I’m a 35 year old lady who loves to travel to exotic locations. I’ve partied in dark Berlin basements, danced in coloured dust celebrating the Indian Holi festival and witnessed a Ladakh village mourn the sudden drowning of a village child. All these experiences touched me at different levels. But this year, the thing I couldn’t easily find when designing my next trip was what I wanted to experience. I was tried with all the false promises of a sun drenched European relaxing cruise which turn out to be a 5 day round the clock party with drunk 20 year olds. Been there, done that.
So, I didn’t plan anything and waited for a sign. The trip I was suppose to take was always there and when I stood still and reconnected it became crystal clear. It was to take my mum to experience the world as she can today – before her eyesight fades completely. So after many discussions, fence sitting and being aware time was of the essence, I made a snap decision and within a week we were boarding a jet plane and she was super excited. But that’s my story, now onto you – here are three super awesome reasons I believe you need to travel with your parents as an adult child:
1. Change the scene. I love spending time with my mum, but NOT at her rock n’ roll dances where she offers me to dance with anyone willing. You might have your own ‘thing’ with your parents – I mean how many cups of coffee at their dining table can you have before it looses its pizzazz!
Spending time on neutral ground helps everyone relax because no feels like they need to be the host and everyone else the role of guest. New environments also send signals to the brain that “its now holiday time, so relax”. Book an Airbnb near the beach for Easter, a family birthday or travel overseas. Trust me – the cost will be worth it because at 8pm you’ll all be sitting around the dining table connecting in ways you never have before.
2. Get to know your parents as people – as a fellow adult. When you both are in a new environment, you’ll start to respond to each other differently because you’ll be faced with new challenges. Ask them questions about their first love, what their childhood was like, what you were like as a kid. Or in my case, mum started talking about how I was born and I could see the pure joy and excitement this memory still brought her. When we start to develop a more holistic and balanced view of our parents, rather than a lopsided view, we are able to fully appreciate and love them at a deeper level. Anything our parents did for us was only out of love and protection.
3. The third and most important reason is that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. I’ve spoken to so many people who were able to reconcile with a parent and make genuine peace with that sacred relationship. Then within in a few months burry their parents – but with a deep love and gratitude in their heart for everything the relationship gave them. This is the key reason I believe travelling with your parents as an adult is so important. It helps you see them in a new light and connect with them at a deeper level. It’ll provide you with memories NO tour package could ever sell – NEVER. You and your parents also have new experiences that change you both for the better … and after all... isn’t that why we travel in the first place?
Share with me a story of when you travelled with your parents?