I love spending time with my mum, and like most people, the bulk of that quality together time happens when I'm back home in my parents' house. That's great, being back home is the best! But as my husband can testify, I am very much guilty of reverting back to my role as the child when I'm home, and while it might be stress-relieving, it isn't the best way to develop your relationship with your parents.
The key to doing that is to have new experiences with your parents, particularly ones that put you in the adult position. Like travelling. I'm lucky enough to have had work opportunities where I've been able to take my mum (who thankfully, is a super easy-going person), and we've planned trips together that are specifically suited to our shared interests. For most of these trips, it's my job to plan our itinerary, transport and where we'll eat, and it's her job to turn up ready for anything. But getting to show your mum you're a capable adult who can get sh*t done, isn't the only reason you should book some away time with your mum, there's a lot more.
Below are six of the best things that have come out of travelling with my mum.
She Doesn't Mind Spending a Silly Amount of Time on Shopping Decisions
We're not huge shoppers anyway, but I can still remember stomping back to Bloomingdale's for a third time to decide on the brown Marc Jacobs Satchel Bag or the black Marc Jacobs Satchel Bag. I had them each over one shoulder and I was getting dizzy spinning between the two in the mirror. When you're with your mum, she is as invested in your shopping decisions as you are: She doesn't want you to waste your money, and, she might want to borrow said purchase some time.
You Talk About Things You Normally Wouldn't
My mum doesn't have the best memory, or maybe it's just that she's not a huge storyteller, but when we travel there's time to talk. We'll see something and it will remind her of something else and all of a sudden she'll share a bit of family history I never knew, or tell me about her own travels. Like the Contiki Tour she took solo when she was 18, or her road trip around the French Alps she took with my dad and uncle where someone got so annoyed with the others that they threw the rental car keys off a cliff.
You Make Real Memories Together
It might not seem like a big deal when you take a photo together outside some famous building, but with time you'll look back on those photographs and have solid memories of your time together.
There's No Judgement
One of our mother-daughter trips began with a four-hour drive, the morning after a friend's birthday party and I was not well. We had to pull into every second rest stop just so I could run to the bathroom, I was no help with the driving, average company and ultimately made the trip a lot longer (and more painful) than it should have been, but my mum didn't mind. She bought me a bottle of coke and said, "you poor thing," and put up with me until I was better.
You Get to See Them Out of Their Comfort Zone
My mum is pretty active, but it had been a good 35 years since she'd ridden a bike when I made her straddle one for a tour around Wellington. She looked terrified when she saw the bike, but with a little encouragement and out of fear of offending the tour guide, she jumped on and did magnificently, and was super proud of herself. It was a similar experience to when my sister and I made her ride Space Mountain at Disneyland, though I don't know if she felt more sick than proud when we got off.
You Get to Go Through Things Together
Getting lost, ending up in a very dodgy restaurant or being drawn into odd conversations with locals, these things happen when you travel. And they are funnier when you are with someone you know so well that you know what they're thinking with a quick side-eye. Someone like your mum. I can't count the number of times I've ended up in tears of laughter at something that's happened to us while we were on an adventure somewhere. And that's reason enough to hop a plane with your mum.