I miss my parents the most when I travel, because I know how they would have liked to hear of my adventures. I hadn’t traveled a great deal when they both died, but when I did it was an equal adventure for them. They couldn’t wait for my calls and for me to relate what I had done each day.
I realize now they were living that part of their lives through me, and enjoying what they were never really able to do. They did travel in the States, Mexico and Canada, but never ventured further than that. I get my “go” gene from my dad who would have taken off to lands unknown, but mother was most comfortable at home. Dad always dreamed of going to see the Holy Land; Mother couldn’t imagine being on an airplane that long, (actually she hated flying anywhere) and when they were finally financially able to go, they were past the age where they would attempt it.
It’s just as well. I know now that Mother would have hijacked the plane after the first four hours and demanded the pilot land somewhere, anywhere fast, so she could get on the first bus home.
No, they were best at home, waiting for my calls, anticipating what my next place would be, living vicariously through me. And that’s okay because I never travel that they are not on my mind. I take pictures of the scenery and think of them. I eat a new dish in a foreign country and know Daddy would not have agreed that it was good—after all it wasn’t “Momma’s cooking. I drag my bags behind me looking for someone who speaks English to tell me the right direction to go, and know that would have made them uncomfortable.
But, I thank them for giving me a sense of adventure, of courage to go to new places and see new things, most of the time as an independent traveler. And I know they are watching over me when I veer off my path.