Why Gifting Travel Can Be the Best Mother’s Day Present

For a Mother’s Day present I purchased two round trip tickets to Dublin, Ireland for my mom and I.  Nine joyous days will be enjoyed touring the lush, verdant landscape and exploring our Irish heritage in Mayo County.  We are both looking forward to an adventure filled with delicious food, a friendly and helpful population and photogenic landscape.

Why Gifting Travel Can Be the Best Mother’s Day Present

My Mother's Day Present: My Mom at the Rock of Cashel, Ireland. According to local mythology, the Rock of Cashel originated in the Devil's Bit, a mountain 20 miles (30 km) north of Cashel when St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock's landing in Cashel.[1] Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century.
My Mother’s Day Present: My Mom at the Rock of Cashel, Ireland. According to local mythology, the Rock of Cashel originated in the Devil’s Bit, a mountain 20 miles (30 km) north of Cashel when St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock’s landing in Cashel. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century.

Instead of giving presents, I wanted to bestow a Mother’s Day present of travel.

Most all of us spend money on purchasing stuff to give away on momentous occasions.  Even though our thoughts are appreciated, they usually don’t have the lasting impact we desire.  Flowers are pretty and fragrant, while eloquent cards may be moving.  Family dinners are nourishing and special.  However, how much do they really alter our loved one’s perspective?

I much prefer investing in experiences like travel rather than in something more material and fleeting.  Why not inspire someone with a trip that transports both literally and figuratively?  Those are the type of presents people really appreciate.

My Mother's Day present.   This is my mom's first time to Europe. She's thrilled about being able to reconnect with the country of her heritage.
My Mother’s Day present.   This is my mom’s first time to Europe. She’s thrilled about being able to reconnect with the country of her heritage.

Some of my most joyous and memorial experiences have been spent traveling with those I love.

We’ve shared adventures with my parents to Italy, Spain, Mexico and France.  Even today looking back at those vacation photos, seeing the smiles on their faces animates and gratifies me.  Decades later they still have significance.

Believe it or not this trip is not even that expensive.  First we found cost effective airfare through Norwegian Air.  Then hotels cost less than $100 USD per night outside Dublin.  Furthermore rental cars do not break the bank.  Lastly, food can be as economical as we desire.  Regardless, all these costs are immaterial as the trip’s aggregate value is superior in terms of its impact on my mother.

Nevertheless this voyage to Ireland certainly comes with its challenges.

We lost my father last year to lung disease, so his absence will be felt.  Additionally, due to polio my Mom requires crutches and often a wheelchair.  Special accommodations are necessary like entrances with no steps and bathrooms with accessible showers.  That eliminates many Airbnb rentals.  Then there is all the luggage, and the fact that I need to push her around while juggling the bags.

These added requirements are not burdens.  I view them more as details that need addressing.  Traveling and being able to share this experience with someone I love more than makes up for any added stresses.

My Mother's Day present.   Our flight in due to take off in an hour, so we stopped for a quick dinner and a chance for me to write in my blog.
My Mother’s Day present.   Our flight in due to take off in an hour, so we stopped for a quick dinner and a chance for me to write in my blog.

Truly it’s a joy traveling with my mom.

Besides her physical limitations she has a great attitude and is always ready for adventure.  Her recommendations in terms of possible itineraries are always interesting and helpful.  I also enjoy her company.

How can I not help my mom pursue her dream of going to Ireland?  It’s the least I can do after all she’s done for me: raised me, paid for my education, helped me become the success I am today.  Shouldn’t all progeny compensate their parents with unconditional love?

I hope everyone has the chance to give the gift of travel whether it be on Mother’s Day or any other day.  Does one really need an excuse to explore the globe?  The feeling of satisfaction that comes with bestowing a life experience more than compensates any associated costs.

Mother's Day present.   Since my mom travels in a wheelchair we're able to skip all the lines at the airport. Bonus!
Mother’s Day present.   Since my mom travels in a wheelchair we’re able to skip all the lines at the airport. Bonus!

What exciting gifts have you bestowed (or been bestowed with) on Mother’s Day?

Please leave your answers in the comments!

Happy travels,

Matt Weatherbee

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Matt Weatherbee
Matt Weatherbee

Hi, I’m Matt.  In 2008 I quit my job, sold everything and drove from Boston to Mexico to start a business.  Now I live and work in the Carribean, and spend my free time traveling the globe.  Learn more.

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