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Tripping with Mom or Dad

In a recent post, I wrote about the benefits of traveling with friends on girlfriend-getaways, “mancations” and the like. They allow us to disconnect from the stresses of daily life and more importantly, reconnect with friends in ways that other gatherings don’t. So what about reaping the same kind of benefits by traveling with a parent?

Last year, I went to Costa Rica with my mother and got to experience the positive effects of such a trip for myself.

I live in New York City and she lives in Los Angeles. I don’t get to see her (or most of my family) very often. So when my mom suggested a trip to Costa Rica last summer, I eagerly got on board.

The first leg of our journey was spent visiting some dear family who moved to Costa Rica in retirement. And then we took a couple days, just the two of us, where we went to the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

My mom and I have different ways of traveling. She likes organized tours and to have everything planned out in advance. I like to make most of it up as we go, see who we meet and have an adventure.

We were able to meet each other halfway.

I went on her tour of the coffee plantation and then I made her go out salsa dancing with me with some locals we met.

She was a good sport. And I was surprised just how late she stayed out. Never mind all the random guys at the bar she had to fend off –  she said she had fun.

On another day, we got to do a more adventurous activity that we both agreed to from the start. We went zip-lining in the forest from tree to tree.

Of course, for some there are serious challenges to going on a trip with a parent or child. Maybe there are health issues,  financial woes or time constraints. Maybe they get on your nerves like no one else can or there are long-standing resentments.

Whatever the challenges are, try to go anyway and keep an open mind.

And it doesn’t have to be to Timbuktu. You could simply drive, or take a train, a few hours away for a day, a night or the weekend to a place of interest for both of you.

I’m such a proponent of this kind of vacation because I think it can enhance a parent-child relationship basing it strongly in the present rather than having it planted so firmly in the past.

You may discover a deeper level of communication on the trip. And you can take the opportunity to bring up topics you might normally avoid or naturally neglect.

You could find yourself giving or receiving long awaited recognition. And you may reach understanding that you hadn’t before. I know, I appreciate getting a deeper view into events past from my mother’s perspective.

I’ll leave you with this fun video from our day ziplining!

Alright, Dad! When is our trip?

  • C A Thomas
    March 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Sounds like you both stretched yourselves, and had a good time.
    That is great!
    Ready to travel!!!

  • glenniem
    March 22, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Of course, I love this Blog! When can we go off again???
    XoXoXo,
    ~MoM

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