Traveling With Family, a Change in Pace
As my trip through Europe continues, I was in Paris this past week. There was one large difference in my stay in Paris when compared to my stay in other areas of Europe over the past month though. I was not alone in Paris. Who was with me you ask? Well, it was the woman who I attribute my desire to travel or the “travel bug” as I refer to it. It was my Mother. From a young age my mother would take us off on short trips, whether they were for a week, a weekend, or just a day, we would frequently go off on adventures during the summer. My mom has always wanted to travel all over, much the way I feel now.
So, shortly after telling my parents my plans for this first big trip I plan on taking I shortly thereafter got a call from my mother. “John,” she said, “now, you can say no, but… do you think I could join you for a week in Paris during your travels?” I’m sure she was thinking to herself, “There is no way my 26 year old son would want to spend part of this adventure he has planned with his mother in Paris”. I could tell from the way she asked. Meanwhile though, I’m sitting there thinking “that means she will likely be paying for the vast majority of that week right?” Having always enjoyed each other’s company, and knowing both how much it would mean to her, as well as how much I needed to adhere to a budget while in Paris my natural response was “of course you can!”
So we met up in Paris last week, and it was a great experience. It was a nice change of pace. I went from not entirely knowing what to expect for the past couple weeks to having a fairly good Idea of what my days and week would look like.
I knew I’d have a decent place to sleep – Which you don’t always know when booking your hostels ect. Last minute).
I knew I would have someone to talk to – Which I don’t always have while going from one area to the next on my own. While I have done my best to meet friends along the way everywhere I go, it hasn’t always worked out perfectly. I’m an introvert by nature and it taxes some f my energy to make the effort to go out and talk to strangers and establish a connection. Then, sometimes depending on where you are or are staying there is not always a vibe conducive for doing as such, or the people you meet just don’t click with you.
I knew we’d both have similar ideas as far as what we wanted to do each day – My mother and I have on occasion commented on how we have similar tastes in travel activities and it is certainly true that my Dad and maybe my Brother would not have always enjoyed some of the things we did while in Paris. I know for certain that my Dad would not have liked the French Restaurants or ore specifically the slow service at said restaurants. And I’m not sure if either my brother or Dad would have enjoyed spending 3-4 hours meandering around a Museum filled with old paintings and sculptures.
I knew I could have 3 good meals a day! – Something I haven’t always been able to do while adhering to my budget. Well, that’s not exactly true. I’ve always had 2-3 good meals a day no matter what. Except I haven’t always been able to stick to my budget while doing so some times. I started off my trip in the two most expensive cities I plan on visiting, Reykjavik Iceland and London England. And between Lodging, Food, and daily activities I was over my $100 a day budget almost every day in each of those cities. So it was nice, having a week where I wouldn’t need to worry about that.
Furthermore, it was great to simply be able to share a unique travel experience with a member of the family. One of the things I’ve come to realize with often living so far away from my family and often moving around to different locations is how important family truly is in your life. It’s my one regret about living life the way I do, that I don’t get the chance to spend more time with my family. Neither of my parents are exactly spring chickens these days and it’s something that is always in the back of my mind. Especially working in the medical field and seeing the things I do.
So, it was nice to share this time and experience the wonders of Paris with my mother.
Things I will always remember about our week together:
Her being scared while climbing up the Eiffel Tower, always wanting to stay on the inside of the stairwell and not looking down.
Mom laughing at one of the attendants at the Arc de Triomphe when they asked her if she could make it up the steps or if she wanted to take the elevator.
The two of us commenting on how furious Dad would be with the slow service while realizing that it’s just the way things are in Paris and accepting it for what it is.
The two of us plotting how we can convince or trick Dad into getting a dog when I return home.
It was a good change in pace having a travel companion with you for some of the trip. While I have enjoyed how traveling alone has made me push my boundaries and maybe even become a better person, it was nice to have someone you know along for part of the ride. Shared memories are always better than individual memories weather they are with new friends, old friends, or members of your family.
Traveling does make you realize how important time with your family is. Cherish every moment,
(Hope you don’t mind my sharing pictures of you with the world mom. Just secretly promoting how far you’ve come in the past years with your fitness goals!)