Travel is an experience that’s even sweeter when shared, especially when we’re able to travel with the people who matter most to us. TFA staffers Christine and Kelsey know this firsthand – not just through their everyday work in helping our guests plan unforgettable adventures with their families, but in their own travels, too. The sisters got the chance to travel with their mom on our South Africa Family Adventure, and we thought there couldn’t be a more perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day than hearing all about their mother-daughter journey.
How did you decide to travel to South Africa together?
Christine: I was asked to join this trip and asked my mom and sister to come long. This was my mom’s first real international trip, and I thought this could be a great opportunity to do something as a family.
Kelsey: I was excited because it would be our first big international trip together and I had wanted to go to South Africa for a very long time.
Can you share some memories of traveling with your mom on this trip?
- Sitting on a dirt path on safari being completely surrounded by elephants, just watching them play. It was maybe only 10 minutes, but felt like we were there for hours.
- Laughing as we tried to figure out how to maneuver the off-roading Segway’s on our excursion through the winelands.
- Trying new food together at an authentic South African Restaurant; teaching our guide what s’mores are.
- Seeing my mom cry at the end of the trip because she had just experienced a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
- Before the trip started, we went to Port Elizabeth to watch the South Africa Springboks Rugby team take on Ireland—it was so fun getting to share my love of rugby with my family.
- Hiking out to the Cape of Good Hope was very memorable, we’ve never seen anything so beautiful!
- Dinners with the group belly-laughing at one of the dads on the trip as he attempted to speak Xhosa. We still talk about these dinners to this day!
- Celebrating the 4th of July while on safari, singing the national anthem and sharing our love for s’mores with our South African guides who had never heard of them before!
Was there anything that surprised you about traveling with your mom?
Christine: How open she was and willing to try and do anything. Not hesitant at all. Really lived in the moment and you could see how happy and relaxed she was (which doesn’t happen often!)
Kelsey: She was able to actually enjoy the trip since she was usually in charge of logistics and planning when we would go away as kids. I think it has really inspired her to say “yes” to traveling more.
You’re both involved in the adventure travel business. Did your mom spark a love of travel in you both?
Christine: We didn’t really do any traveling growing up. We usually went camping, or did small day trips, never traveled internationally. I think because we didn’t have those experiences growing up, the curiosity to see what the world is what sparked my interest in travel. And now, being able to share these worldly experiences with her is pretty awesome.
Kelsey: We never traveled internationally as kids, always weekend/week long trips throughout New England. Traveling to South Africa certainly helped spark wanderlust, and getting to experience that with my family made it even better.
Do you have any advice for mother/daughter duos traveling together?
Christine: Laugh and enjoy every minute together. Just go with the flow and you never know where the experiences will take you!
Kelsey: Take lots of pictures and really try and take in the moments. We’ve had so many good memories from traveling. Be open to new experiences and don’t be afraid to say yes to new things, because those will end up being what creates lifelong memories!