Born to Travel, Love Mom

I grew up with a single mother who was rather nomadic. We often moved from one apartment to another, from city to city, and summers were spent either at my grandmother’s cottage in southern Ontario or in the passenger seat of my mother’s car as we headed whichever way it pointed when we pulled out of the driveway. Those summer trips took us from one coast of Canada to the other and back again.  

My very first trip was when I was 18 months old (before airfare was full price for me). My mom took me on a six-week trip around England, France, Scotland, and Wales because she wanted to read me Wordsworth in its proper setting. A love of adventure, nature, and simplicity was instilled in me at an early age. 

Years later, I travelled to Mexico — my first trip on my own — and immediately fell in love with the country. That trip inspired other travels around the world and my mom was always supportive despite not hearing from me for months on end or . On my fourth trip back to Mexico, I decided I wanted to see what it was like to live there. After a short while living and volunteering in San Cristobal de las Casas, in the southern state of Chiapas, I found myself short on cash. I returned to Canada with a plan to work, save, and make my way back to Mexico within a year. 

Two months into my grand plan I called my mom, frustrated and impatient in the damp Vancouver winter, and expressed my longing to head south sooner. She told me that if I found a way to visit her in Ontario for Christmas, she’d see what she could do. A month later I was back in Ontario, where my mom handed me $1,000 and a one-way ticket to Mexico. My six-month plan turned into five years. It was during this time I began working as a tour leader, taking small groups of international travellers around Mexico, Guatemala and Belize.  Up until this trip I had never considered working in the travel industry.  I will be forever grateful for my mom’s support and encouragement.  Clearly, I was raised to be a traveller.

Has your mother’s advice or encouragement taken you to some unexpected places? 

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