How to: travel with your parents as an adult

You may have caught on, I’m plagued with wanderlust. I have the infinite want to travel no matter what my situation – I love being on the road (or in the sky depending on the destination). As such, a couple years back I had the opportunity, last minute albeit, to take a trip to Europe. I had 2 weeks off work and my paychecks were burning a hole in my pocket. I looked into flights, talked it over with my family, and decided there’s no time like the present… my parent’s had the same thought.

Now, I’m not opposed to traveling with my parents, but at the time I was 24 all I wanted was independence. After a little more planning and a new stop added onto the trip we were on a plane to Rome. We spent one week walking the cobbled streets of Rome, eating gelato and listening to stories my Italian father had of the places he knew as a child. My dad was born and raised in Sicily and he loves being back in his home country. It was amazing to see his stories come alive through the city’s landscape. I always took for granted my dad’s love of history and his love of his country. I am so glad I was able to travel to Italy with him, I can’t wait to go back.

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After an amazing week seeing history come alive right in front of me, we were off to my preferred destination – London. Words cannot convey my love for this city, a love I have had long before I was even able to visit. London feels like home, I’ve always had the need to be there. Our plane touched down at Heathrow after midnight, so sightseeing was pushed to the next day. We rented a flat in Battersea (thanks to my sister for finding amazing accommodations) this was the best choice for us. We all had our own space and weren’t confined to one room together.

Early the next morning we jumped on the train and headed to Victoria Station. I remember walking out of the station and seeing the double-decker buses for the first time with my mom. She had always wanted to visit there too, it was amazing to be able to share that experience with her. We walked and walked that day, luckily it was late May so it was warm and sunny – a great surprise. It was a great week in London with my parents, I had a few friends living in the city so I had the opportunity to meet up with them and get some of the feel of non-tourist London. My parents loved walking through the parks during the day and I loved walking the beautiful lit up streets at night. London is a magical city.

Sadly our trip came to an end and we flew back to Toronto. I was so sad to leave it behind and not know when the next time I was able to visit would be, little did I know I would be back in 6 months, but that’s another story.

I am so glad I traveled to Europe with my parents as an adult, it gave me a whole new perspective on our relationship. Of course we had our fights and they embarrassed me in front of the cute English boys, but at the end of the day they are my parents and they’re going to embarrass me no matter what. If you’re thinking of traveling with your parents as an adult, I say DO IT! Make sure you get some time alone to explore and see the things you want to see, if you can do it – get your own room (you’ll need it!), and lastly enjoy your time with them, let them tell you the stories of their youth no matter how many times you’ve heard it.

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Throwback Thursday – Touring Europe

In the fashion of being a huge Instagram user (follow me!), I thought it was only appropriate to write a whole blog post about a trip I took a few years ago. This trip’s memories have stuck with me throughout the years and have left me longing to go back to Europe.

In the fall of 2011 I had just finished a contract as an Outdoor Experiential Educator, in other words I was a year round camp counselor, at the time it was my dream job. However, it was time to move on and start, as I lovingly call it, a big girl job. As I had graduated university the year previously, it was time I used my Communication Studies and International Relations  degree in a “proper” way. I decided that I wanted a more specialized area and I applied to do post graduate work that started in January of 2012. However, it was only October – what was I to do for the next 3 months?

I did what any travel loving twenty something would do – booked a flight to London, booked a tour with the awesome people at Contiki (great idea for first time solo travelers), packed my bags, and got on a plane a few days later. Luckily, I had been to Europe with my parents only a few months earlier, so I knew what to expect. The only thing that made me somewhat uneasy was the fact that I would be traveling around Europe on a bus with 50 strangers – what if I was the only solo traveler? Not the case at all, plus everyone on my tour was awesome.

I had the opportunity to visit London, drive through Belgium, tour around the streets and canals of Amsterdam, go wine tasting in St. Goar, visit the famous Hofbrauhaus and Dachau Concentration Camp in Munich, walk the picturesque streets of Innsbruck in Austria, drive through the Bavarian Alps, see the sights in Venice, Rome, and Florence, stay in a converted jail house in Lucerne Switzerland, and of course drink coffee and eat pastries in the famous cafes of Paris.

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View from the London Eye

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On the ferry from Port of Dover to Calais, France

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Booze Cruise through the canals of Amsterdam

I don’t have too many photos of Amsterdam at night, cameras aren’t allowed in the Red Light district.

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Amsterdam in the daytime

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Wine tasting in St. Goar, Germany

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Cuckoo Clock in St. Goar

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In the Marienplatz in Munich

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Drinking in the historic Hofbrauhaus

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Driving through the Alps

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How could you not want to visit here?

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Innsbruck, Austria

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Taking a gondola ride in Venice

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Beautiful Venice

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Venetian masks, we had to.

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Obligatory shot of the Colosseum

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Florence

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Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) in Lucerne, Switzerland

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Jailhotel Loewengraben – the converted jailhouse that is now a hotel

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Walking the streets of Lucerne at night

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Eiffel Tower at night

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The Louvre

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In the Napoleon III Apartments in The Louvre

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Moulin Rouge

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Stonehenge, England

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The Roman Baths in Bath, England

It was a whirlwind adventure but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. If you’re thinking of making the trip to Europe but don’t have the guts to do it by yourself I HIGHLY recommend going through a tour company like Contiki or Gap Adventures.