News

Baby Liberty, a 1-year-old world traveler with Cedar Rapids ties, is on an adventure of a lifetime

Joby Weeks, left, and Stephanie Weeks, with 1-year-old Liberty Weeks in her arms, visit Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand in April. (Contributed by Stephanie Weeks)
Joby Weeks, left, and Stephanie Weeks, with 1-year-old Liberty Weeks in her arms, visit Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand in April. (Contributed by Stephanie Weeks)
/

A year ago, little Liberty Weeks became the youngest person ever to visit all 50 states — doing so by the time she was 42 days old — but that was just the beginning of her travels.

Now 13 months old, Liberty has been to 45 countries, four continents, and she’s still just getting started.

She’s visited the Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower, London Bridge and Red Square. Her passport has been stamped in Indonesia, Nicaragua, Mongolia, Malaysia, Australia, Japan and Norway. You can follow her travels on Instagram.

She swam with pigs — that was in Exuma in the Bahamas — and petted elephants — at a sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand — with her adventurous parents, who have incorporated a measure of charity into their travels.

“We want to instill when she is young the importance of giving back, and when you are given a lot you give a lot back,” mom Stephanie Weeks said.

Parents Stephanie and Joby Weeks want to encourage love and kindness, entrepreneurship, and “finding solutions to the world’s problems and doing something about them,” Stephanie Weeks said.

“She loves going to play with the kids and we believe it is teaching her valuable lessons,” Weeks said.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

While traveling, the Weeks family has been visiting orphanages and begun supporting 130 orphaned children with food, shelter and other basic needs, including enabling 10 new mothers to stay with their children.

A “virtual lemonade stand,” called Liberty’s Lemonade in which others can contribute, has helped their mission of helping orphans and combating malnutrition.

“We believe simple acts of kindness will create a ripple effect and positively impact our world,” Weeks said.

The Weeks family have been constantly on the go from one adventure to the next for more than a decade. They have a website called Weeks Abroad where they share travel tips and other resources for travelers.

Their travels are funded in large part from proceeds made as early bitcoin adopters, they have said.

They have roots in Cedar Rapids, where Stephanie grew up and attended Jefferson High School. They return periodically for holidays or other occasions.

They’ll be back to the area to visit family for Christmas, she said.

Liberty has had a nontraditional journey, but Weeks said she has been developing normally in terms of walking, talking and socialization.

Next up are travels to Mexico, Patagonia, the west coast of Africa and Antarctica.

The plan for 2020 is to put out an e-book to help families navigate traveling with children as well as a hard copy book to give to kids they meet on the road, Weeks said.

“She is a trouper,” Weeks said. “She just loves being out and about. She’s super-social. We saw a girl on the street in Miami. She ran up and gave a hug. She doesn’t care who people are or where they are from.”

Comments: (319) 398-8310; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.