I recently had the pleasure of interviewing two travelers who adventure with their mothers- my best friend’s daughter, Kacie, and my own sweet girl, Rosie. We were chatting about what it was like to travel with each other. Our girls impressed me with their thoughtful insights and I walked away from the experience for the better. And with these girls, I have a feeling that they will continue to impress and enlighten me now that they are adults and women who understand the world. So what did I learn? Five words. Five words to make travel between moms and daughters the best experience it can be.
Tune in to our podcast, Babcia and Yia Yia Travel The World so you can hear the whole conversation!
Word Number One: Respect
When asked “What’s it like traveling with your mom?”, our girls said they loved it. I have a strange feeling that wasn’t always the case! It’s taken time for our girls to grow into the amazing travelers that they are and for us moms to recognize that. I’m sure when they were kids, we moms really didn’t try to include them in planning and decision making. For some, it takes time to adjust our mutual respect so that travel is the adventure it’s meant to be.
As for Rosie, she was able to dial in on a very specific trip where everything just fell into place. We were in Ireland and she felt that there was a clear shift in how her voice was heard. She got to do things that she loved and enjoyed time on equal footing with mom.
Word Number Two: Acceptance
When we asked the girls about struggles when it comes to traveling with your mom, both of them had great stories to tell. I noticed that both of them were clear on the deference that they felt they needed to show as companions to their moms. The acceptance that not every decision is going to be in their hands sat well with them. I think it’s because they have enough trust in us to know we have their backs.
So, what are three inevitable things that you have to accept when traveling with your mother? You won’t do everything on your list. Sometimes, you will do something that’s not your cup of tea. Your mother will always try something new to give you an experience.
Word Number Three: Compromise
We asked the girls how travel activities have changed over time. They both said that we have gotten better at including them in the planning process. They said that while plans were good when they were little, over time, things have improved. As the mom, I thought that the key change was gathering input from them in a clearer manner. I always want to think about our girls’ bucket list experiences but I need to work on thinking of them more as an active partner and less as an afterthought.
Kacie told the story of going to Colorado and splitting up for the day to do separate activities. “I climbed Manitou Incline on my own and then I met back up with Mom and drove through Garden Of The Gods.” Perfecto!
Word Number Four: Resilience
If there is one thing that I, as a parent, can honestly say I appreciate about travel is that it creates some of the most resilient people I know. That includes our girls. I actively attribute their ability to adjust their course based on the travel experiences they had and continue to have. Our kids all learned how to shift gears and adjust effortlessly whether in the workplace or with family. Travel allows us to practice that skill of resilience over and over again.
What are three things to avoid when traveling with children (and or your adult children)? Over scheduling, over scheduling, and, most importantly, over scheduling. Sometimes we need to just go with the flow!
What are three things I actively seek out? I always look for one down day, something active like rafting or zip lining, and some sort of animal experience. That could be horse back riding, visiting a zoo, or seeing a sheep dog demonstration, puppies included!
Word Number Five: Experience
All in all, the thing that wraps all of our travel up in a bow is experience. With more and more trips between us, we have learned how to respect, accept, compromise and use resiliency to be successful travel teams.