I’m getting ready to go on my first major trip since my mother died, more than ten months ago. I am remembering how I started every travel blog I ever wrote-going to visit my mother to say goodbye.
She’d sit there under her wall of masks from her travels all over the world and she’d smile at me, happy that I was setting off on an adventure.
Today, as I finish packing my bag, call my credit card company and bank to put travel alerts on my accounts, slip a poncho into my bag (“It’s pouring in Scotland”) and cross the last pre-travel items from my list, my mother isn’t here to visit. I don’t get to savor her sweet smile as she dotes on me, “You’re the best daughter in the whole world.” I miss those ebullient send-offs, yet I’ve also enjoyed the freedom this year of having no one left to take care of.
Even though she isn’t here in the flesh, I will bring my mother with me on this journey. I am carrying on her tradition of as she used to put it, “gallivanting around the world”.
Tomorrow, my partner Karyn and I head to Boston for our #2 son’s college graduation. (“How did that happen so fast?” everyone says to me when I tell them Eli is graduating this week.) Then we fly to Spain to meet up with our daughter and to visit our #1 son, his wife and two kids, who are on a sabbatical in southern Spain. We’ll spend a week in Granada and then we’ll go our separate ways. I’ll fly to London and take a nice slow all-day train to Scotland where I’ll teach a Write, Travel, Transform retreat in the beautiful Scottish Highlands.