“I should mention my mom is five feet nothing and a tiny little blonde woman – and never once did she give the impression that she couldn’t do something.”
This is one of my mom’s favourite quotes, she says it all the time and it’s usually met with an eye roll from either me or one of my four siblings. Whether it’s one of our blunders she’s referencing or someone we associate with, this is her constant reminder that talk is cheap.
When asked to write something about our relationship as it relates to travel, I struggled. My friends reminisced about how much they spoke to their moms when they were living abroad. When people come and visit me, I’ll see that they are Skyping with their parents pretty much every other day.
This has never been our relationship.
My mom is notorious for short emails and single-word texts with phrases like “K” and “Y?”
On any of my travels or even when I was away for school, I wouldn’t often call my mom unless something was wrong or something amazing happened. And vice versa. There was comfort, warmth and understanding but rarely any chit chat just for the sake of it.
The idea of travel never came from her either – she had never ventured too far beyond the boundaries of Canada or nearby USA until I had already seen a good chunk of the world.
Only now in reflection does it make sense how that happened.
Looking back, there are certain memories that stick out from childhood.
I remember being in a Tae Kwon Do class when I was about 7 or 8 years old. My mom was there (she had also enrolled) and doing a jump kick at the bag and fell straight back on her ass. I was mortified. She didn’t care, she just got back up and kept on kicking.
“Click clack, click clack.” I remember my mom typing out her college assignments on an old-school typewriter, driving an hour to and from college every day, and then working at my uncle’s lodge in the afternoon and on weekends to pay the bills.
I remember having to move house probably half a dozen times after my parents got divorced and my mom would pack up everything we own and then miraculously turn the next place into a home within literally hours.
I remember when my mom volunteered to drive the Quebec team around Winnipeg when they were there for the Briar curling tournament, and becoming the best tour guide ever. (This is the most Canadian sentence ever – sorry!)
I remember my mom working a construction job, building a mine up north one summer to keep the money coming in.
“Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta…” I remember my brother and I helping my mom memorize the police alphabet before her exam the next day.
I remember my mom getting the dean’s medal for academic performance in her Law and Security program.
I remember when my mom had marksman competitions for her new job as a prison guard and getting top of the class.
I remember my mom earning her degree by day and then taking charge of solitary confinement by night.
I could go on and on about the things she has done – which now makes it so blatantly obvious that I didn’t start traveling in spite of my mom, I was empowered to take chances, push boundaries and go on adventures because of her example.
I should mention my mom is five feet nothing and a tiny little blonde woman – and never once did she give the impression that she couldn’t do something. If she didn’t do something, it was her choice. If she did, she owned it completely.
When she did decide to take up travel, she went all the way. An overseas government assignment to Afghanistan for a year, multiple trips to Europe, three years in Indonesia and surrounding countries, Australia and New Zealand (where she went ziplining in Queenstown - the ' Adventure capital of the world') and the list goes on.
My mother is a doer and always has been, and that is what she made me.
We still aren’t big talkers, but that’s okay. “Actions speak louder than words.”
Meg is one of the co-creators of Travelher and lives and breathes travel. She currently works for an e-commerce travel company in New Zealand and often sells herself on cruises, motorhome trips and other exciting adventures. Meg misses her family back in Canada and wishes someone would invent the teleport already.