What mum taught me about traveling

In Perú it will be mothers day next Sunday (second Sunday of May), I know in other countries the occasion has already been celebrated. But here it is, a especial post for all those mums who travel with their kids.

At some point during our travels we might have experienced the continuous crying of a baby/kid on the plane, and maybe even had complained that we were unable to sleep. Now that I think of it from the other side of the story, I think about what their mothers face, it is easy for us to feel disturbed but I bet we rarely put ourselves in the mother’s place, trying to figure out what to do to calm the crying baby, thinking about others around, yet not knowing really what to do… Let’s keep that thought for the next time.

And just the same thing I experienced some times on trains and buses, where I see mothers carrying not only the bags of supplies for the child, their own luggage, and on top of that taking care of another little person, sometimes more than one. I’ve seen them traveling without a partner or other person to help, mastering how to get prams on and off trains, buses and planes. Looking for the nearest lift, or looking for the kind person to help them deal with stairs. To me they are the bravest kind of travelers, and we all can learn a lot from them, so next time maybe we could be more mindful about it and offer help if needed.

As I’ve told you in the first post, I grew up traveling often, and a big responsible for that was my mother. So this post goes to all fabulous mothers out there who like to travel with their children, those who don’t necessarily wait for a special reason to do it, those who just want to show their kids more than home, those who decide to take a huge challenge and do it on their own.

 

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A happy woman traveling from London to Edinburgh

My first trip might have been, most probably, on a train when I was still in my mother’s womb, since at that time she worked in a town outside Cusco, train was the fastest way to reach it. We repeated this trip weekly until I was more or less two years old. And when I was a kid and we needed to travel to other cities, train was also the main means of transportation, so no wonder why I naturally feel at ease and enjoy train rides even more than I enjoy flights, which might be, to many of my friends, hard to be believe. And which is why, as I just noticed while searching for photos for this post, I have lots of happy photos on trains.

Nowadays there are not public train services in Perú, the two main routes of trains are the ones from Cusco to Machu Picchu and from Cusco to Puno, which are mainly used by tourists. There are other routes, but they’re used only for cargo purpose. Our geography and distances are challenging, so people mostly travel by plane or by bus.

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Happy face on a train to Machu Picchu

 

I have learnt some very important traveling lessons from mum:

I remember mum traveling with me once, we were on a plane from Cusco to Arequipa, she was sitting by the window and I was gladly sitting on her lap looking down at the land partially covered by clouds and telling her: “Look mum we are going to fall!” Yeah what a sensible thing to say to your mother, whom by the way she does not like to fly, but she actually became the best of the actresses so that I could be relaxed about the whole experience for the first time. That’s lesson number one, keep calm under stressful situations, and make others feel safe, even if inside you are super scared.

Whenever we travelled she was the kind of mum that had everything under control, she thought of everything, and was always ready for what I could need, parents out there know that little kids are a box of endless surprises. So here comes lesson number two, be prepared for anything, master uncertainty, be resourceful.

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Me on a train from London to Berkhamsted

As we would travel sometimes for more than a week and moving to different cities, one could wonder what about having a lot of luggage to drag around? and especially thinking that back then carry-ons or wheeled suitcases were not in trend. So mum knew how to travel light and be always ready to move around. Lesson number three, travel light, which doesn’t mean unprepared, I have learnt very well this lesson and make magic to fit things even for two or three weeks in medium size suitcases 😉

I travelled a lot with mum and my sister, as dad could not always join us. Now that I think of it, having to handle all the organization, and on top of that taking care of us was not easy task. however, mum did it all great, we never lost a bus, a train or a flight, as she would plan her movements in advance, she would know where to go, at what time, and how to get there. Lesson number four, when you are taking a bus, train or flight, plan ahead and be always on time, don’t leave things to chance.

I can say I kind of mastered all the lessons from mum, when I took the family to Buenos Aires, as I was in charge of everything and it was all going perfectly well, however what brought my marks down was the incident about the departure time. But after that, I have fully assimilated lesson number four.

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Another time on the train to Machu Picchu

I have learnt a lot from mum, not only how to be the best traveler, she gave me perhaps the most important lesson of my life three years ago, when she made her last trip, to somewhere I am not yet ready, not yet willing to go. And that lesson is resilience, life throws at us challenges all the time, whether while we are traveling or not, although we could agree that life’s a journey, yeah? So you decide if you just let yourself be defeated by the challenge or if you will overcome any hard situation and strive to live with more intensity than before, simply, if you will live without letting anything to stop you from being happy, whatever that word means to you.

For more trips and adventures to come, for more lessons to learn and teach, for more little amazed faces discovering the world out there…Cheers to all those mothers who travel with their kids, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Before you go, you might be wondering why you haven’t seen a picture of mum, that’s simply because I am very reserved regarding my family, and it is sometimes, hard for myself to put my own face out there in the posts, but hey, you got to see my happy face a lot! and I kind of look like mum 🙂  Hasta pronto! See you soon! Auf Wiedersehen! A presto! Au revoir!