power.” Her reflections often focus on what her daughter is teaching her – how to understand her child, to listen and talk to her. “She’s taught me to accept new limitations and create fun with what I have.”
The next leg of Marta and Mia’s journey will be a new kind of adventure: a three-generation family trip, traveling across Australia together with her husband and both of their parents in two camper vans. However, plenty more spontaneous solo trips for mother and daughter await. For mothers with young children thinking of following in her footsteps, Marta has a straightforward piece of advice: “Don’t overthink it. If you need something, you can buy it on the way. Your kid only needs you.”