Last week my wonderful and talented son wrote up some of his favorite memories of a trip that we took together to British Columbia, Canada. While this particular trip didn’t have anything to do with Friendly Planet Travel, I thought it would be a wonderful experience to share with you that describes how travel truly can be a life-altering, perspective-bending experience (no matter where you’re traveling to).
So without further ado, here it is, in his own words:
I’m not sure how I ended up here. It has been an amazing journey, but this is not how I was supposed to end up. In fact, there are only two things that I can depend on. The first, that I can’t predict the future.
I grew up a nice Jewish boy in Philadelphia. I remember knowing that I would go to Harvard, become a lawyer, get married to a nice Jewish girl, have nice Jewish children, and go hiking and maybe fix stuff on weekends in my house in Philly. I am writing this from my one room cabin in the woods, cooking road kill soup with my partner in the Pacific Northwest.
I understand that most people change, and that we rarely grow up to be who we thought we would. But most people at least recognize themselves. They can see how it happened.
This feeling seems a bit true for my mother as well. The likelihood of her having been born at all seems pretty slim. Her parents were among the very few people in their families who survived the Holocaust. In the ten years between her splitting up with my father and my going to college, I can only remember her wearing one outfit, a loose-fitting sweat suit that was all one solid, soft color. She worked hard as an upstart travel agent for little money to pay the rent on our small apartment. She has been working hard ever since.
In addition to running her successful travel business, she has taken care of two aging parents for the past 20 years. She is one of the busiest people I know. These days, she treats herself and those around her to the fancy meals and adventures that she couldn’t have dreamed of in her youth.
Last summer, my mom and I met up for a travel adventure in British Columbia. We each brought our partners, who politely smiled and responded with the obligatory “yes dear” as my mom and I dragged them along on a whirlwind tour of Victoria and Vancouver. Throughout those days I often wondered, “How on earth did we end up here?”
It was an experience that yanked me from the reality of my current life. We ate amazing foods at restaurants, stayed in hotel rooms whose bathrooms were bigger than my cabin. We took the Clipper from Seattle to Victoria, and spent three days exploring museums, eating delicious foods, and catching glimpses of Barbara Streisand’s yacht in the harbor.
We took a ferry from Victoria to Vancouver, and walked through a forest canopy and over the dramatic suspension bridge, went to museums, and explored the city as tourists. I had been to Victoria and Vancouver many times, but had never seen them this way.
This brings me to the second thing that I can depend on. While my mom is extraordinarily supportive of me following my dreams, every once in a while, she swoops in and pulls me out of my shoes and takes me on an adventure. I can count on her to remind me that there is always another perspective, another adventure, and another lens through which to see the world.