On an usual, hot day, like yesterday, I came across an article shared by one of my favourite travel writers- Charukesi Ramdurai. The article, was on ‘Mothers‘, which, I read on the eve of Mother’s day. Obviously, it was my ‘little click-bait’ moment. The article, based on collaborative effort by the author, tried to look at the younger versions of mothers, (whom we might call our aunts) across her circle. She wrote about mothers, as we never saw them- the young spirited girls and women in their time, who had no idea about, how their lives would eventually pan out. Yet, each day, every day, they would go out in the world, challenge the status quo back have fun, be brave and manage to be the supporting, nurturing, nagging, hyper moms, we have come to know of today. This gave me another idea and I reached out to my circle, to understand our moms as they are today, but who have also been the early traveling pioneers. Their lives are truly amazing and unique. They are the future to a past, and a past to the present. They are the baby boomers, mostly, who have benefited from the early globalization benefits, post World War II and are also being witness to the current tumultuous Trump era, we are in now.
So, here’s presenting stories of women and mothers- the original gypsies, nomads, wanderers at heart, to whom, we owe our fierce solo or otherwise travels:
Mother Senior Sinha– Kounteya Sinha, my friend, a world-renowned photographer and story teller, shared his favourite travel memory with his mom. Kounteya has traveled with his mother far and wide, including France, Italy, UK. On this one occasion, when he was traveling in a train, the driver mistook his mother as his wife. His mother, burst out in laughter, while Kounteya could hardly fathom, what was happening. Kounteya beams with pride and further tells me, “I have never seen anyone, with such love to travel- to see new worlds, immersing herself in cultures and cuisines from distant lands!”
Mother Senior Saakshi- A friend and co-travel blogger, Saakshi Rajat shares her mother’s story with me. Saakshi says, ” I often travel with my mom and those trips are my favorite trips. Few years back, with a lot of hesitation, I had ventured out for my first solo trip, but mom being mom joined me during the latter part of my trip. On the last day of our trip, I told mumma that I am not sure what to gift her on mother’s day. While packing our stuff, she casually said that the time we spent and the travels we did together was the best mother’s day gift for her. Till that time, I had never realized the importance of travelling and spending the time with her. But from that day, I have made it a point to travel and show her the world around as often as I can. Travelling with her has not only strengthened my bond with her but also made me understand our evolving need of creating memories with each other.”
Mother Senior Sowmya- A friendly traveler, I share many similar interests with Sowmya. I started chatting with her and she told me about her experience of how she completed a trek to Triund with her mother and son. Sowmya says, ” I was really worried, about whether this was a good idea. But I was yet to learn, my mother never gives up. She wanted us to complete the trek. Fellow trekkers started motivating us and cheering up to fulfill our dream of “trekking with 3 generations.” Eventually, I learn, Sowmya did it. And this mother’s day, she wants to urge her mother, “Amma, you have done a lot of things for others, now is the time to start your second innings, living for yourself.” Mother Senior Sowmya- your daughter loves you! 🙂
Mother Senior Mayuri- I have recently made another friend, through Facebook- Mayuri! But her ideas of travel and stories inspire me. When I asked her whether she has challenges with her mother, she told me, “My mother and I are quite different in many aspects of life. But my mother is my best travel companion as she can travel with me as backpacker, flexible with my schedule and easy going with food too.” It is this mutual love and mutual respect that perhaps reflects in Mayuri’s ideas about travel and life. Mayuri, who recently traveled with her mom to Maheshwar, further adds, “We are busy in our own life with job, family and many other things; we cannot spend time with her but we can use such time to make beautiful moments to cherish forever with them.”
Mother Senior Raksha- Avid traveler and a blogger, Raksha Prasad says, “I am a person who is always on the move. I always have something or the other back to back, planned when I travel. But traveling with mom has taught me patience. Since she cannot do the adventurous or the fast paced travel that I generally prefer, when I travel solo or with friends, I have to ensure I have a relaxed and slow paced travel to make her comfortable. Traveling with her teaches me that sometimes it is not about how many things you see or how much you cover ticking off the checklist. It is about the memories you make with the person you are traveling with and importantly cherish those moments. I made a promise to myself few years ago that I would at least plan one travel with mom in a year and I have kept that promise till date.”
Mother Senior Aditi– Aditi Kapoor of Travelogue Connect, explains me her mother’s story and how her mother has eventually influenced her career choices. A travel writer today, Aditi tells me, “I always wish I had taken up Arts and pursued English Hons. as my mother advised me to. I could have been more articulate, expressed my thoughts in a better way in my blog and elsewhere, and my life would have taken a different course professionally. Mothers always know what’s best for their child. I even thought of pursuing a degree in English at the age of 32. Who knows, I might go for it soon! At the moment, however, I am finding the purpose of my life in blogging as a tribute to my mom. Her words of encouragement ring in my ears which motivate me daily. One look at her photo, and I know what I am doing is right. I hope my mom is proud of me, somewhere up there.
Mother Senior Swagata– Swagata Ghosh, although a stranger to me, has a beautiful perspective to add. “Traveling with my mother taught many things to me. To know her not just as my mother but as a human, beautiful and flawed. It is absolutely wonderful standing next to her at the foothills of Kanchenjunga, watching sunset or riding camels in Jaisalmer.”
Mother Senior Purvi– Founder of Travelhippies, Purvi Kamaliya shares her picture with me and tells a story behind it. ” This picture is from our trip after almost 25 years, when I was settled with a well-paying job and she decided to utilise her leaves for a leisure trip. It was her birthday and I we celebrated it traveling to Madhya Pradesh. From temples to national parks she enjoyed every bit of it like a bird enjoys an infinite sky after a release from a cage. She had forgotten all the struggles of her life-time and was seemingly much involved in a new culture and architecture. In fact for the first time I saw my mother actively interested in taking pictures too. While we all regret not being able to travel much or curse the family or financial conditions, she was my inspiration who showed an immense patience to devote to her family first and wait for the ‘happy times’ of her life with her kids. I knew she missed the fun of travel while going through the bad phase of her life. And thus, it was a little gift from me to the hero of our family. The trip was too crucial for the twist in my life too. After that trip she never resisted my decision of leaving my job as a teacher and joining the clan of ‘Digital Nomads’. She, in fact, is now proud of my decision and happily boasts about it in front of all relatives. And surprisingly, TravelXp is being watched more at our home now than those daily soaps.
Mother Senior Deepika: Since, we are on topic of mothers, I would also like to share my favourite travel memory with my mom 🙂
Special Note: At the writing of this post, none of the mothers knew about this article. All people have shared their perspective and memories. The idea of this article has been to surprise our mothers! I also realize that the names of mothers haven’t been mentioned. This has been a last minute realization and therefore, the moniker of Senior Mother has been used. Apologies for this over sight 🙂