Indagare’s Avery Carmichael explores the beauty of mother-daughter travel.
At Indagare, we get requests for mother-daughter trips all the time—a weekend getaway to Aspen for some time on the slopes, a food-centric adventure through France or even a journey across the Namibian desert. Time with family can be invaluable in creating shared experiences and bringing families together. Reconnecting at a hidden café tucked down a Venetian side street after a private museum tour or a walk amidst falling cherry blossom petals in Kyoto after viewing temples can be all the more special when shared with someone whom you may not get to see often.
Beyond the private trips Indagare plans, we’ve noticed a heartening recent trend in our curated group trips, Insider Journeys: An increasing number of mother-daughter pairs are signing up. In the past, these trips were typically filled with men and women of similar ages. Now, as members have brought along their children or parents to places like Rwanda, Milan, Peru and Malawi, more and more are seeking unique experiences together.
Member Lauren Shepard, a repeat Insider Journey guest, brought her daughter Taylor along on last spring’s design-focused Insider Journey to Milan. Describing her motivation to invite Taylor, Lauren said, “It’s fun to travel with two generations because you each bring something to the trip. She sees the world through a different lens, and it’s fun to grow with her and see her grow as we travel. Any time I can take my children somewhere and share something with them, even if it’s outside of my comfort zone, is so meaningful.”
Taylor’s remarks mirrored Lauren’s, as she expressed appreciation for her exposure to new points of view during the trip. “It was such an opportunity for me to check my own assumptions and take on a different perspective,” Lauren explained. “Most of my friends back home are my age, so it was refreshing to have intellectually stimulating conversations with a different group of people.”
Indagare’s Milan Insider Journey itinerary included tours of beautiful homes, fashion houses and museums, but what stood out the most to Taylor had less to do with the spectacular setting: “Being in an environment where the group could open up and share our collective perspectives was incredible.”
Having returned from Indagare’s Insider Journey to Egypt in November, I relate intimately to Taylor’s sentiments. My mother invited me on the trip, during which our group was given access to the not-yet-open Grand Egyptian Museum and its curatorial departments, where we viewed King Tut’s recently restored burial chariot and the 40-foot-tall statue of Ramses II. We visited a virtually empty Abu Simbel, cruised the Nile and watched the sun set over the Temple of Luxor while the call to prayer played over a nearby mosque’s loudspeakers.
Most importantly, while we were very much a part of our group, I did all these things with my mother. Our shared adventures cultivated an increased appreciation for diversity in opinions. What I saw, heard, smelled, tasted and touched wasn’t necessarily what my mother experienced, and that was surprising. I didn’t think to describe the banks of the Nile as similar to the illustrations from Where the Wild Things Are, or to see the parallels between our own political structure and Egypt’s, but she did. It brought us together in a new way, and right after I left my mother at the end of the trip, I received the following text: “I miss you. Can we do it all again? It feels like a dream. Don’t you just love to travel? I want more people to go to Egypt.”
I agreed with Taylor again when she shared, “Mom and I are avid travelers, and it’s because of her that I love to travel so much. There are few people in the world that I’d choose to travel with, but I would follow her anywhere.” Travel with your daughter, your mother, your son, your father. Experience the world with someone who views things differently than you do, and see where it takes you. At the very least, you will come home with experiences to cherish.
And this is perhaps the greatest gift of family travel: shared memories. I returned from Egypt feeling closer than ever to my mother, and the enjoyment of our trip did not end with our return home. We continued to talk about our favorite moments, reminisced over photographs and even attempted to recreate our favorite Egyptian dishes in our own kitchen. While kanafeh (a sweet Egyptian dessert) doesn’t taste quite the same back in New York, cooking it with my mom was a fun way to keep the joy of our trip alive. At the very least, it’s enough to keep the adventure going until our next journey.