How to travel with kids


Just you and her. A second before she leaves to find her own way. A second before you really have to let go and cut the cord.

Or maybe long after. After she got away. After she cut away and disappeared into the fog. And then came back. For a hug.

Mothers and daughters.

What simple a sentence. So easy on the tongue. So pleasant.

And so charged.

A whole world said in those two words. I write them with tears in my eye. It’s as if my soul wants to pour out a million sparks in a million colors that all make one picture.

This isn’t a post with keywords. No. it is not.

And yet… this potent combination “mothers and daughters”. It seems the keywords all bunch around it naturally.

Take her with you. Go together on a journey. A journey that starts and goes on for a bit longer than what you’re used to. A journey that will bring with it things you haven’t dealt with yet. New sights. Encounters .New ways and discoveries. Take her on an adventure that she’ll remember as something that was belongs only to you two. Hug her, let her tell you the story of herself, show you who she is out of school, out of the social circle, out of the slammed door behind her.

Let her see herself in a completely different light. To discover by herself things she didn’t know yet.

Let her see you. Out of the stressed routine. The cooking. The work. The chores. Stop being ‘mom’ for a few days. Be the woman you are. And give her a peek. Because that’s where she too is going. Be all your strengths, all your passions, all your love. All the peacefulness in you. Be everything you wish her to be. Let yourself discover things in her you didn’t know were there.

Go. And open new roads. New horizons. Take your courage and go all the way to the edge.
The memories you gather will have nothing to do with the shopping you did together. Not about the fights about the shower in the hotel. The memories will be everything in-between. The things that happen to us deep inside, in our chests.

To see my daughter climbing in the Himalayas. Bargaining with an Indian shopkeeper in Hindi. Jumping on a rickshaw, her hair fluttering in the wind, free. Petting a reindeer, making Chapati (flatbread) on an open fire in a tent in Siberia. Both of us doing a joint foot-massage in the middle of a Bangkok street. Diving, with her long hair, like a mermaid, in the clear torques ocean water in the Philippines, gathering starfish. And a million other memories that come to mind now as a I write. Big and small.

I remember her standing in front of me in a busy airport in China. Remember her eyes, set, secure, clear. When what we were just told was: either you’ll lose your bugs, or you’ll miss your flight. And we had to decide right there.

Remember her dancing in a room for her all Indian teacher that loved her like a granddaughter. Counting with the rhythm of his drum.

Remember how we stood on the Ferry in the Philippines, the view only of the blue Sea and the faraway horizon. And suddenly, right in front of our eyes, jumped a magnificent pack of dolphins. And how did we both shout from excitement, all the Filipinos next to us didn’t understand what’s it all about. And it didn’t bother us. We continued to shout and jump with excitement as long as we still saw dolphins.
And afterwards we acted again and again how we both looked like idiots in front of all these people that are used to these sights and don’t even understand that our dream came true at that moment. And we laughed till our stomachs hurt.

I remember this evening, tonight.When she said “what can I ask for my bat-mitzvah? There’s nothing I really want or need…”

Mother-daughter trip. That’s something I would like to do with my mother. Now. I’d want her to see me, just like this. With everything I am. The real me. Out of the slavery of the everyday, the pregnancies, the worries, holiday dinners. The uptight rules. The grieving. I’d want her to see the joy in my eyes, the passion, the storm. The woman I became. Without a hairstylist or cosmetics and without a gym or conquering reverse parking.

And I know it has nothing to do with her pride. Or the honor I bring (or don’t bring) her. It’s about the light in my eyes. And that is what she lived her whole life for.

Take your daughters and go to the world. A week. Two weeks. It doesn’t matter for how long. Climb the Himalayas. Dive with sharks. Go crazy with the shopping. Relax in the spa. Shake loose, meet each other and yourself. Now. Don’t miss the chance.