Travels with Mom: Bloggers share their memories

My love for travel was inspired by my mother as she and my dad took our family on long road trips throughout North America when I was growing up. My mother first experienced the wonders of travel as a ten year old when she took a road trip with her parents from Chicago to New York, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia — a trip that ignited her passion for being on the road and exploring new places. I’m very grateful that she passed along her love for travel to me. I’ve got many wonderful memories of travels with Mom.

In honor of Mother’s Day on May 13th, I asked some of my blogger friends to share their special memories of traveling with their mothers. Here’s what they had to say.

Travels With Mom

Christy Woodrow of Ordinary Traveler

Christy Woodrow and Mom

My mom and I visited Bali together in October of 2009 together. I was shocked and thrilled when she said she would come with me. Scott wasn’t able to get the time off work for this trip, so it was just the two of us. One of my fondest memories of the trip was during our 12 hour layover in South Korea, believe it or not. We took a guided tour and powered through even though we were completely sleep deprived. We both fell in love with this country and have decided to come back together one day. Our layover ended with the most delicious airport meal we have ever had. We found a tiny restaurant on the bottom floor of the airport where the locals and flight attendants enjoyed traditional Korean food. We pointed to a photo of the ramen noodles since nobody spoke a lick of English. We still to this day talk about how good that meal tasted. Ordinary Traveler

Jade Broadus of Vagabond 3

Jade Broadus, Mom and family

My mom is super brave. Whether she is tackling a big wave paddle boarding or following me on a random train excursion from Barcelona, she is always ready for an adventure. We are also super close, best friends. She is the perfect amount friend and mom and knows exactly when to chat away like friends and when to dole out the advice like a mom. Above all else, she loves her family and just wants us to all be together, hanging out and having fun. The last big trip we all went on as a family was to Mexico for a surfers paradise week-long vacation. Along with the beautiful sunsets, perfect surf and relaxing beach days, we had uninterrupted dinners filled with long hilarious stories, followed by margaritas, dancing and more funny stories. During the days, I was so impressed with how easily she paddled into the big waves, if she was scared, I couldn’t tell. And at night, as the “kids” danced away, she happily joined in, being crazy and loving every minute. Her bravery and love for her family makes me strive to be stronger, more confident and better partner for my new fiance’. My mom has shaped me into the person and traveler I am today, and for that I’m so thankful. Vagabond 3

Mary Penafiel Solio of The World is a Book

Mary Penafiel Solio, Mom and daughter

A few years ago, my mom joined us for a trip for my brother’s wedding in Virginia. We managed to do a day trip to the Outer Banks area in North Carolina during this visit. It was the middle of February and definitely not the ideal time to visit this beach region. Despite the cold and being deserted, it was a wonderful day spent with my daughter and mom. It was the first trip for the three generations of women in my family touring the quaint towns and beaches. It was here where she mentioned that my daughter reminded her a lot of me as child and she shared some of my forgotten childhood adventures. This was only one of those days of that memorable trip. She’s back in Guam now and isn’t too fond of traveling long distances anymore. But, I’m glad that I have quite a few travel memories like these to look back on. The World is a Book

Marcia Mayne of Inside Journeys

Marcia Mayne and Mom
My mother and I never took a vacation together but we did a lot of traveling. Unmarried when she had me, she took a series of jobs at schools outside our area because the Anglican Church, to which most were attached, frowned upon unmarried mothers teaching.

Every Monday morning, Mama, my caregiver, and I would pile into a friend’s car for the hour-long drive to the weekday-only house. Not even her promises that we’d be back soon would stop me from bawling. On the rides back, I always fell asleep, my head on her lap, until a blast of music from a sound system would rouse me as we sped pass rum bars. Whenever our friend worked late, inky black followed us most of the way, the car’s headlights picking out the road, trees and houses as we drove by. Every so often, lights from oncoming vehicles would flood the backseat quickly then we’d plunge back into darkness.

Mom and I did the Monday out, Friday back trips until I was eleven. I never understood why she rarely left the house after she retired and I doubt she understood why, as she put it, “every bell that rang called my name.” Inside Journeys

Leigh McAdam of Hike Bike Travel

Leigh McAdam and Mom

My mother and I have had a few great adventures over the years. The most memorable trip took place in Mexico. She was leading yoga classes over a span of about six weeks at a spa just outside of Guadalajara and invited me down to spend a few days. I relished the break from my family and loved having R&R time by the pool. But that was only part of the trip. Once she’d finished up with the yoga classes we made our way over to the small town of Loreto on the Baja peninsula. From there we headed out for three exquisite days and nights of sea kayaking in the Sea of Cortez with a guide we’d hired through a Canadian company. We camped under the stars, marveled at incredible sunsets, welcomed the daily sightings of dolphins and manta rays and admired the pelicans and blue footed boobies as they dive bombed for food. And in just a few days she’s coming to Calgary for another mother’s day weekend. I have plans that include a day trip to Banff plus some low key activities like wining, dining and shopping to round out the visit. Hike Bike Travel

Daniel Jones of The World of Deej

Daniel Jones and Mom

In the wake of my completing college, and the seizure of their bank account on my behalf now over, my parents were free to pursue their love of cruising. My Mom had fallen in love with a place in St. Thomas that she claimed was the most beautiful spot in the world – Magen’s Bay – and it seemed they returned to it more often than I visited Starbucks. Fast forward a few years, and the stars aligned for our entire family to take a cruise to see her beloved spot. We spent an afternoon floating in the crystal blue water, and I had to agree with her, it was pretty awesome. Today, she is far more traveled, and I doubt Magen’s Bay would find itself in her “top 5” list, but it was still great to share a day in her special place. Happy Mothers Day Mom! The World of Deej

Abby Tegnelia of The Jungle Princess

Abby Tegnelia and Mom in Costa Rica

Both of my parents have encouraged me to travel throughout my entire life, yet my mom had very few passport stamps until fairly recently. My family took tons of family vacations, mostly to beaches near where I grew up in Orlando, and even went to Canada one year for spring break so my brothers could see snow. But it wasn’t until I was in college that she really started to jet-set! Most recently, she came alone to visit me in Coco, Costa Rica in 2010. This is one of my fondest travel memories because of the joy she has in visiting her children in faraway places. In Coco, we did a walking tour of my barrio, ate at my favorite restaurants and took a river boat out to see the famous white-faced monkeys and crocodiles. She was up for anything! My little town had only 3,000 people, so she got to see just about everything. She felt right at home and was a lot less shy in those few days than I was months after moving there — and I speak Spanish! On these trips, she loves the sightseeing, but there’s no doubt that her true joy is from watching her children have amazing experiences in faraway places. In my case, she asked a million questions about Spanish, how we paid our bills, my neighbors and what we did at night, since it’s not like we had street lights in the barrio. To see big travel through a mother’s eyes is unique and wondrous. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! The Jungle Princess

My Mom

Cathy and Mom at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park in North Dakota

I treasured all of the trips with my mom when I was growing up, but I have a very special memory of a driving trip to Minnesota with her and my dad many years later as an adult. It was just like old times as we admired the passing scenery; looked in awe at the natural wonders of Yellowstone National Park; toured historic sites such as Fort Abraham Lincoln in Mandan, North Dakota (pictured above); and stayed in roadside motels along the way. We laughed and talked about long ago vacations, current events, family news and just how great it was to be taking that trip together. We were headed to her birthplace in northern Minnesota and it was meaningful to be there with her as we saw the house where she was born and visited other family landmarks. Over the next four years, I was fortunate to travel with her a few more times from California to Chicago and back. Although she’s gone now, I’m grateful for the memories of my travels with Mom and especially those bonus road trips in her final years.

Thanks to my friends for sharing their stories. I hope that you’ll take a few minutes to read more about their travel adventures by clicking on the links to their websites above.

Happy Mother’s Day!

What are your memories of traveling with your mother?

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31 thoughts on “Travels with Mom: Bloggers share their memories

  1. suki

    Love traveling with my mother! It doesn’t happen as often now that I travel for conferences and what not, but I think it will happen again soon. We love a good adventure. 🙂

  2. Leigh

    What a great idea Cathy to put together a post like this. There are some awesome contributions and some well traveled mothers out there. And as we all age it’s a reminder to do things with those we love while we still have the chance.

  3. Katrina

    Aww, that’s great! I used to travel with my mom quite a bit when I was younger. I think she’s the one who put the wanderlust in me – she was a flight attendant back when they were still called “stewardesses”. 😉

  4. jade

    Love this post, Cathy! and thanks for including me! My mom is actually in Mexico right now- so I’ll have to send this to her- she’ll love it!

  5. Leslie

    Love this!!! I credit my mom for my long term love affair with travel – if I ever get to as many countries as she’s been to (come on, Kuwait!?) I’ll be an accomplished person. She is my best traveling companion and we love reminiscing about our journeys together – thanks for sharing this and all who weighed in!!! Moms rule 🙂

  6. eileen ludwig

    Wow what a great idea for a post. My mom died in 1988 so I always call it Happy Dead Mothers day for the last five years or so – she is gone – most of our trips were as a family not with me alone – although we did use to go to this one place for lunch for a hot dog and ice cream soda – Cooks

    The person who was a mother and Friend was Clara Jacobs and we went several places close, no overnights – took her to the circus – she used to say, why do you want to take an old lady with you – I would tell her I liked her handicap tag to park closer.-

    I do have good memories of some travels


  7. Marlys

    My mom is not with us anymore for quite some time now. But I still “talk to her” whenever there’s something happy or sad that has happened to me. It was that way when she was alive. And I still do miss her.

  8. Sophie

    Very nice Mothers’ Day post, Cathy. When I was 11, my mum brought my younger brother and me to New Orleans. As a grown-up, I’ve often thought that was quite brave of her. She had never flown before and had to drag two rather unruly children through five airports and four flights and several countries… 🙂

  9. Abby

    God bless the Tico who took that awful photo of my mom and I lol. I wish Ihad a better one! These stories were so wonderful. Thank you so much for asking me to be a part of it. This was such a great idea for a post — I can’t think of one person who doesn’t want to read about all of our moms on the road!

  10. Jeremy Branham

    I loved reading these stories and thank everyone for sharing. The one that was the most memorable to me was Marcia’s story. They may not have traveled much but her mom sacrificed a lot.

    With my family, it was always vacations. My mom hated to fly and I only went on a plane once from the time I was born until age 20. My dad had won a trip for Father’s Day to see a Braves game so that was a fun experience. My mom hated camping but with my family, I saw nearly every state on the east coast.

  11. Fida

    Great idea to write about it. Loved it. Unfortunately, my own mother can’t find pleasure in travel. She’s happiest at home. I always wished I could share that pleasure with her, but alas, not everybody likes to hang out at unusual places 😉 Now, Father’s day on the other hand…. 😉

    Happy Mother’s day to all!

  12. Cathy Post author

    Thanks to Christy, Leigh, Mary, Daniel, Abby, Marcia & Jade for sharing their stories. So nice to read about special travels with your moms. Thanks also to everyone who read the post and shared their thoughts and memories in the comments. Happy Mother’s Day!

  13. Tiffany

    Great post for Mother’s Day! My Mom and I would take a big trip once a year when I was growing up, which inspired my traveling mentality I suppose. So now that I’m on the verge of ‘growing up’ I’m an expat in Jordan at the moment so my mother is planning on visiting this lovely country during July. So I’m sure that will bring even more great memories between the two of us 🙂

  14. Linda

    These stories brought a lump to my throat. I only ever had one holiday with my mom. There was no money for vacations when I was little, and even the one I had (when I was 20) was a big deal. She did travel a bit with my dad after that, and it really opened her eyes, and she learned so much and enjoyed it so much. I was 29 when she died & I’d like to think that perhaps had she lived we might have traveled together. I certainly always feel her presence when I go to Rome, which is where we went on that, one vacation. Lovely idea for a post….thank you.

  15. Lisa

    Cathy, this is a wonderful piece. I was so touched by reading all the stories of how mother’s shared and help to shape these bloggers love of travel.

  16. Agata

    I love this idea! And all the stories gathered here. So powerful!
    P.S. But I always find it bizarre that the Mother’s Day in Poland is celebrated different date, which is May 26th.

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  19. Abby

    Oh wow – what a wonderful memory to share. How did you remember that?! I haven’t even had that blog in many years lol. Thank you so much for including me!!

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