You know that one friend who is up for anything. No matter how absurd the idea, how last minute or questionable it is? That one friend who doesn’t ask questions and without more than a second thought, responds “OK, lets do it!”
That’s my mom.
Something that sets me aside from most travel bloggers is that I’ve never done any solo travel. Instead, my mother is usually my partner in crime. I will admit, it started because she was the bankroll to the adventures and the one convincing me to see the world. Shes a teacher so every June when school was done, she would want to take me on a trip, just the two of us. She would offer to take me anywhere. And I, like an ungrateful little brat, would comply just for the free trip and not appreciate the gift she was giving me.
For someone as obsessed with travel as myself, at that time, going somewhere outside of my personal bubble had very little appeal. It wasn’t until our trip to Italy in 2012, that I got bit by the infamous travel bug. The trips with my mom quickly turned from just humoring her, to being the highlight of my year and me inviting her to accompany me on travels. I went from seeing my mom once or twice a year, to seeing her once or twice a month this past year! In the past 3 years my mom and I have been to numerous places around the United States, France, Switzerland, India, Italy, Spain, Portugal, England, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and after this summer, Ecuador!
She’s the most perfect travel partner that I could ever ask for.
We have similar mannerisms, carefree attitudes, and are both able to go with the flow and make the best of any situation. We respect each other and listen. She puts up with me when I’m acting like a brat, and I try to be patient when she wants to stop and read about every painting in the Vatican.
She gets it. She understands the immense value of travel, that it can be so much more than just seeing famous sights. In fact, she’s the one who taught me. She wholly sees the appeal of waking up in a new country, living the day-to-day while under the challenge of language and location, and getting a sense of how people across the globe live. Most importantly, she's just happy to be together.
Living halfway across the country from each other, traveling is our time to catch up. With layovers, long flights, early mornings, and late nights, traveling with my mother has given us insurmountable bonding time. It's let us get to know each other as adults, as equals. We’re friends on a journey, rather than child/parent.
Through the years of traveling together I got to know her as more than just my mom and see her as the truly amazing woman that she is. She is full of adventure, open-minded, strong-willed, optimistic, and my greatest supporter. When it comes to deciding between which pair of shoes to buy, you can always count on my moms answer to be “get them both, you deserve it.”
I’ll never forget the first time I saw her change a tire on the side of the road all by herself. How did she even know how to do that?? The woman can do anything. Whether its renting a manual car in London, navigating the crazy streets and roundabouts to see Stonehenge, skiing down a 500 foot summit in the Swiss alps , snorkeling in nearly freezing water in Iceland, or even spending the night in questionable hostels that we both vowed to never speak about. I never have to worry about her keeping up, nor do I give her enough credit.
She never complains or blames anyone for problems. She is somehow always able to make the best of every situation and not dwell on the things that didn't go according to plan (like that one time we missed our connecting flight home from Europe to the United States because we got distracted playing in the duty-free shop and had to buy all new tickets, missed work, and had to spend the night on the airport floor. But I'll save that story for another time...)
Looking back at my childhood, I had no idea what my mom was capable of doing and how much I would grow to admire her. We’d always had a good relationship, but my mother was never my best friend. I treated her like what she was...my mom. You know, someone whose soul purpose in life was to embarrass you, tell you no, and make life super unfair (not really though)
As children, most of make the same vow: “I’m never going to be like my mother!”
But as I get older, I realize more and more that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.
As Oscar Wilde famously said “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy.”
Well, if turning into my mom means that I'm turning into a strong, independent, adventurous, fearless, cultured women... then I'm totally okay with that.
Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing women out there, especially my mom.
I am so thankful for our relationship and can't wait for many more adventures to come!