At the end of last year, I had the honor of showing my mother, Europe for the first time. More importantly than her first time in Europe, it was her first time venturing out of the country.
When my mother made plans to visit me in Italy, I envisioned my role as a tour guide. I was not expecting my mother to teach me anything new about travel, or life on the road. However, I was pleasantly surprised that traveling with my mom and brother taught me a few life lessons and turned me into a better traveler.
I get my wanderlust from my mother.
The most important lesson I learned through multicultural travel with my mother was that over time and traveling the world for so long I had lost something.
On my mother’s very first day in Italy, we wandered Venice. As we roamed aimlessly through the maze of narrow streets and cobblestone alleyways, I could not help but notice the amazement on her face as she took in a foreign city for the first time. I saw the reflection of the passionate traveler I used to be in the expression of awe on her face.
It was evident at that moment that while I was the traveler in my family I got my wanderlust from my mother.
Now, my mother cannot get enough of traveling. Since her first trip just a few months ago she has visited me in South East Asia. She is also planning on backpacking New Zealand with me this Christmas. My mother is now a full-fledged travel addict.
Seeing my mom react this way to travel was fantastic. However, it also gave me an awareness that after four years on the road I had lost some of the wonder and amazement that travel brings. This showed me I needed to reevaluate some parts of my lifestyle. Now I once again look at travel with wonder and amazement.
Traveling with different generations taught me patience.
Another thing I learned from traveling with my mother is patience. I am not often alone on the road. I always make friends in hostels easy. However, all my major decisions I still have to make myself. Traveling with my family, I lost some power of making decisions. All of a sudden there were multiple opinions on where we should go and what we should do with our day.
Different generations have different priorities, different times we wake up, and types of sites we want to see. It was frustrating, sometimes, planning the day, or a couple of times when I knew we were making mistakes.
I would explain to my family why it was a mistake but not being experienced travelers they didn’t see it from my point of view.
A few times I had to let us make mistakes.
I had to swallow my frustration and learn patience. Not to say I am a perfect traveler. I make mistakes almost daily on the road.
After traveling by yourself so much time you sometimes forget how to have patience and compromise with others. My family was a good reminder of how to travel with people and have patience with them.
Traveling with my family brought us closer together.
I don’t get to see my family a lot. Maybe once a year I visit home for a month or two.
Although, most of the time I am on the road having adventures, and experiencing other cultures. Each moment I share with my family is precious and having experienced other cultures together strengthen our bond and let us make lasting memories.
Exploring Europe with my family and multi-generations were rewarding. It came with it share of challenges but overall it was an amazing experience that reminded me helped me improve as a traveler and reminded me of why I feel in love with travel in the first place.