Harper Yeats is really just like any other baby. She only needs food, sleep and a clean diaper, her mom said.
She can also sleep really well in the car, Cindy Lim told The Wichita Eagle. And that sure comes in handy.
Five-month-old Harper has spent the last four months traveling through the U.S. — and she still has a couple weeks to go.
Harper’s parents, Lim and Tristan Yeats, consider themselves “avid travelers,” so they found it fitting to spend Lim’s maternity leave on a family adventure.
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“To us, travel has been invaluable in shaping who we are today,” Lim told The Eagle. “That being said, the decision to go on this trip during my maternity leave was as much about traveling as it was about having the opportunity to spend quality time together as a new family.”
So, on the first week of June, Harper and her parents buckled up and headed out for their version of “The Great American Road Trip” — the show gave their trip some inspiration.
But they didn’t head out of their Canada home with plans to visit all 50 states.
Before Harper was born, Lim and Yeats had already been to 19 states, so they only planned to travel through Canada and go the remaining 31 states.
“However, as we were making our way down the East Coast, we came across the All Fifty States Club online and realized that if we did do all 50 with Harper, she could become the youngest person to achieve the feat,” Lim said. The current record is held by Ethan Connor, who visited all the states before he turned 3, according to the club.
When Lim and Yeats discovered that their newborn could break the record, though, they had already skipped past Vermont on their journey down the East Coast. That’s because they had already been to Vermont without Harper.
Despite the extra travel time, Harper’s parents now plan to make Vermont the last U.S. state that she will visit for the first time. They plan to cross through that final state on Oct. 18, Lim said, and they plan to do something special to celebrate. They’d love to meet U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to her Facebook post.
While Harper’s parents do have their eye on the Guinness World Record (they have already submitted an application on behalf of Harper), this road trip has been about so much more, Lim told The Eagle.
“The real highlights though are all the memories we are making as a family and the milestones Harper is checking off all around the country,” Lim said.
From Harper’s first solid foods in Anchorage, Alaska, to her first swim in Melbourne, Florida, the “firsts” are what have made some of the “otherwise unheard of places as memorable to us as the ‘tourist’ sites we’ve visited,” Lim said.
Harper also had her first laugh in Mississippi, her first dip in the ocean in South Carolina and her first coo in Canada. She almost rolled from her back to her belly in Kansas City, but Harper decided to wait until North Liberty, Iowa, for that milestone.
“Although it has not been without its ups and downs (Harper is still an infant after all), it has been a truly positive experience and one which I firmly believe has only enriched our relationship,” Lim said.
And while they continue on their trip through diverse landscapes and different regions, one thing has remained the same, Lim said.
“No matter where you are, the people are always welcoming, kind and friendly,” she said. “Universally, everyone has also loved Harper and enjoyed playing with her and trying to make her laugh and smile.”