I’ve done 2 solo trips but the rest of the time I travel with company – either Jamie or Mum. I’ve never done a ‘girls holiday’ or a gap year because that just isn’t my thing at all.
Travelling with Jamie is different to travelling with mum. Jamie isn’t a fan of flying, doesn’t enjoy airports and being 6’5″ tall, even with extra leg room, flights of any duration but especially long haul are a bit of a nightmare. I’m tall too though (5’11”) so I get it, but in short, he hates the journey but loves the destination!
With mum it’s different, it’s the whole package. Waiting in airports is all part of the experience of travelling as far as we’re both concerned and every airport is different – different shops, different food, everything and we make the most of it by exploring until it’s time to board.
Trips with Jamie are definitely more ‘holidays’, though I can turn anything into a ‘trip’. We’ve done city breaks to Vienna and New York, beach holidays to Bulgaria and Portugal and hiking holidays in Bavaria but I’ve always managed to throw in something which makes it a bit more of an adventure – a trip to Munich for the day, a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, a dolphin watching tour on a zodiac. I can’t lie on a beach for days at a time, I’d be bored stiff; I need to be out in the hills or exploring some ruins somewhere.
With mum, it’s a ‘trip’. It’s a holiday too, but predominantly, it’s a trip, an adventure.
We have so much in common. She used to travel with my gran who’s now 94 and doesn’t go on holiday anymore but back in the day they travelled a lot and to places that at the time, weren’t tourist destinations, like Tunisia. Mum travelled with my gran and now I travel with mum – it’s just something the women in our family seem to enjoy and she’s definitely where I get my urge to travel from. She has countless guidebooks on places she’s never been to and I’m exactly the same and I always have been. We both like something a little more off-the-beaten-track and try to stay away from the tourist traps when we can. I mean, we went to St.Petersburg in Russia to follow the history of the Czars, we did a tour of Cuba finishing up in Havana but taking in Varadero, Trinidad and other places that people wouldn’t usually visit on a holiday, we went horse-riding in deepest Transylvania! Typical holidays are not our thing.
People sometimes find it weird when I say that I go away with my mum but honestly, I can’t think of anyone (apart from Jamie) that I’d rather travel with. She wants to see as much of the world as I do and go as far afield as possible.
The places we visit together are places that my dad and Jamie have never fancied – my dad has never wanted to go to Asia, doesn’t like Oriental food etc and so it was the natural choice that we went to China and Hong Kong together. When I said I was going to Vietnam, he couldn’t understand what the attraction was (read about my experience here – https://readyforanotheradventure.co.uk/2021/01/04/good-morning-vietnam/) and is bemused by us having booked to go to Japan. My dad has started to come out of his shell the last 10 years or so though when it comes to travelling – Mum got him to Fiji a couple of years ago (which he loved) and the Dominican Republic (which was a bit hit or miss). They’ve been to Canada together for a winter adventure and wants to go again and he’s been thinking about New Zealand paired again with Fiji. Exploring a little further than you’re used to never hurt anyone..
I think it’s mainly the long-haul flights that puts Jamie off but also some of the destinations aren’t for him.
Regardless of where I travel or who I go with, I’m not a ‘budget-traveller’ and never have been. Yes, I want to see the world but I want to do it a bit more comfortably. The idea of sharing a $10 hostel room with 12 other people where I have to watch my belongings doesn’t appeal to me. Sorry if that seems a bit stuck up or whatever but that’s just what I prefer. I have nothing against backpacking etc but I like not having to worry about my things while I’m out.
I’m not saying I spend a fortune on travel because I don’t. I usually book nice 3* hotels but on the cheaper end of the scale and I do shop about a lot for what I book, whether it’s flights or hotels. I want to be able to come back to a nice room at the end of the day but having still experienced everything I wanted to. I’m money-conscious, having got it from my dad but when we go away, we aren’t super-strict about it or it ruins all the fun.
Mum and I get up to all sorts of things when we’re away, usually by mistake and we end up having a good laugh.
Mum doesn’t have a camera, she has her iPad and it comes with her on every holiday/trip and like me with my camera, she uses it all the time. I remember we were walking through Kowloon in Hong Kong, I was busy chatting away to her and when I look round she’s not beside me…she’s about 2 blocks back, iPad out and snapping away! She’s easily distracted and she’ll quite happily wander off into apothecaries and any shop selling interesting looking things – I lost her a few times in Hong Kong that way. She found a Chinese medicine shop at one point and was exploring the shelves of dried scorpions and various bugs!
I have a photo of us on The Great Wall of China and she’s got her hand up behind my head giving me bunny ears!
We got a bit lost in St Petersburg looking for the Nevsky Prospekt and ended up seeing The Hermitage 5 times from all different angles cause mum was always sure it was ‘this way’! We were absolutely frozen but we laugh about it even now.
Mum’s in her 60s now but she’s the most get-up-and-go person I think I’ve ever met. She’s up for just about anything and has to constantly be on the move (she was the one to swim with dolphins and ride a water-buffalo in Cuba!) and I’ll be travelling with her until she eventually admits she can’t anymore, though I’m pretty sure we’ve got plenty time yet!