Did you know travelling is genetic?
True story, the travel bug is actually passed down, generation to generation.
My parents are big travellers; in fact, my rad mother did things like travel India all by herself in the 70s, when no-one else was quite so daring.
They’re up for anything, those two! Mum will devour art galleries, museums and historical sites like they’re donuts and Dad… Dad will climb anything, swim anything, jump off anything- all in the name of adventure.
Generously, they have taken us kids along, too.
I know. I’m lucky, aren’t I? To have parents with the means and inclination to show their children the world.
My first family trip was to Hong Kong, age two. Then Europe and the USA at six, India at ten, Hungary and the Czech Republic at 19, South of France again at 22 and Croatia at 25. In between all that were family summers in Fiji and my individual travels around the UK, USA and Europe from age 19.
I have literally been travelling for 29 years, and I’ve been to about the same number of countries.
There’s no way, really, to express my gratitude to my parents for giving this great gift to me and my siblings. Our travels have shaped who we are, made us (I believe) better people.
How could it not? To experience a country like India at such a formative age meant I grew up eternally thankful for my home, my education and the support of my parents. I don’t think the life I lead is normal, I know it is blessed and bestowed upon me off the back of my parents’ exceptionally hard work.
It’s made me more open minded and, in fact, open hearted.
Most of all, it’s awakened the wanderlust in my blood; and it’s that wanderlust that keeps me and my parents travelling.
These days they go off on big adventures, a couple of months at a time- and so they should! May they galavant around the world until their hearts are content.
The really fun thing is that Mum sends daily emails, chronicling their travels, and Dad does the same by posting photos to a shared album. I may be bias, but they’re kind of terrific. Mum is a master historian and not only gives great travel advice, but a lot of context you’d otherwise not know and Dad just takes awesome photos.
I enjoy reading them so much, I’m going to share them with you in a series called “Letters from My Mother”. We’ll be starting with their most recent trip, which was to Portugal, Spain and Italy.
There is one thing, though, not mentioned in the letters or seen in the photos, which I feel is important for you to know about. That is, the Panama hats.
Oh yes, they’re hereditary, too.
What, did you think I just randomly picked one up one day? Oh no, my family lives in Panama hats- especially when we travel.
So if you see one when you’re out and about, follow it. That person’s going somewhere interesting.