An Annual Tradition: The Mother-Daughter Trip
It all started when I was nine months old. I boarded my first flight to Colorado with my mom (and dad) and we have been traveling together ever since. My mom inherited her love of travel from her father and she in turn passed it down to me. When my brother was in high school, his yearly lacrosse tournament was held on her birthday weekend and he and my father would fly down to Maryland leaving us with a summer weekend wide open to celebrate her birthday weekend. The unofficial start of our mother-daughter trips took us to Cape Cod and Nantucket as well as New York City (packing two Broadway shows into one weekend, the boys never would have gone for that!).
When I moved a plane ride away for college, most of our trips were either my mom coming down to visit Washington DC or me returning home for the holidays. Life got busy with planned college breaks and internships over the summer so we restarted this annual trip the summer I graduated from college. It was a “big” birthday for my mom and I was once again in charge of planning her birthday weekend.
The criteria we developed almost four years ago for that first official mother-daughter trip is still the criteria we use today:
- There has to be plenty to explore. What drives both of us to travel is the desire to see a new place, explore the nooks and crannies and discover the personality of the destination.
- There has to be culture. We try to pick a place that has a culture different from our own, somewhere we can learn a little something about a different way of life, a distinctive cuisine and get outside our comfort zone.
- There has to be good food. We are true foodies at heart who love trying innovative and unique food. We have learned that food teaches you immensely about a location and we use it as a forum to discover the local culture and palate.
So where has this criteria taken us? That first summer we crossed the border into Canada, basked in the beautiful Montreal sun, rode bikes and had delicious French food on our own continent. We chose to drive instead of fly and spent the five hour drive home gushing about the Canadian city and planning where we were going next.
Having seen very little of the Southern United States we spent the next three years on a sort of Southern pilgrimage, embracing the distinctive and warm culture. We listened to jazz at Preservation Hall in New Orleans, ate fried green tomatoes in Savannah and danced to country music in its birthplace of Nashville.
My mom’s love of all things travel, food and culture related automatically makes her a desirable traveling companion, but these trips have created a special bond and an annual adventure to look forward to. Our trips have been a great way for us to spend quality one-on-one time together away from work, life and other distractions and see a little bit more of our country and the world. We share the same love of “wanderlusting” and have even developed a new tradition over the last few years – playing the “travel game” for the next year’s mother-daughter on the way home.
Over time, we have determined the perfect pace of seeing things. She tends to be more spontaneous and I tend to be more structured. She has helped me slow down my traveling and absorb the culture while I have helped her not to “fly by the seat of her pants” and ensure we get the most of out of our limited travel time. Together we have mastered the long weekend.
Next year, our mother daughter trip is being extended to a third generation and my grandmother will be accompanying us in our first mother-daughter trip off the continent to Paris. We have rented an apartment in the City of Light and will be competing as to who can consume the most croissants in a seven day period.
For those of you who have never traveled with your mother before, it is a great way to experience a new (or familiar) place together, share some bonding time and have some good laughs along the way.
Our shared love of exploring, culture and food (as well as a never ending wanderlist) keeps us traveling.
Have you ever traveled with your mother? Is it something you would want to do in the future?