Traveling with Mom

Travel with mom to California


The past Thanksgiving holiday, my husband and I took my mom, who was visiting us from China to California for a road trip.


We flew to San Francisco from New York and drove 600 miles to Las Vegas, Nevada, stopping at several destinations along the Highway 1. It was my mom’s first road trip in the US. She couldn’t be happier.


After her retirement, my mom is used to traveling with tours in China. She always tells me how those young tour members like her and keep in contact with her even after the trips. She likes making new friends of all ages, welcoming physical challenges like hiking and skiing, and getting inspired by destinations and people from all walks of life.


My mom loves to travel. When I was very little and traveling was not as popular, she would take me on different kinds of trips.


She believes that it is important to travel young because the experience of navigating a new city, interacting with locals with different traditions would shape my worldview and broaden my mind.

With that, I became an avid storyteller in school.


Mom is my best travel mate.


We share the same interests and curiosities. She is enthusiastic, entertaining, flexible and creative. During the trip, she was eager to try different cuisines without sticking to Chinese. She didn’t mind getting up pre-dawn to catch the sunrise over the sea. She showed her genuine interest in American football when talking with my American friend and ended up drinking beers while watching a football game at a loud sports bar. She was so intrigued by the steep slopes in San Francisco that she not only used a mobile app to measure the gradient but also sat on the street to feel it under her butt!


Mom loves taking photos to seize the moment. She is not a nostalgic person but she does love looking at our photos time to time, especially because I am not around most of the time after I moved to the US. People who like to be photographed will like to travel with someone helpful and patient like my mom, who has a talent for finding unique angles! One time, I randomly posted a photo on Instagram that she took for me along the 17-mile drive and that received more than 130 likes within a day, totally breaking my personal record!


Mom is also funny. We were constantly amused by her cool observations and wise jokes during the trip.


Before we left Warner Brothers Studio Hollywood, we arrived at Stage 48: script to screen, which offered us a unique interacting experience to learn more about movie making process.


There was an area with the same setup as seen in The Lord of the Rings. While one person is performing in the area, others could see it via a TV screen nearby. Mom was encouraged to give a try. She instantly performed as someone who would like to pour some wine but found the bottle was empty and furiously punched on the table. She was so confident and her performance was very exaggerated, so everyone in  “audience” was cracking up!  That became my best memory in Los Angeles.


Another time, we were driving from The Joshua Tree National Park to Las Vegas, passing through a desert area next to Sheephole Valley Wilderness. We were cruising along with no traffic! My husband and I were immersed in the beauty of the vast landscape and the ever-changing color of the sky after the sunset, while mom was very alert with her eyes wide open. She said what if someone rushed out on the road to rob us? My husband and I burst into laughter when we realized that mom has been focusing on plans to handle robbery on an incredibly beautiful country road. Obviously, after three years with many road trips taken, we are more confident than first-timer in the safety of the US.


I really enjoyed traveling and bounding together with my mom, who is also my best friend.


I encourage her to use her newly learned English to order food like she encouraged me to ask for directions with strangers when I was little. I dress her up with advice on new fashion trends like she taught me what color go together when I was little. She shares her life experience with me while I infuse her with my insights of the new world. My mom is someone who gets excited about little things in life which I totally inherit and feel very lucky. When we are together, the excitement doubles and brings many long lasting lovely memories. Our road trip in California has definitely become one of them.