My TOTEM Story: My Journey to Travel

Thank you, TOTEM for sharing my story.

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I’m a mom to three under the age of three, wife to the best man I’ve ever known, and travel writer dedicated to families with young children.  If we can travel with three little ones, we know you can too, and I’m here to help.

After 10 years of creating digital engagement strategies for corporations, politicians and non-profits, I decided to apply my passion to the people and places I love the most.

What three books or people have made the biggest impact in your life? Why?

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – I graduated from Johns Hopkins University, and I’ve always had an obsession with all things Hopkins.  This book is about medical research at Johns Hopkins, but most importantly, it is about an amazing woman and her family. They lived through racism, national division, suffering and a strange kind of triumph for mankind.  It is intense, but it reminds me that we leave a legacy in one way or another, and I want to leave the right kind of legacy for my kids.
Eat. Pray. Love – I found this book during a really tough time in my life.  We were going through our second year of infertility treatment, and I needed something uplifting.  The main character packs her entire life away in a 10×10 storage unit, and heads out on a yearlong trip to Italy, India and Bali.  Her journey teaches her to love herself again and to open her heart to loving others. It helped me to do the same things.
The Bible – it is the blueprint for my life and an unending source of strength and encouragement.

How has a struggle or low point in your life turned out to be a blessing in disguise?
My husband and I decided to start a family early on in our marriage, but things didn’t go according to plan.  We endured two years and seven rounds of infertility treatment, a miscarriage, emergency surgery to remove a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, and the hardest days, weeks, months and years of our lives.  In the end, we were blessed with three amazing rainbow babies (twins via IVF and a our littlest was a miracle surprise!) that fill our lives with so much silliness and so many snuggles. It has been such a blessing to help other women dealing with the same struggles.  It was so difficult to open up about our experiences, but when I did, I was surprised to find out I was surrounded by women dealing with the exact same things. They needed to talk, to cry, to ask why, and to connect in a way they couldn’t connect with their own friends and family.  It is an honor to support these warriors in any way I can, and such a blessing in my own life.

 

When you get up in the morning, what gets you most excited?

I left my corporate job to spend more time with my family, but I knew I still wanted to find a way to apply my passion and expertise to an endeavor that included them. I started Toddlin’ Across America to not only help young families get the most out of their next vacation, but to be there as my kids experienced the sights and sounds this beautiful world has to offer.  Each morning, I get so excited to plan where we’re headed next, and share our adventures with our community. I love seeing their sense of wonder!

Originally published on https://totemshop.ca/blogs/totemstories/toddlin-across-america-angelica-kajiwara

 

 

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