Hi. It’s Mara, kicking off our “Vacations with Mom” Q&A interviews.

Where are you from and share a little about your mom or dad.
Mom & I are from California. Mom's always loved to travel and has been all over the map. Sometimes I've been lucky enough to tag along.

How often do you travel together?
It varies. You'd think with mom's advancing age that we'd be reducing the number of trips. But she's now of the mindset of wanting to fit in as much as possible while she's still physically able to take more exotic and extended trips. Though it's a balance. After each trip, we evaluate what she'll be able to do in the future.

Best tip or words of advice for traveling with parents?
Be patient! Being patient and understanding helps to smooth things over so you can get back to having fun. Remember, the trip doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, it's usually the unexpected quirks and hiccups that lead to the best stories and adventures.

Any funny stories or light-hearted blunders?
Yes. Please check out the "My Blog" section of the website.

What are your favorite activities on vacation together?
We love to rent a car and just drive. Mom loves to enjoy the scenery while we explore (often without a set itinerary). And, of course, stopping for fantastic meals!

What places are on your shared bucket list?
Mom would like to go to South Africa next. We also have New Zealand on our list. And mom gets inspired by the numerous articles she reads and loves to spring her latest must-visit travel obsession on me. ?

Planes, trains, or automobiles?
Without question, automobiles! (With a little assist from a plane.) Like I said, mom loves road trips!

Any notable or unique culinary experiences?
I'm actually going back to childhood for this one. We were in Australia and mom ordered eel. I think she thought it would be similar to grilled unagi. Mom is presented with a large pot with a lid. She takes off the lid and it's filled with what appeared to be whole eels. I asked if she was sending it back, but she was too polite. I don't know how she managed to eat it!

Do you have a favorite travel memory that encapsulates your parent’s spirit?
I'll be doing a future article about my favorite one. For now, lets just say that it involves Italy, a revolving door, and an Aperol Spritz in a martini glass.

What do you cherish the most about your travels together?
It's an opportunity to broaden and deepen our relationship. In day-to-day life, we often fall into a pattern of talking about the same topics and doing the same things. But when we hit the road, each day is a special adventure that we'll always remember. I love seeing mom happy and travel brings her such joy.

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