When travel writer Ani Shah fell pregnant, everyone told her that her intrepid adventures on the road would be over—for a while, anyway. But she was determined that wouldn’t be the case.

Falling pregnant was never part of the plan. But I was hiking Canada’s Rocky Mountains and bushwhacking Alaska when I felt inexplicably exhausted and realized why.

For any woman, having a baby can be daunting. But as a travel journalist and photographer, who specializes in raw and offbeat destinations, I always felt that very little phases me.

Whether investigating Voodoo in its homeland of Benin, road-tripping through Iran, hiking Madagascan and Rwandan rainforests in search of lemurs and gorillas, circumnavigating the ice-capped Arctic or exploring ancient pagodas in Myanmar, my memorable journeys have been the immersive, challenging ones.

And yet, having a baby felt like staring into the depths of the oceans.