Hello from Vienna. Traveling with Parents

I have been traveling with my parents now for two weeks throughout Europe. We’ve traveled from Amsterdam to Potsdam to Warsaw to Krakow and are now in Vienna, and our trip isn’t over, we have three more stops after this. You learn a lot when you travel with your parents as an adult. Here are some of the tidbits I can share with you.

They still want to treat you like a child.

The fact is they will never not. You are their child and they want to be able to give you everything and do everything for you even if you’re fully capable of taking care of yourself. Let them baby you a little. It makes them feel needed during a time when they are starting to feel helpless. They have spent a good majority of their lives bringing you up and although they are proud of everything you may have accomplished in your life, believe me, they are a little sad that you no longer need them. So let them know you still do.

They are way stronger than we give them credit for.

My Mom is one of the strongest people I know. She had knee surgery a year ago at the age of 69! At that age, it takes longer to heal. However, despite the pain, she has kept up with me and my Dad through five city walking tours, an 800 stair decent into a salt mine, and countless hours stuck in the back of a car. All that time, she wouldn’t complain, she would just sit down when she needed a rest. Believe me, when I tell you, your parents are resilient and much stronger than you know.

They really just want to spend time with you.

When I was planning this trip there were a number of things that I had on my list for us to do. I quickly realized that would be thrown out the window. There were definitely things that my parents were looking forward to doing. My Dad wanted to go to the Van Gogh museum, however, tickets were sold out for each day we were in Amsterdam. At the end of the day, he didn’t care. He was just happy to be in Amsterdam with his family. So it doesn’t matter if all you do is sit in a cafe together drinking coffee and listening to a jazz band, as long as you are together, they are over the moon.

If you have the opportunity take a trip with your parents.

For many of us the opportunity doesn’t present itself often but when you can, make sure you travel, as an adult, with your parents. It will be challenging, you’ll want to pull your hair out when your Dad doesn’t wait for the GPS to load and drive in the wrong direction for 20 minutes, or when your Mom asks the waiter at the Biergarten if she can take a menu home (not a take-out menu, a real bound menu.) You will, however, grow closer and make memories. This life is too short to not spend it with the people who are most important in your life to take the time to do it.

Until next time.

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