Last Updated on June 3, 2023 by Ellen
I imagine it takes some courage for a mother to accept her child has gone off to wander the planet with no plans to go ‘home’. My mom tells me she’s always worried about me, and that’s one of the reasons I started this blog. I figured it could keep her connected to the journey in our unconventional lifestyle: early retired budget world travelers who are homeless by choice, and who move to a new city or country every month.
My mom is a loyal reader of this blog, and so this post is for you, Mom. Happy birthday!
Mom always liked to travel, but it wasn’t always possible for her when I was growing up because of the family business. I’m sure her fondness for travel influenced my wanderlust to some degree, along with the frequent visits my mom’s mom made to Long Island when I was a young girl. I can still see my grandmother coming through the gates at MacArthur airport, and I can still feel the joy well up inside me at the first sight of her, growing with each step she took across the tarmac towards me.
Mom has some great travel plans stateside throughout this year, and maybe there will be an opportunity at some point for us to have a meetup abroad. My mom is now pretty good with maps of other countries, and researching some facts about our stops. Sometimes, she seems to know more about a new city than I do when I arrive.
My courageous mom must box up her worry somehow as she watches me roam the earth as a minimalist vagabond — with all of my worldly possessions whittled down to one carry-on size suitcase. I don’t know firsthand about worrying for a child, since I’m not a mom. I never wanted children.
Before my vagabond travel lifestyle, Mom worried about typical stuff: how much I worked, my health, if I’d ever finally get married, my happiness level. Today, travel is my ‘work’, my health is excellent, I married the man she knew as my ‘significant other’, and yes, yes, yes, I am immensely happy in life! Is my life perfect? Of course not, but I am crazy about the life I’ve chosen for myself.
There’s really no reason to worry about anything, Mom. Not even when I temporarily lived in Mexico or Guatemala or Morocco. I’m a better person after those experiences because I learned so much about the world, and about myself. Mom, there wouldn’t even be a reason to worry if I decided to go to Turkey, or to Mars: you raised a woman capable of meeting any challenge.
Mom told me on our last video call that she really enjoys seeing pictures of architecture from our recent stops in Europe. Not only the famous buildings, like La Sagrada Familia, but also the common buildings that shape a city. So yesterday, as Tedly and I wandered down La Rambla de Catalunya and Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona, Spain, on a gorgeous early spring evening, I looked at the buildings with my mom on my mind.
Hope you like the pictures Mom, and again – happy birthday! Enjoy your special day — and I hope it’s another fantastic year around the sun for you! (And please eat a piece of cake for me.)