Hitting the Road with our Daughters

Hitting the Road with our Daughters

Have you ever travelled with your daughter or your mother?

30 years ago I went on the only just-us trip I ever took with my mother. She was trying to find her feet as a newly widowed 50-year-old and needed company. I remember enjoying it even though it was not the kind of travel I envisaged doing at 25 (way too many churches and early curfews for me…). I remember the trip crystal clear, the hotel, the meals, the activities and even the weather. Ask me about more recent trips and I’ll have to check my diaries to give you a detailed log.

Maxine and I recently reminisced about our first mother-daughter trip to London Fashion Week for her 18th birthday, and agreed that it was a moment when we had each other to ourselves, and that’s what made it a stand-alone moment in our life.

It’s this primal, intense emotional bond between us and our daughters that heightens the experience.

We build a shared memory bank, encapsulate our time together. And we (mothers) come back to the memory well as their adult life becomes fuller and has (rightly so) less and less space for us.

Recent mother-daughter(s) guests also referred to the concepts of a time capsule, checking-in, creating space in our lives to stay connected, as our trajectories run in parallel but not necessarily as connected as they used to be.

For Taylor, “It was great to have that time [with my mom] to decompress from everyday life together and check in. It’s not too often that we spend so much time together or that we spend time together just the two of us.”

Sheila remarks that if sometimes we see ourselves in our daughter, her life and experiences are SO different from ours that it’s important to “get to know her as an adult. And as travel often takes you a bit out of your comfort zone, both mother and daughter are on a level playing field — each exploring and growing.”

Do you remember how our mothers used to chastise us for being too involved in our kids’ life? Well, look at the result now: our daughters want to travel with us!  Judith identified that the mother/daughter travelling team is a phenomenon of our generation, if for no other reason than we are more financially independent than our mothers were.

The agreement is that mothers and daughters really want to discover, learn, share new things together.

“So great to experience new things together — even though we had both been to Paris before, we did and saw so many things that we hadn’t before. It was such a spectacular experience.”

“I just can’t imagine a closer bond with any other woman than with my daughter. We both love to explore, walk, learn, talk.”

“It was the first time we had travelled together without her other siblings and her father.  I think we both wondered how we would do but it was fantastic.” 

I was curious to find out how travel outfits approached the topic. Well… it was like entering a parallel universe.

They encourage our daughters to travel with us as we “reach our golden years”. It’s time she “spoils us in return for the years we spent driving her around and raising her.”  And don’t forget to “make memories as time is short.” And I will spare you the goop that comes out around Mother’s Day season.

From what I observed on the last trip to France, we interact with our daughters as equals, and we are badass mothers well into our “golden years”.

But the M/D travel is not all about serious stuff. Many matching tattoos, piercings, rings, and haircuts have been experienced in the spur of the moment to remember a great trip — particularly if it’s a trip taken to mark a milestone — and albums are full of weird photos that only you and her will look at with fondness. But that’s all part of the time capsule…

I also travelled with my motherin-law - she came along on my honeymoon - with my sister-in-law…but that’s another story (and Mr. F is still reminded of it from time to time).

Want to get in the conversation? Share your thoughts below in the comments section. Life is so much more interesting when we talk to each other.

And if you liked this, encourage your friends to sign up for the newsletter here.


Carole Tanenbaum, A Lesson in Humility

Carole Tanenbaum, A Lesson in Humility

Paris + Provence: When Nature Inspires Art

Paris + Provence: When Nature Inspires Art