Mother’s Day 2014: Traveling with Mom

Although my mother has been gone for almost 14 years, I think about her every day. I have a lot of wonderful memories and many of those involve traveling — with our family when I was growing up and much later with my dad and her in the last few years of her life. She (and my dad) opened my eyes at any early age to the joys of being on the road and inspired the wanderlust that is still so strong in me.

"Catherine Sweeney traveling with mom in Sonoma County, Michigan and Montana over the years"

Traveling with Mom through the years

In honor of Mother’s Day celebrated in many places around the world in May, I asked bloggers to share their stories of traveling with their moms. As you’re about to find out, mothers have inspired our travels, surprised us with their enthusiasm for adventure, and joined us in travel experiences that became memories of a lifetime.

Bloggers share stories of traveling with their moms

Samantha of Mytanfeet

"Samantha and her mother in Costa Rica"

Samantha and her mom in Costa Rica

My parents and grandmother visited me in Costa Rica three months after I moved down. I was so excited because we hadn’t traveled anywhere far together in so many years and I couldn’t wait to show them around my new home (and finally meet my Costa Rican boyfriend). My mom in particular had a few activities she really wanted to do, one of which was ziplining. To be honest, I had no idea my mom was that adventurous but we took her to one and she loved it! To this day she keeps asking about more intense ziplines. They were there for 6 days so we also went on a sunset cruise, a wildlife watching cruise and fishing. We never got a chance to do anything like this back in Washington where I grew up so it was great to do something out of the ordinary and share that with my mom. I had an amazing time with them, showing them around and introducing them to Costa Rica. Now I know where I get all my adventurous spirit from!

Agness of eTramping.com

"Agness Walewinder traveling with mom at thetrain station in her hometown of Zagan"

Agness and her mom at the train station in her hometown of Zagan

My mom has never been much of an adventurer. She is a typical history teacher with a very stable and predictable life. Last summer she took me by surprise when we went to Karpacz – a small mountain town, situated at the foot of Sniezka Mountain in Karkonosze region in Poland. I thought it was going to be another “boring” family holiday, but my mom turned it into a real adventure. She packed us light, prepared some food and took me for an extreme hike. We were climbing up Sniezka Mountains for hours and my mom didn’t seem to get tired at all. She was a proper leader of this expedition, took some photos on the way and we she shared some awesome travel stories with me when stopping for a lunch. We also ended up having a traditional Polish dinner on top of Sniezka while admiring the beautiful scenery. After this trip my mom became my travel inspiration!

Anastasia of Gallivant Girl

"Anastasia of Gallivant Girl traveling with mom in China"

Anastasia and her mom in China

My Mum’s always been a big traveller; she’s lived and worked abroad, and evidently, the travel genes were passed down. As soon as I was old enough, I started travelling. I’d been on the road for about a year when my 21st birthday rolled round. I’ve always been close to my Mum, and couldn’t imagine celebrating without her, so to my delight, she booked a flight and came out to meet me in Beijing, somewhere neither of us had visited.

Together we climbed the Great Wall of China, visited the Terracotta Warriors and fell in love with China. It was a fabulous way to catch up. I usually travel solo on a tight budget, so not having to stay in hostels or take selfies made a seriously welcome change! The hardest part was parting ways, as she headed home to England I headed on to Australia. Time spent apart makes time spent together so much more precious.

Cacinda of Points and Travel

"Cacina Maloney of Points and Travel traveling with mom in Australia"

Cacinda and her mom traveling in Australia

My 40th birthday was fast approaching and as usual, I wanted an escape. I couldn’t imagine spending my milestone birthday at home. I thought of all the places in the world I had wanted to go, but then remembered something from my childhood. My Mother would constantly talk about Australia, how she wanted to go there one day and how nice it must be. She didn’t just say this once, but it was a reoccurring theme. She would talk for days about the country and her longingness to go there. So that was it! This is where I would spend my 40th Birthday, I would take my Mother to Australia and so that is what I did! And we had a blast! I am so thankful for that trip that I got to provide for my Mother!

Carole of Travels With Carole

"Carole Terwilliger Meyers of Travels with Carole at a cafe in Amsterdam while traveling with mom"

Carole with her mom at a cafe in Amsterdam

When my daughter was a tempestuous pre-teen, we invited my mom along on a trip to Europe with us. Neither had never been before. My mother was thrilled, my daughter less so. You can probably tell it was 1992 by the way we look here, all sitting together in a cafe across from the floating flower market in Amsterdam. I am so glad we did this when my mom was still able to get around easily and enjoy it. It turned out to be a good time for us, too, because my daughter shared a room with Grandma and they both usually wanted to stay in after dinner, so on a few occasions when my husband and I had enough energy we were able to go out on the town and frolic. When I chatted with my 93-year-old mom last night and mentioned this journey, she replied, “That was some trip—the trip of a lifetime.”

Jennifer of JDomb’s Travels

"Jennifer Dombrowski of JDomb's Travels and her mother in New York City"

I’m an only child and my mom took me every where with her when I was a kid. She’s the very first one I pick up the phone to call with news – good or bad. And though she can drive me insane, my mom is my best girlfriend.

My mom and I try to take at least one trip together each year. My earliest memory of a mother-daughter trip was to Seattle when I was maybe 7 years old. We’ve done everything from spa getaways in Las Vegas to a European tour of Paris and Rome. I even got my mom, who is deathly afraid of the water and doesn’t know how to swim, to get in the Caribbean Sea to snorkel with stingrays. She’s a fun travel companion and even though it’s gotten harder to take our annual trip since I moved to Europe, she still always seems to make it work. I’m so thankful for the time that we have together.

Keryn of Walking On Travels

"In the Generalife section of The Alhambra"

History comes alive for Keryn’s mom at the Alhambra

My mother had never been outside of North America before last year. This was when she and my dad finally decided to join us on one of our trips to Europe. We were headed to Spain, a place I didn’t think would interest my English major mother, but she had a secret longing that drew her to this special country. As a girl she learned about the Alhambra in Granada, the grand palace and fortress of centuries-old rulers. This would be the last stop on our trip, and possibly the most memorable. As we started our tour in the Generalife section of the complex I saw my mother tear up. This is what she had read about so many years ago. She’d heard me tell her tales of our travels through Europe, but I realized until the moment she was there, standing in something so beautiful and so old, my stories could never hit home the way this did. I gave her a hug, remembering how I felt the first time my history books came alive during my first trip to Europe. It is a feeling that stays with you and I was able to share it with my mom. Months later and she still talks about the trip, and especially our day touring the Alhambra together. It is a memory we will both hold onto as time passes, although a trip to Scotland is already in the works. I’m sure many more memories are to come. After all, once you get a taste of Europe, you really can’t get enough, especially when you get to explore it with your family.

Kristin of Travel Past 50

"Kristin Henning of Travel Past 50 on a boat on Lake Superior with her mother"

Kristin’s mother looking nautical on Lake Superior

Travels with my mother, apart from the festive school shopping trips we’d take to Minneapolis (ladies’ lunch included) were, in fact, family vacations. She’s been gone since I was seventeen, so I’m out of luck when it comes to seeing how she’d travel as an elder, or planning a mother-daughter adventure.

On our family vacations, we drove up the north shore of Lake Superior to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Mom was not a camper, but always happy to ham it up on vacation, and relish a week without cooking dinner. The cabin we rented was built on a large slab of rock that eased down into the water. It was a great place for her to relax while us three kids swam or explored the woods. Her mood was high, whipping up pancakes with the fresh blueberries we picked, or reading Tom Sawyer to us at bedtime.

For a couple years, maybe more, I wasn’t old enough to go on the day-long canoe trips my brother and sister took with my father. To surprise and console me from missing out, she’d have brought along some project just for me. She’d planned ahead, always the mother, and we had those days together.

Laura of Travel Addicts

"Laura Longwell of Travel Addicts with her mom at the Temple of Hatshepsut in Egypt"

Laura with her mom at the Temple of Hatshepsut in Egypt

My mom has been obsessed with Egypt for a long time but never had much hope of seeing the pyramids in person. Given our love for travel, my husband and I wanted to take my mom there, but we always assumed it was out of our price range. Then, in December of 2010, we found a sale that let us make it a reality for us, my mom, and my sister in celebration of my mom’s 60th birthday. A few weeks later, January 2011 brought the Arab Spring and the Revolution in Egypt that toppled Mubarak. We spent several tense months wondering if this amazing trip could actually happen. Luckily, there was a window of peacetime, and we took off that June as planned. We spent two remarkable weeks seeing the sights of Cairo, diving in the Red Sea, cruising the Nile, and standing in the shadows of statues of Ramses the Great at Abu Simbel. At every stop, my mom was in awe. She spent what seemed like hours staring at the 30-foot-high carvings and the 3000-year-old hieroglyphics that still have their original color. The trip started out as a gift for her and ended up as a gift for all four of us, as it’s something we will never forget.

Lisa of nonnaswanderings

"Lisa Richardson of nonnaswanderings and her mom while traveling"

Lisa and her mom enjoying family time

In the 90s, we two sisters began jaunts from L.A. and Milwaukee to be with our mom. We were growing our own families and juggled to make the visits happen. We met in Maryland at her home, played Scrabble and went for crab cakes. We surprised Mother, detouring from one of our homes to retrieve the other at an airport, for a trip to Galena or Ocean City. At the American Club in Kohler, WI, she acquiesced to a head and neck massage and became giddy. Once our destination was a Victorian flat in San Francisco. In Aviara, Carlsbad, CA, she barely left the ambient surroundings. Our eldest son and now wife shared a meal. As we played games, the dining room table spontaneously shattered, stunning us all and bringing hysterical laughter.

At her funeral 14 months later, her friends told us she loved these trips. It didn’t really matter where we went.

Making her travel blogging debut – Shae, 11-year-old daughter of Mary of The World is a Book

"Mary Solio with her daughter Shae at Tivoli Gardens"

Shae with her travel blogger mom and brother at Tivoli Gardens

My passion for traveling was inspired by my mom, and because of her I love traveling almost as much as she does. We both dream of traveling together to many places. I love traveling with her because it’s exciting and fun. I learn new things, experience different cultures, and I get to spend more time with my mom. We love to go shopping, visit castles, museums and churches and take a lot of pictures. My favorite place I have traveled to with her is Denmark. I loved Denmark because of the Little Mermaid, the Danish pastries and Tivoli Gardens. I have traveled to many places with my mom, and I can’t wait to explore more places with her.

Patti of One Road At A Time

"Patti Maghamfar of One Road At A Time sitting on the lap of her aunt, her mother is standing behind them"

6-yr-old Patti on Aunt Pat’s lap. Mom, Dolores, is standing

I was the youngest of six children, raised at the tail end of the baby boomer generation, late 50’s through the 60’s and 70’s so you can imagine financing travel for that size of a family wasn’t easy. My parents loved the desert, they enjoyed golfing and tennis so our family vacations usually meant a car trip to Palm Desert, CA. Most often I remember traveling with my sister who was next in line to me at five years older. There was a considerable age gap between the first three children and the last three children, so the older siblings were off living their lives. We always drove and most often we stayed in a hotel, always with a pool to keep us entertained. Sometimes, my aunt and uncle would join us, as they lived in Los Angeles, just three hours away. I loved my aunt and uncle so when they joined us it was all the better. I always enjoyed going to Palm Desert but I remember not liking the car trip part of it because my father was one who once he had a destination in mind it was all the way, with barely a stop to eat, drink or otherwise. Not too much fun for a kid in the back seat who wasn’t able to read (due to car sickness, which I still can’t) and long before the days of hand-held video games. I must have enjoyed those desert vacations though because the memories have stayed with me. As it turns out, as an adult, I absolutely love road trips and the desert.

Sofie of Wonderful Wanderings

"Sofie Couwenbergh of Wonderful Wanderings intraveling with her mom"

When I turned 12, my mom took me and a bunch of friends to the zoo for an afternoon of treasure hunting. During our first assignment we had to walk over a tree trunk, but I slid off and ended up with my feet in the water. My mom gave me her shoes and spent the rest of the afternoon on her socks, with nothing to do, waiting for our afternoon to end.

She saved my birthday and in many ways she’s still the one keeping me safe when I travel. Although we don’t often do trips with just the two of us, she’s always the support I need when I embark on a new adventure; she’s always the one on the phone when something has gone wrong and she’s always the first to listen to my stories when I get back.

In a way, my mom is there on all my travels and I’m so grateful for that.

Thanks to all the bloggers who shared their stories. Happy Mother’s Day!

Tell us about a special memory that you have of traveling with your mom.

For previous stories: Travels with Mom — Bloggers Share Their Memories and Boomer Women Remember Travels with Mom

41 thoughts on “Mother’s Day 2014: Traveling with Mom

  1. Patti

    I just read through every story and while they all have a common thread, they are definitely individual stories of love and memories. Thanks for the collaboration, Catherine!

  2. Keryn

    Oh my goodness. Shae’s post about her mom (who I know) made my heart melt. I hope when my boys are 11 they feel the same. There is nothing better than seeing your kids grow and learn through the travels you bring them on. Makes it all the more worth it!

  3. Agness

    That was an amazing idea for the post. Look at us – we all have lovely mothers who keep inspiring us to travel the World. They all worry about us and wish us bon voyage every time we set off for a new adventure. This post brings back such amazing memories! I’m counting down days to travel with my mom once again!

  4. Mary {The World Is A Book}

    What an amazing and inspiring read this post was, Cathy. It’s such a great collaboration and I loved reading everyone’s stories. Thank you for letting Shae have her travel blogging debut here. I’m visiting my mom next month so I’m looking forward to some local travels with her.

  5. Marlys

    What a great read. Made me miss my late mother terribly, who didn’t travel much, which in hindsight I can’t understand because as a young lady, she was very adventurous and gregarious.I suppose being a mother to a brood of 6, travel proved too daunting for her, and with finances being tight was limited to summer trips to her mother’s home outside the city.

  6. Anuja De Silva

    What an amazing collection! I took my mom to Europe for the first time last year and it was wonderful to see her experience so much of what she had read about. I’m so grateful to be able to share this time with her living in the US and see her have new experiences along with her grandson. Loved seeing Mary’s daughter appreciate her mom’s effort in all their travels. Happy Mother’s Day to everyone!

  7. Lucy

    What a lovely post. I travel with my mum at least once a year – in fact we’re off to Norway together next week – and it’s so lovely to spend some time together, I have so many great memories to keep.

  8. Amanda

    What a great post! I love travelling with my mom – along with my husband, she’s my favourite person to travel with, as a matter of fact. I am blessed to have such an adventurous mom!

  9. Samantha @mytanfeet

    Thank you for featuring us and loved reading the other stories, made me tear up inside. Something about that mother-daughter bond that can never be broken. So many precious memories and so much love. Hope all the mothers know how amazing they are!

  10. Pingback: Mothers Day 2014: Traveling with Mom | nonnaswanderings

  11. Jenna @ Green Global Reviews

    Love this post–such great stories! It’s so great to see people who love traveling with their mom’s–I always love traveling with my mom and my family. My parents took us on many trips when I was younger and I have so many great travel memories to thank them for. I recently told my mom I want to take her to Europe as she’s never been overseas–looking forward to planning out our trip even more after reading all these stories!

  12. Michelle

    This is an absolutely lovely post. My mother has never wanted to travel. It scares her which makes me very sad, but I respect her wishes to not travel. I really enjoyed all of these photos and stories though.

  13. Suzanne Fluhr

    I really enjoyed this post, Cathy. I could never quite tell if my mother enjoyed traveling, but she uncomplainingly followed my father around the world with all three of her daughters in tow. She was the one in charge of making sure we had clothes to wear and something to eat. I don’t think I packed for myself until I left for college. She was stunned to learn that my husband has always packed his own suitcase on our travels. I don’t think my father ever packed one in his entire life.

  14. Jo

    I’ve never had the opportunity to travel with my mum, but love travelling with my daughter who is almost 12. We went to Bali together when she was 9, and are taking our next mother-daughter trip next month. I do most of my traveling on my own, which I love, but traveling with my daughter gives me a whole different perspective on where we are visiting. Wonderful post!

  15. Patti Morrow

    Wonderful stories! Really makes me miss my mom, who loved to travel and passed away way too young at 62. I took my children on many fun vacations as they were growing up — who knows, maybe someday one of them will write a post like these!

  16. Leigh

    What a great lot of travel memories with moms.

    My mom is on a rather rapid descent with dementia so not so sure she’ll even know it’s Mother’s Day this weekend.
    We have done our fair share of things with the most adventurous trip, one where we went sea kayaking out of the Baja. It was a memorable for both of us as the kayaking was challenging, the scenery phenomenal and the birdlife was out of this world.

  17. Pola (Jetting Around)

    I live 5,000 miles away from my mom and would love, absolutely love, to travel with her again. Sigh… This is a lovely post and I particularly enjoy Agness’ post, just because one of my favorite childhood memories is a family trip to Karpacz. 🙂

  18. Sunshine

    Great post. I’ve actually been to 4 continents with my mom, including Antarctica. She is one of the greatest inspirations to me for travel because she is a geography and language buff as well as an intrepid traveler who has been to at least 80 countries. This thread has inspired me to write a special mother’s day post on my blog, which I am working on right now.

  19. Pingback: Travel Bug is Genetic: A Case Study [Happy Mother's Day!] | Drink Vicariously

  20. Andrew

    You must have a lot of wonderful memories from those years with your mother, Cathy. Very nice to see the photos, and those of the others featured here, and to read their stories, too.

  21. Pingback: Gardening on Mother's Day, and other Travels with Mom - HMS Henning

  22. Frank

    Great post! I wish I could have contributed: I’ve travelled with my mom to places like Zambia, Zimbabwe, Greece, Sumatra, Nicaragua, Germany, and Mexico. She’s always been a great travel companion. Nice to know other bloggers have done the same with their moms.
    Frank (bbqboy)

  23. Marcia

    Beautiful stories, every one of them. The bond these bloggers share with their moms shows in every word, every story. Thanks for doing this, Cathy. Sorry I missed out this year.
    Belated Happy Mother’s Day!

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