Coming Home to Family
Lindsay, Martine and their daughter Chloe are the epitome of a modern family. Travelling as a ‘gay family’ is not as straightforward as one might think, but their first trip abroad to the Riviera Maya proved that with the right choice of property, it can be done.
Article | 18 June 2018
By Lindsay and Martine Bridgewater
When Chloe came into our lives, our friends and family thought that would be the end to our avid travelling. Naturally, it wasn’t. Any daughter of ours would have our shared wanderlust in her blood. Chloe sat in her first business class seat at just a few months old. Start them young, we say.
For the first couple of years, our adventures with Chloe had always been within the United States – for practicality reasons more than anything – and on the whole our journeys have been pretty uneventful. When people realised that we were a family of three girls, most embraced us and others figured it was really none of their business anyway. But as Chloe got older, we wanted to start exploring further afield and expose her to new experiences. Then, we started to realise that we needed to be less spontaneous about the way we choose to travel and plan everything a little more.
We had heard a number of stories where international travel was challenging for gay families, throwing up things that heterosexual parents don’t need to think about. From carrying the full file of birth certificates, adoption papers, second-parent or any other custodial documentation for questioning immigration officials, to having to get a notorized ‘permission to travel’ letter done for each an every destination. And there are issues before you even leave America. The U.S. Department of State’s passport application for minors require the same, hefty proof of custodial requirements. While we fully understand the reasons why these protective measures are in place, it’s quite demeaning to travel as if you’re guilty until proven innocent.
Then of course there’s the destination and choice of hotel itself. Some places are just a no-go. You’d be surprised how many we had to take off our bucket list. A lot of it came down to ‘gay-intuition’ to determine how well we thought our family would be welcomed – not just in the destination, but by the hotel and its staff; and then by other travellers and families staying at the hotel. We were hardly a discrete couple in the days of travel before Chloe (we fondly call that time B.C.), but now we are always fully on display to everyone, all the time. Chloe knows that having two Moms is somewhat unique, but not a big deal – but heaven forbid that anyone would tell her otherwise.
We decided to try somewhere not too far from home, a beach holiday on the Riviera Maya, Mexico. Being big fans of Belmond, we had travelled to the Belmond Maroma Resort and Spa and loved our time there. It was casual, intimate, family-friendly and you could either escape from it all or be the life and soul of the party if you wanted. Having had experienced this lovely getaway resort for ourselves, our ‘gay intuition’ told us that we’d be ok here.