What I Learned From Traveling With My Mother Since I Was 3 Years Old

Happy Mothers Day to my mother and all mothers!

Today I wanted to thank my mother for having me and more specifically, I want to incorporate her into this post and how she helped me come to travel. I would have had a much harder time learning if it wasn’t for her. This is how she helped me since I was 3 years old!

family

Flying on a Plane

My first flight was at 3 years old, 9 hours long to Poland from NYC. From then on, I flew almost every other year. Going on a plane with her got me used to flying and going through airports. She taught me the steps of going through customs and security. I was always curious so I’d ask the same questions constantly until I was old enough to remember. Then it didn’t seem so complicated anymore!

The Enjoyment of Planning

Even though we mostly flew to Poland or took a bus upstate, she always made the trip enjoyable. Packing was fun, we always made our own sandwiches and snacks to bring, and toys to play with. Till this day, I love to pack and bring things to keep me company. I honestly have a blast being alone on a plane for hours doing my own thing! I love to make itineraries as she would, getting every little detail down like her.

Navigation

Growing up in NYC, she took me on the subway everywhere. To her jobs, shopping, to the museums, parks, everywhere. We did not have a car so public transportation was the way to go. She taught me how to know the difference between “uptown and downtown”, how to read subway and bus maps, how to know North, South, East, and West, and how to cross the streets safely. A lot of my friends didn’t get taught well so I’d help navigate or we’d figure it out together. To this day, I try to explain to others how to know where to go when you get off the subway and you’re at a crazy intersection in Manhattan.

Safety

Besides crossing streets, she taught me how to be safe in a big city or a small village like our grandmothers’ in Poland. Clutch your bag, keep your eyes open, be mindful of who’s around you (or what’s around you), and walk with keys in your hand on the way home. One of my scariest moments (but favorite stories) was when a girl tried to rob me around the corner. I was 15 years old walking home at 930pm on a summer night. It just got dark out and people were out. She didn’t get far by yanking my hair, my body responded automatically through my self-defense classes and I got away in a second.

Being Spontaneous

My mom’s an anxious puppy at times, so I get that from her in some situations. I think that’s where my spontaneity comes from too. I do get an itch to do something crazy at times, I want to be different, I don’t want to be normal by any means, so I go out and do my own thing. That’s how I came up with ideas for trips – saw a scuba ad for a festival, I booked it two weeks later. Realized I could visit another country for a day while in Europe , I got on that bus alone. Now I’ve been eyeing a very budget friendly 2 day bus trip to Niagara Falls..I’m booking it later today!

For those of you who learned to travel on their own or with someone else, tell me who was your influence and how you came to be traveler!

This post is linked to #SundayTraveler and the amazing hosts:

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