I was going through some of the blog drafts that I have sitting around and it occurred to me that I still had one last part of this series to publish. I’ve already told you about my grandfather and father, both of whom did a great deal to instill a thirst for adventure and travel in me. The last person that I want to speak about is very important to me. She was two parents to me and made sure that I grew up to be the person that I am today. This person is my mom.
My mother raised me alone after my father passed away and I think that she deserves a medal for the job that she did. Many of my friends who have sons will tell you that they are so much more difficult to raise than daughters, and my mother had to be both parents. Thankfully, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, she had help from the wonderful family that surrounded us throughout my life.
I wasn’t the typical boy growing up. I wasn’t into all of the things everyone else did, like fishing, camping, hunting, or playing sports. Instead, I loved to travel and to see new things. My mother encouraged this by taking me on trips all across the United States or by letting me travel with my grandparents in their green 1970’s camper. She raised me to not be afraid to climb that rock to see what was on the other side or to try the weird thing on the plate in front of me. Those experiences were, for the most part, amazing moments that were life-changing moments that have stuck with me to this day. With all of these experiences there was also a lesson that she was teaching me. My mother taught me to never be afraid to get out of my comfort zone and to always be willing to experience everything that life has to offer. Most of the time experiences are fun and exciting, but sometimes they’re hard or hurt. In the end, all of those experiences build you into the person that you are at this moment.
When I graduated high school my mother took me to Boston for nearly two weeks to walk the Freedom Trail, eat some Boston baked beans at Cheers, and to have one last family vacation before I started college. I had vacationed in New England many times throughout my life and I loved it, but at the end of that trip something in me had changed. I had always seen myself living my whole life with the rest of my family in Delaware, but now I wanted something different. I remember looking at my mother during the drive home and telling her that I was going to move to Massachusetts someday. She smiled and told me that I could do anything I dreamed of and that if moving to Massachusetts was my dream, that I should pursue it. It took nearly 15 years, but my dream finally came true.
My mother is an amazing woman who has taught me so many lessons in life. She has worked to instill a love of the arts, travel, adventure, and hope within me. My life, like many of you, has been filled with good times and difficult times. Thanks to the lessons my mother taught me throughout the years, the difficult times don’t last and hope returns brighter and stronger than ever before.
This is the last part of this series. I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to look back on some of the people who have influenced me and my love of travel. Travel, whether it’s an hour away or around the world, serves to bring joy and wonder to us. Don’t neglect the precious time you can spend with friends and family taking a vacation. It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip. The only thing that matters is getting out there and experiencing everything that this wonderful world has to offer. Also, make sure to truly appreciate and enjoy your trip by disconnecting from technology. I know that our digital toys can make traveling a bit easier, but they can be more of a negative when you spend the trip online worrying about social media instead of focusing on relaxing and recharging. I’ve been lucky to learn these lessons early and I hope you have now, too.