Why I’m grateful to have a mom who travels

BY ONEIKA RAYMOND

My trip to Italy with my mother makes me realize how blessed I am to have a mom who travels.

My mom is awesome.  I’ve lived in four different countries now as an expat (France, Mexico, Hong Kong, and the UK), and without fail, she always comes to visit me or is game to meet up nearby.  This is even more appreciable given her hectic corporate life and packed calendar. In 2010, she braved a 20-hour journey to visit me in Hong Kong; last year, she hopped on a plane and came to visit me in London for only 6 days.  With Liebling, we did the regular tourist rounds in the city, which included attending a West End musical and going for a traditional Sunday roast.

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This year, my mom opted not to come to London and instead insisted we meet up somewhere else in Europe — somewhere she hadn’t been before.  Now, when I lived in France for two years, my mom came to visit twice: the first time we met in Paris for Christmas, snuck across the Channel to London for a day, then rang in the New Year in Madrid.  The second time, despite my grandfather — her dad –having passed away unexpectedly a week prior, she put aside her grief and flew into Nice for a stay on the French Riviera.  It was then that I began to realize my mother’s strength. The sudden death of my grandpa meant that she had to change her flight details short notice, all while being up to her eyeballs in funeral prep. The change in itinerary meant that her trip was cut short by a few days.  Still, my mom rolled with the punches. The stress was real but she didn’t buckle or stutter, she didn’t miss one beat.  She arrived in France later than planned but we had a ball: we darted over to Monaco, and even managed to do a 5-day trip to Athens in Greece. As I was working at my teaching job in Nice most days, she jumped on a train by herself and visited the markets in Ventimiglia, Italy, an hour ride from the French border.  It was her first and only time in Italy.

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Having already sampled some of the best cities in Europe and having remembered her one day trip to the land of pasta and Versace purses, she volunteered Italy as a potential meetup spot this year.  I had been to Italy three times before and loved it, so she didn’t have to do much to twist my arm.  Last Saturday, then, she met Liebling and I in Rome.  I’ve been twice before, as has Liebling, so we brought her to all the typical tourist spots, the places we know and love.  My mom was amazed by the relics of history.  She commented that Italy was so rich and old compared to Canada, a relative toddler.  We trod the beaten path and did everything that tourists should do: had pizzas big as wall clocks in the streets near the Pantheon, devoured gelato in Piazza Navona.  I worried that my mom, rapidly approaching 60 years on this planet, would be exhausted by our quick pace (leggy Liebling’s long strides mean that it’s even difficult for me to keep up), especially after her overnight flight from Canada. But she was always there, not even one step behind.  She shocked me with her positivity and sparkle and chattiness, always asking “What’s next?” when I expected her to fold.  Always game for the next adventure.

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People always ask me where my curiosity and drive to explore foreign territory comes from, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Together, my mom and I have been to Jamaica, Cuba, the US, France, Spain, Greece, Hong Kong, England, Mexico, and now Italy; on her own she has been to many other places. I realize that my mother is a traveller.  And I am so lucky for this fact.

Have you ever travelled with your parents?  Where did you go?  

SHARING IS CARING

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68 Comments

  • I can totally relate to this post! I mom ignited my thirst for travel as well! She has traveled to so many places that are still on my list. She was actually a little disappointed that she didn’t get a chance to visit South Korea before I left.

    Reply
  • I’ve also travelled with my mum all over the world, and I, too, feel very blessed to have a travelling mother. She always inspired me to lead a life of adventure. We’re two very lucky daughters!

    Reply
  • I’ve travelled with my parents a little bit. My dad is a complete homebody and it can be quite hard for him to agree to travel (once he is travelling he is game! but the initial part of buying a plane ticket is hard). But we’ve been around Australia, New Zealand, and my mom and I went to Turkey.

    Reply
  • I definitely have the travelling gene from my parents. They’ve been all over the place and lived in Zimbabwe for 2 years so I only have them to blame for my constant desire to jet off somewhere new! I was in Russia a few years back and they came to visit me there. I was especially impressed that they came to Russia seeing as it’s a country where not many people speak English and to say the least, Russian is quite a different language! I can only hope I will be as well-travelled as they are at their age!

    Reply
  • It is so nice to see you and Moms traveling. My Mom was 8 months pregnant with me and was on a plane; I TOTALLY blame her for my love of travel. Although my whole family is like this…so who knows?

    Glad you had a nice time in IT.

    Reply
  • My mom always took us on little trips when we were young and we’d always go to the US as a family growing up. In 2011 I was able to show her London and we explored Paris together (mother’s day gift) and I can’t wait for the next time she comes to visit so we can experience another city together. When we went to Paris it was the first that we had ever travelled alone and the trip was great. She was game to explore where ever and she is the perfect travel partner. You and your mom look great in the second to last picture!

    Reply
  • I’ve traveled extensively with my parents – they were my first travel buddies and got me my first passport at 3 years old. We’ve been all over Central and South America together, throughout the U.S., Quebec and Montreal, Jamaica, and I also went to Europe with my dad and brother after graduating from college. Next spring, the hubs and I are going to France with my parents to celebrate our anniversary which is a month after theirs. So it’ll be a joint anniversary celebration. Glad to see that other people enjoy traveling with their parents as well!

    Reply
  • You are so lucky to have a mom who loves to travel and is good to travel with. I have gone on short trips with my mom in the States. She is just now starting to get interested in travel, so maybe we’ll have an international trip soon!

    Reply
  • While growing up, we travel alot via car. It was nothing to get out of school on a Friday, bags already in the car packed and off we go.
    My parents travel still, but more with my nephew.
    When it comes to my international travels and cruises, they don’t get it. Going outside the US is too far out their comfort zone. My last trip to Peru was one I told them about around a week prior. Mainly because I didn’t want to hear alot of naysay.
    I would love to travel with my parents, but I know they wouldn’t enjoy it. That’s why alot of my travels are now alone.
    I know now that I travel to a different beat than most and learn to accept it

    Reply
  • Having friends and family abroad is one of the best excuses to go traveling ever. Makes for a much better vacation than most other activities, and then you get all the tips from the person who’s already there.

    Reply
  • I, too, can completely relate to this post. While working on her BA (she started college a little later b/c she had me at such a young age), she studied abroad in Mexico. Then for graduate school, she went to NYU and SUNY Buffalo and spent a lot of time in varies parts of Canada. Next, she took my grandmother to Italy to do a pretty lengthy, tour trip (about 2-4 weeks). By this time, my mother and I had been to only one country out of the States – Canada. A couple of years afterward, she and I decided to finally go to Europe together. We went to Madrid and Paris, and I continued on to northern Italy without her (she had to get back to the States, and she had already been to Italy).

    When I moved to Europe last year, she came to visit me in England. We spent a lot of time in London and saw Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre (that my was Xmas present for her). A few days later, she accompanied me to southern Italy – Reggio Calabria – and flew out of Catania, Sicily (after a bit of sightseeing with my boyfriend and me) to Monaco, Germany (for one day by herself) then back home to the States.

    So, I would definitely say my wanderlust tendencies stem from her. She cannot wait for me to go to another country so that she can visit other places with me. She has also expressed that she would like to live in Australia one day. I adore the fact that she loves to travel internationally. So many people in my extended family are either afraid or have no desire to travel abroad, and those sentiments always break my heart. Nevertheless, I am glad that my best friend (aka mother) and I have many memories of experiencing and seeing new things in other countries. I, too, am grateful to have a mom who travels. She’s my favorite mom! 😉

    Thank you for this post. It has allowed me to value my mother all the more. As usual, this post is full of lovely photos and sentiments. You and your mother are so fortunate to have seen so many places around the world.

    Reply
    • I accidentally wrote “Munich” in Italian, which is “Monaco” (not to be confused with the Monaco of the French Riviera) haha. I am totally losing my native language.

      Reply
  • I do get the wanderlust from my parents however, my father is the most travelled of the two. I love this post but it also makes me sad as I have not seen my mother or father for nearly four years (they live in Jamaica) and it is not likely that they will visit me. I think its amazing that your mom comes and sees you in whatever country you’re in and still has that verve to experience new things.

    Reply
  • You’re very blessed, you have no idea what I would do to have parents who loved to travel!

    Reply
  • Andi is right, you are truly blessed to have a parent who loves to travel as much as you do. And especially like to travel with you and even go visit you in a foreign country. Right now I don’t have a family member who travels with me, although they would love to. I sometimes have to explain to them why I would love to go visit India or Kenya for example. or why I would pack my bags to go live in China! Having another family member who shares your passion helps grow your passion and also gives you some support and encouragement.
    I wish you two plenty of travels together.

    Reply
  • You are very lucky to have such an adventurous mom. My mom only twice travelled out of Germany: once for her honeymoon to Tenerife and once to visit me in England when I was living there. She is just one of those people who enjoy staying at home. I must have got my dad’s genes as I can’t stay in one place for too long.

    Reply
  • It is exceptionally awesome that your mom travels. My mom travels well too. She, my sister and I am meeting in Amsterdam in August for my sister’s birthday.

    Reply
  • My mother has come to visit me 5 times on 3 continents (Africa, Europe and Asia). My father has been along for 3 of those trips. My grandmother has visited me in Europe twice and she’s pushing 80! I feel so unbelievably lucky to have family that is willing to follow me around the globe and with whom I can share some of my adventures!!

    Reply
  • Great article and I love that photo!
    Your blog just keeps getting better and better. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
  • Your mom sounds awesome, and you are indeed lucky that she’s willing and able to come meet up with you all around the globe!

    I’ve traveled with my mom in the past, too, though mostly in the U.S. I give her a lot of credit, though. Her first trip outside of the U.S. (and therefore her first passport!) was in 2005 with me to New Zealand. She didn’t miss a beat and loved every minute of it. Now if only I could convince her to go on adventures like that with me more often!

    Reply
  • I’m glad you guys had a good trip! I definitely attribute my love of travel to my parents and feel very lucky to have family willing to make the trek to Chile every year to come see me.

    Reply
  • My mom is my most faithful travel buddy. She will meet me in Paris in a few days and we will venture out to Italy as well.

    Reply
  • That is wonderful! I haven’t even been to half the places my mother traveled to around the world but I plan to!

    Reply
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