As 2017 comes to a close, She’s On The Go contributors took a moment to reflect on the most meaningful travels of 2017 for each of us.
Join us as we reflect on the moments that elicited awe, inspiration, happiness and overall fed our souls and share with us what trip had the greatest impact on you this year.
Most Meaningful Travels of 2017
Andrea’s Anniversary Trip to Maine
My life-changing moments almost always include the ocean, so it’s no surprise that this year one of my favorite memories was during my 10th anniversary trip to the coast of Maine.
My husband and I took a 3-hour whale watching cruise at sunset and it was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever done!
Tip: the boat goes fast and it’s cold so feel free to stay inside until you find a whale. We froze for way too long on the upper level!
We finally saw a pair of humpback whales and I could have watched them forever.
Fadra’s Tour of Pennsylvania Farms
Sometimes, the most significant trips are the ones that are unexpectedly close to home.
I spent a few days in Gettysburg, just an hour north of my home, and yet I felt transported to a completely different place.
Having the ability to spend the day on the From Field to Fork tour gave me a new appreciation for buying local as we picked apples, visited farms, and sampled from local wineries.
Sitting under an old maple tree at the end of the day as a private chef prepared a meal with all of our locally-procured ingredients gave me a new found respect for what we eat and where it comes from.
Susan’s Mother-Daughter Trip to Europe
As much as I enjoy my solo travels, my most meaningful trip this year was with my 16-year-old daughter.
We traveled to Scotland, England, and France this past summer and watching her literally becoming part of the world outside of our own insulated community was such a special experience. There is nothing quite like seeing the spark of wanderlust ignite in your child’s eyes.
During our trip, I got glimpses of the little girl she used to be and of the beautiful young woman she is becoming as I watched her giddy excitement and the total confidence she had in navigating the countries we visited. It also made me realize how much I’ve changed over my many years of parenting.
I want to keep her close like all parents do with their children but, in seeing her joy in experiencing other cultures and new adventures, I can’t wait to see where she lands… no matter how far away her wings may take her.
Patty’s First International Trip
I had a lot of new experiences this year; I moved to a new state which offers a ton of local travel options and opened the east coast up for exploration.
New states were crossed off my list with trips to Pennsylvania and Michigan, bringing my states visited to 36. I admit to getting a little excited over that!
But my most meaningful trip was one that involved my long-neglected passport. I got my first passport when I was 23 and a newlywed Army wife.
Since my husband was traveling himself and we didn’t have children yet, I pictured myself exploring the world solo on last-minute excursions.
Welp. That never happened. Not once. And the passport expired without a single international visit.
This year I corrected that when an opportunity arrived for me to visit Jamaica for the first time.
It was exciting and scary and wonderful: everything travel should be!
My passport is itching for another experience; Canada perhaps? Oh, I think so!
Kendra’s Road Trip to Iowa
In March of this year, I received a call from my mother asking me if I would take her on a road trip to Iowa to visit her sisters for a week.
Now, my mother and I live 10 minutes from each other but we don’t hang out (ever) or see eye to eye on anything in life. I see her maybe 6 times a year.
We are VERY different people.
Knowing that she really wanted to go (she can’t drive alone and flying was not an option at the time for her) I agreed to take her as long as we did it over Spring Break so that I could take my teenage girls as well.
My girls had never been to Iowa and I wanted to show them where I spent my summers (during elementary school) visiting my mom’s family.
This trip turned out to be the most wonderful and impactful trip of 2017 for me:
- I learned things about my mom from her sisters that shed a new light on her
- I got to visit and get to know my aunt (who is dying from cancer)
- I got to see and visit my aunts who were my “summer mothers”
- My girls found a new appreciation for family
- My girls found a new appreciation for the type of parent that I am
- I found a new appreciation for my girls
- I learned that I am stronger than I ever thought
It was an amazing trip that I needed a year to recover from.
Where did 2017 take you? What trip would you put at the top of your most meaningful travels list?
Patty Holliday is a wife, mother of four, and theme park lover who loves early mornings. She hasn’t found a sunrise that disappoints her yet! Find her in the DC Metro area or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty Honda Odyssey takes her.