"Take vacations! You can always make money, You can’t always make memories”.
Working in an office that’s constantly working for, talking about and dreaming of travel, it was fairly obvious that I had a travel bucket list, a journal filled with possible trips I could take with my friends and treks that I wanted to pursue bookmarked on my computer.
Living away from my parents due to work for a couple of years, I never thought of going on a trip with them. I mean, I had to take a trip to see them in the first place. Then, something changed my mind.
One day, I was going through some old albums of our family travel. My parents have always been travel lovers and whenever time and budget permitted them, we took trips across the country. Exploring the valleys of Kashmir, the rustic villages of Sikkim and the dense jungles of the South, the main purpose of these travels was far more than just going around. My parents looked at it as an opportunity to relax, rejuvenate and spend quality time together. Even the short weekend trips that we took together were stored as beautiful memories of my childhood.
When it all came back to me, I realised; that I barely spent time with my parents. 23 and working made me a confident millennial who wanted to do it all on my own, have a blast with friends and make the most of it. And all this had somehow distanced me from my loving parents.
And this is when I decided, I had to take a trip with them! Naturally, when I declared my idea of going on a Europe trip with my parents, my friends and colleagues had apprehensions.
"Why are you going to Europe with your parents! You are 23 for god’s sake!”
"Are you scared to travel alone? Is it why your parents are accompanying you?”
I meekly smiled as an answer, because I was pretty clear with what I wanted from this trip. I wanted to explore a different continent and I wanted to do so with my parents. I wanted to see the excitement in their eyes when they set off for their first journey abroad, I wanted to experience the warmth of home away from home, I wanted to be a kid again!
The first city that we were landing on was the beautiful city of Paris. Cruising on the Seine River, enjoying the panoramic view of Eiffel Tower and shopping on Champs Elysees; it was so much fun with my parents. It was like revisiting my childhood when my dad sponsored my shopping spree (hello, Chanel!)
Travelling together; exploring the scenic roads of Europe with the beautiful backdrop of Alps gave us the much needed time for reconnecting! I still recall the twinkle in my mom’s eyes when she saw the snow of Mount Titles as we proceeded in a thrilling cable car ride.
On our way to Austria, we also had a pit-stop at a small yet prosperous country of Liechtenstein. Never having heard of it before, let’s just say this trip was also a good geography lesson for me! Next on the list was Wattens where my mom and I went literally crazy in the Swarovski world!
After a big dent in my dad’s pocket, we headed to the dreamy city of Venice. My dad was super excited for the Gondola ride and it reminded me of the Shikara ride we took in Dal Lake when I was a little kid. This time, the roles were interchanged but the exhilaration was similar!
Our next destination was Florence where we took a walking tour of the city and explored it at our own pace. And yes, we of course didn’t miss out on clicking the mandatory push picture at the Leaning tower of Pisa! The last stop on our mini-Euro expedition was Rome and the Vatican. Tired but happy, we had a blast together!
I realized on the trip that while growing up, my parents made sure their lives were aligned around mine and today, it was my turn to do it. After all, I was a reflection of my parents and there was so much to learn from them.
This trip was one of the best things that happened to me. And I returned not just with a bunch of beautiful memories but also with determination to plan for a next one!
As told by Monika Kulkarni