I’ve been traveling the world solo for 10 years.
Sometimes I’m with a film crew, but by and large, I’m alone. It’s great, but I often wish that I could share these experiences with people who I love. Enter Mom. To make a long story short, she raised four kids on her own and didn’t have the time or money to travel. Now that we are all grown up, she has the time, and a little bit more money.
Traveling with Mom is at a much different pace than I’m used to. She forces me to slow down—in every aspect—and because of that, I’m seeing the world in a new way.
I’m realizing that Mom speed is quite an enjoyable pace. I’ve taken her to some of my favorite places on the planet, such as Moab, Utah and most recently, Guatemala. The child-parent roles have reversed. I’m now the protector; I watch her back as we walk through a crowded market, or push her from behind as she struggles up a mountain. Most powerful of all, I get to see the childlike joy in her eyes as she experiences something new. It’s a beautiful thing.
Traveling is tough, it’s stressful and can be uncomfortable.
Often times, people say that the best way to test a relationship is to travel with someone. My mom and I have been through a lot, so we don’t need any testing, but traveling together has definitely taught me things about my mom that I never knew before.
For one, she’s way tougher than I give her credit for. She’s pretty cool with crappy hotels, she’s fine with somewhat sketchy street food and she can handle an uncomfortable bus ride with the best of em’.
Quick side story: We were once on a four hour bus in Honduras and she had to pee so bad that she made me tell the driver to stop so she could run off and relieve herself. The bus ended up leaving us, but this just added to our incredible adventure.
Sometimes we get sick of each other and sometimes we get frustrated, but traveling with Mom has taught me a lot about the beauty of patience. She’s older now—she’s not a young mama anymore, and there are some things that she just can’t do, no matter how much I push her. It’s okay though. We’re testing our limits together, and learning to appreciate the beauty of the world together.
Although my mom claims not to like it when I put my video camera in her face and document her struggles, I secretly think that she loves our filmed adventures.
It’s hard not to look back at this footage and get misty eyed—there are some beautiful moments in these short videos.
Most of all, I’ll forever cherish having these memories recorded, and I hope that they inspire others to get out and have some mom (or dad) adventures.
Author: Ryan van Duzer
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Images: Author’s Own