Do you enjoy traveling alone with your mother or your father?
Have you ever tried it as an adult?
Usually when I announce to my friends that I will be spending something like 2 weeks in Italy with my mother, the immediate reaction I always get is ‘’are you crazy? I would never survive that!’’ (and it is honestly unbelievable to me the amount of people who have told me this before).
If you know me at all, you are by now aware of how important family is to me and how strongly I feel about taking time to travel with my mother, at least once a year.
When we are young, we can only travel if we are accompanied by our parents (or by a ‘’responsible adult’’, when traveling during your teen years). That moment we get the freedom to travel with our friends, it seems most of us take that route and never look back.
It seems that all those years behind us as a child traveler, obeying rules and going to places that we ideally didn’t want to go (like museums instead of Disney World rides) traumatizes us into thinking about what could actually be enjoyable times with our parents.
Don’t get me wrong, I love museums, and when I traveled with my dad as a kid, the things we both enjoyed the most was going to bookstores, museums, and live orchestra performances.
What I am trying to convey is that, as adulthood arrives we tend to forsake something extremely important: Creating valuable memories with the people who love us the most, our parents.
Furthermore, as we grow older, our time with them tends to become more limited. Our busy routine, social life
Granted, you don’t actually have to travel with your parents in order to create memories. A simple day going to the cinema or for ice cream is definitely time well spent, but to my mind, every time I travel with my mother, I feel closer to her.
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
For the sake of this post, it should be said that my parents got divorced when I was 16 years old and that is why I won’t refer to traveling with both of them at the same time.
When I studied hospitality in Switzerland, I had an opportunity to have an internship anywhere I wanted in the world. Because of that, I took this as a chance to go to the most exotic place I could think of. At that time, having never been to Asia before, that place was Thailand.
Six months later, I was sitting in my bed talking to my mother over the phone. We both agreed that, since I was already in Asia, it would be a good opportunity for her to visit me at the end of my internship and, this way, we could explore Asia together, as we were both completely new to the region.
She asked me where should we go, and the first three places that came to my mind were: Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Disclaimer: If you don’t know my mom, she is the type of person who always looks on point. She is extremely well dressed and groomed at all times, and you will never catch her without being in high heels (even at home).
Nevertheless, to my surprise, she agreed to my crazy plans of taking her to eastern Asia. When we actually bought the tickets to Cambodia, I remember sitting in my bed while reflecting about it, to the point of getting worried, thinking ”where in the world am I taking my mother to? She is going to kill me!”.
However, at that point, the decision had been made, and there was no turning back.
MOTHER DAUGHTER ADVENTURES
Not getting into many details, but it is important to give a few words to describe our trip.
As aforementioned, my mother would be described mostly as Posh Spice and I was taking her to an adventure of a lifetime to a region of the world that neither of us had ever been to before.
The trip started well. She arrived in Thailand to meet me and, by chance, it was the Thai Queen’s birthday (so that meant Mother’s day). Because of that, I took my mom to Phi Phi islands on a private boat tour.
We stayed at the resort I worked in, and they kindly upgraded our rooms, gave us a discount to their VIP spa and surprised us by offering a courtesy lobster brisk at
The trip went on to Cambodia, and things got tougher: having to get up at 4h am in order to take a tuk-tuk to watch a sunrise at Angkor Wat temple was something not many parents would do, but Posh Spice and I were one of the first to arrive.
From there, I started seeing my mother from a whole new perspective, something I’ve never imagined before. How could this be?
This woman whom I thought I knew extremely well my entire life and whom I had my fears whether she would hate this type of program, was there next to me, climbing endless temple stairs under the penetrating Cambodian heat.
Adding on to my surprise, she was also there with me in Vietnam when I wanted to wake up at 4h to perform Tai Chi on a boat at Ha Long Bay.
From watching the Haka performance in Bali while sitting on the floor with the locals, to competing in a Tuk-Tuk race in Ho Chi Min, it was an immense pleasure to have my mother by my side, smiling all the way.
Endless were the times we shared a burst of laughter and few were the moments where we had an argument.
I didn’t know how funny my mother was until the moment we found a fan inside a Cambodian temple. We couldn’t stop laughing at our situation, both dripping in
sweattrying to cool off in front of a fan.
I also noticed how our roles had inverted: Due to my vast travel experience, for the first time ever, she was no longer in charge of the situation; I was. Because of that, I had to make sure to take care of her, to see if she felt comfortable and safe, and, most importantly, that she was actually having a good time.
My, oh my! How things change with time, right?
Indeed, traveling with my mother was a pleasure from start to end, but the biggest thrill I got was getting to know her better, especially in a different environment.
Sharing moments of distress, such as climbing 300 steps of temple stairs, or partaking moments of curiosity, such as trying local street food, this trip opened my eyes to realizing that sometimes the best travel companion can be closer than you ever imagined.
MEMORIES FOR A LIFETIME
These fantastic trips allowed both of us to create memories that we value and treasure. We became closer, more understanding of each other’s strengths and limitations, and mutual respect made our mother-daughter bond stronger than ever before.
What followed was an annual tradition of traveling with my mother to the most fascinating destinations of the world, such as:
- Japan (feeding deers in Nirá and experimenting authentic Wagyu beef in Kyoto)
- Dubai + Abu Dhabi (riding together the fastest roller coaster in the world at Ferrari World);
- Maldives (enjoying breakfast at our overwater bungalow);
- Summer in Scandinavia (cruising the Nordic Fjords and going to an unforgettable Beyoncé concert in Stockholm);
- We’ve enjoyed traditional holidays just the two of us, such as Christmas in Paris and new year’s in Stockholm’s infamous Hogmanay street party.
- We ate more gelatos than I can account for when we spent 3 weeks traveling by train around Italy, (and going to operas in Verona).
- Tanning at the beach in Cannes while being shocked at the prices of a water bottle in Monte Carlo
- Christmas orchestra in Barcelona and shopping in Madrid..
- Going to endless musicals in London (From ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’’, to ‘’Billy Elliot’’ and ‘’Mamma Mia’’)
The list goes on…
Note: It is important to state that my mother worked extremely hard for all of this. We didn’t win the lottery or come into money. My momma is a
The biggest takeaway that I learned was that by traveling with our parents, especially as you both get older, can only help strengthen your relationship and deepen the bond you have (or didn’t have).
My mother is my best friend, and I’ve always been and will be grateful for everything she has done for me, but these trips allowed me to see her more as a person, rather than just my mom.
I’ve been truly blessed in life for alw
This year alone we have two trips booked: We will be going to Cinque Terre in September, and then to New York for a wedding in October.