Five months ago, my (Debbie’s) Mother, Louise, lost her battle with a rare form of cancer (Liposarcoma). She was 65. She fought so very hard and outlived what every doctor said would happen, by a good near two years. It’s been extremely hard for us adjusting to life without her, as my Mom taught me everything – except for how to live without her. Those thirty years I had with her now seem like they went by in the blink of an eye.
Yes, I know that I am one of the lucky ones. I am an adult; my Mother was very, very much loved and had a good life. She believed with all her heart in God and heaven. But knowing all this hasn’t made losing her much easier. In the months that have followed my Mother’s death, I have managed to look like a normal person. I take my daughters on a walk every day, take them to the park and a myriad of other activities, I answer the phone, I laugh, I smile.
But, truth be told, I’m not okay.
That is where travel becomes more important than ever right now. Grieving is a lonely road; I need to hit the road to help process it all.
My Mom didn’t do too much traveling (compared to my obsession) as she was busy raising her five kids and money was tight, but we always had more than we ever needed as her and my Dad worked harder than anyone to provide for us kids.
Before my Mom and Dad were married, she went on an incredible trip that she would always talk about, and is now what I wish I asked her more about than I did. It is her talking about that trip that created so much wanderlust in me. An uncontrollable wanderlust that will never be cured. And, perhaps it is partially why after losing her way too early that I am going crazy with desire to get out and explore. Anywhere. Traveling always provides a unique vantage point into your life, but when you’re grieving, that vantage point widens into something much more. Traveling fills me with such electricity and a feeling of freedom; something I haven’t felt much since my Mom passed.
I thought as a nice tribute to my beautiful Mom, I would share some of her ‘vintage’ travel photos as she explored places Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, and Greece when she was around age 19. She spoke so highly of her experiences on that trip. The trip was life-changing, as travel does.
My Mom also spoke of going back to Britain after her cancer battle was over and since that wasn’t in her cards, I plan on taking the trip for her someday. We will be taking my Dad to Disneyland with his Grandchildren, our kids at least, as I promised my Mom I would, even if she wasn’t able to come along. My sister and I also plan on recreating her big life-changing trip that is shown below in the photos. Those trips are the only travel plans that would be too difficult right now; I need more time to process.
Breaking routine and getting completely away from my usual surroundings helps me slowly figure out how to move forward. It feels right to use travel to help me grieve and to try to learn how to be genuinely happy again.
I need to feel happy again.
For now, I hope that sharing these photos with you will make a difference in your day. Will create a wanderlust in you. Will create some appreciation for trips that others around you have taken. Will urge you to ask more questions and learn more about experiences important people around you have had. And, will help you get the courage to get out there and travel. Right now. Quit talking about traveling ‘someday’ because the timing will never be ‘right’ if you keep waiting. Make that ‘someday’ be today. Take a chance. Travel.
Note: These photos are unedited so they maintain their vintage look, as if you had them right in your hands. Luckily most of the photos are labelled on the back, so I can at least tell you a little bit about them below.
Have you found that travel helps you while grieving?