The Time That I Paid My Respects

I owe all of this to my mother. All of it.

My mother, Jean, is the most travel-obsessed person I know. I’ve never met anyone who is more passionate about experiencing cultures and customs, lifestyles and languages, food and festivals. Thankfully, she has passed this love of travel down to my brother Eric and me, instilling into us from a very young age that there’s more to the world than what we could find in our small New Jersey hometown. And she has not only taught us how to travel, but more importantly, why traveling needs to be done.

It’s always fun for me to watch my mother research a destination and plan a trip, because she digs deep down into the heart and soul of each place she wishes to visit. If you’ve never been to my mother’s house, allow me to tell you what you’d find in there: bookshelves and coffee tables stacked to the ceiling with travel guides. I can tell you without exaggeration that my mother has probably purchased THOUSANDS of travel guides in her lifetime. Nobody does their homework like my mother. Nobody. She even managed to get herself banned from our neighborhood library for failing to return some travel books that she had borrowed. Now that’s dedication.

One of my favorite childhood memories is going to museums with my mother and watching her explain to the employees about the museum. No, that’s not a typo–SHE would explain it to THEM. She literally knew more about the exhibits, events, deals and discounts than the people who actually worked there. And if some hard-headed, know-it-all clerk or curator tried to refute her claims, she would whip out some kind of brochure or leaflet, proving herself correct. It was hilarious to watch her absolutely school the employees at their own museum.

Ever since I was a young boy, I’ve always loved to listen to my mother rattle off the places that she’s been to–cities, countries, you name it. The list seems to never end. I marvel at the priceless works of art she’s seen and the exotic foods she’s tasted. But the most impressive thing about her travels is not the sheer number of cities and countries that she’s visited–after all, traveling doesn’t belong on a scoreboard.  No, the most impressive thing is that she traveled to most of these places as a young woman (a quite attractive one at that), often by herself, chasing her travel dreams and ambitions no matter how difficult or dangerous. And this was well before Trip Advisor, Google Maps, and the Internet in general made traveling so much easier.

My mother has passed her passion for travel onto the next generation, and for that I am eternally grateful. There are many people whom I can thank for the awesome travel tales which you are about to read, but there’s only one person to whom I dedicate these tales.

Thank you, Mama Jean. This blog’s for you.

Mama Jean LA

9 thoughts on “The Time That I Paid My Respects

  1. Respect all around. That’s one helluvan acknowledgement to your dear mama. Also I assume this is the page Eric set up. I look forward to many more tales of adventure and derring do.

  2. Great post, Steven!
    Your mom sounds like an amazing woman with lots of amazing travel stories to share. And it’s great to know she has passed that passion to you 🙂

  3. There’s a quote that says, the two best gifts one can bequeath their child are roots and wings. It seems that your mother gave you both <3 Thank you for lauding your mom as a solo female traveler who did all her adventuring PRIOR to the internet. She seems like a superwoman for sure! And cute anecdote about her getting banned for the local library for failing to return her travel books. A woman of my liking thats for sure!

  4. ah…so sweet of you. I can’t resist to smile while reading this article because it’s so genuine and heart warming. I love how you recall her schooling employees at their own museum… haha.. She’s really smart huh. I am happy that you will continue her passion. It’s in your blood, so go on, wander and tell us stories about your travel in this blog you dedicated to your mom. Hope to read of your own adventures soon.

  5. What a sweet sentiment to send a shout out to your mom! Your mom sounds great and I’m sure she really appreciates that you share her same passion. Keep that spark alive!

  6. I already knew this would be a great read from the title! I always wonder how some people have the spark for travel, and others don’t. Is it genetic? That seems a little far-fetched, right. Is it influenced by our social environment? I think, absolutely. My mother, on the other hand, hates travel and everything related so it’s funny when she speaks of visiting me in foreign places. I’m like, “who are you kidding!?” I love this post and it’s a great preface for your future posts.

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