Raising A Baby Abroad - A Family's Experience In The Maldives

A glimpse of life while raising a family on a remote island in the middle of the Indian Ocean - surfing, assisting guests, and eating dinner in the bathroom so as not to wake the baby. ;)

Read Full Article Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Have you ever dreamed of moving to a far away country, surfing all day, and raising your family amongst a new culture? I don't know about you, but I have always day dreamed about such an adventure, with Bali being my dream destination. For Amy Kotch, this dream became a reality over 10 years ago, when her nomadic heart landed on the Maldives. If you've ever had a bit of motherhood wanderlust, prepare to live vicariously through Amy Kotch and her beautiful family. 

Amy's Instagram feed gives us our first glimpse into the paradise she and her family call home. Not only does she feature firing waves and clips of her tearing them to shreds, but she depicts the beauty of a slowly paced island life, complete with some of the bluest waters you'll ever see and the most gleeful baby smiles from her son, Curren. But as with all cases of social media, we only get peek of her life. Though it looks pretty amazing, it also comes with it's fair share of challenges.  Today she shares a little bit more about her unique life in the Maldives with her husband, Richard, and adorable son Curren.

The Maldives is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean consisting of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls, with 200 inhabited islands. They lie south-southwest of India and are considered part of Southern Asia.  Amy, originally from California, first came to the Maldives “ten surf seasons ago,” when she was offered a job at the Four Seasons in the Maldives.  Their surf season runs from March to November and people flock from all over the world for an idyllic surfing experience.  

For Amy, what started as a destination for a nomadic spirit turned into her home of 10 years after she met her now husband, Richard, a photographer also working in the Maldives. After just two months, they were engaged and the rest is now history. She and Richard live and work at the Hudhuranfushi Surf Resort, which features "Lohis," a picture perfect left hander, as it's main break. 

Just over a year ago, these two became a trio with son Curren.  Though some may have felt compelled to leave the Maldives upon becoming parents, Amy told us that, “just because we had a baby didn’t mean we had to change our lifestyle.” I couldn't agree or love that sentiment more. 

A day in the life of Amy is centered around the resort schedule: coffee, breakfast and mingling with guests.  She tries to get in a yoga class or surf session if possible, followed by napping, playing, swimming and helping around the resort. And as it would in paradise, each day ends with a Maldivian sunset. Her husband works late into the night, but they maintain ways to be together throughout that day. “Curren sees his dad more than most kids as we live where he works so that is great. It's also wonderful that we don’t have to put him in daycare or get a nanny, very thankful for that.” 

One of the biggest challenges of their #LifeAtLohis? Amy tells us: “There are really hard days while doing this, living in one room and not having a kitchen is the biggest challenge. People think that not having to cook your own food is a dream, but the reality is, not so much.  Imagine your child hungry but you can’t feed him until the scheduled lunch time when the food is made? Also, imagine eating your own dinner every night in the bathroom where the light can be on so you don’t wake your baby… not so dreamy. Also, the packing up and moving isn’t easy… I think the social media aspect looks a lot more dream than it actually is. But then we have nice days in the tropical lagoon or I get to surf then walk to our room and take a nap with baby and life feels pretty good. The road less traveled is not the easiest road, so you have to be prepared to forgive and compromise and have a rock solid relationship with your partner. Being a parent is hard work, being a parent while living out of a suitcase is even more challenging.”

As a surfing mother, Amy reflects that any worries about pregnancy or childbirth impacting her surfing were proved wrong.  She had at one point come to terms with the possibility of giving up surfing. Fortunately,  despite the physical recovery from a cesarean delivery, she was surfing and feeling like her old self within eight months.  “Believe it or not, my husband says I surf better now than before I was pregnant. Maybe because I appreciate every wave and every session.”

So what about the future for the Kotch Family?  How long will they stay? “We live each year like its our last out here and we live each year like we will stay forever...We never think, this will be our last year or we will continue on for ages, so we take it one year at a time. I’m sure someday we will feel that we are finished but not quite yet.” 


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