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Featured Friends: Mara from Vacations With Mom


I've been loving having guests on my blog. It's probably one of the best decisions I've made for this blog alongside the Fly Away Friday linkup with Chloe. I love getting to know other travelers and becoming friends along the way while e-mailing back and forth.

Say hello to Mara from Vacations With Mom. The thing that stuck out the most was her blog name and theme. Mara blogs about her - well - vacations with her Mom and features other travelers that do the same. I love that! My parents and brother are my best friends so it makes me happy when I see families traveling together...is that weird? Ah, well. 


1. Tell us about your blog, Vacations With Mom: 

Vacations with Mom celebrates traveling with parents. Travel is such a great way to deepen your relationship with your mom and dad as well as create lasting memories. I'd like to build a community where people can share their own stories, memories, and tips. Everyone is welcome, you don't need to have your own travel blog (there's even a Q&A form that non-bloggers might find easier). I love connecting and hearing about adventures, funny stories, and misty-eyed moments. I hope you'll come have fun and enjoy the site.

2. Tell us about your Mom: 

My mom is adventurous, feisty, and full-of-life. Despite being in her late 80s, she’s sharp and witty. When I tell people her age, they are always shocked. But then again, it is her young attitude that keeps her so youthful. That, and the nearly daily pilates, aerobics, and stretch classes (not to mention the occasional horseback ride). Travel is her favorite form of adventure, and she'd like to fit in as much as possible while she still can. In just the last few years, she's been to Finland, Denmark, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Turkey, Estonia, Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Iceland, and England. Sometimes I'm lucky to tag along.


3. Of course, tell us about yourself too: 


I've had a few different adventures, including being a chocolatier. If you want to see someone's face light up, tell them you have a chocolate business. Now I write (articles, screenplays, short stories, etc.) and have also edited books. Travel writing is fairly new to me, but I'm enjoying it immensely. 

4. What made you want to start this unique blog?: 

The inspiration came after I wrote my first travel article about a trip to Ireland that I took with mom. I was overwhelmed by the positive response. As I wrote more, I noticed that there weren’t any websites that celebrated travel with a parent in a fun, story-driven way. I thought this would be a unique, cool way to bring people together as well as to show appreciation for our parents. 


5. You've recently been on a Euro-trip with your Mom. What locations did you visit? 

We started in England, visiting friends in North Yorkshire. We stayed in Richmond, which is a fabulous old market town that still has cobblestone streets in the center of town. There's also Richmond Castle, an early Norman castle whose construction began around 1070. Next was Northern Ireland. After a brief stay in Belfast (including a black cab tour about the history of The Troubles), we drove the gorgeous Antrim coast, stopping at the Giant's Causeway, Bushmills, the Dark Hedges, among others. We even lucked out to have sunny weather. Our last stop was Iceland. We stayed in Reykjavik and did day trips along the south coast and the Snaefellsnes peninsula. We even went horseback riding—mom's favorite activity of the trip. The Icelandic cuisine was spectacular. The freshest seafood I've ever had. We had such a fabulous time.


6. What mode of transportation do you prefer?
This isn't even a question for us. We LOVE road trips! Our road trip tradition started with a trip to Scotland. We drove across the country, enjoying every minute of the stunning scenery. Each turn brought a new vista to take our breath away. After that, we were hooked. We've driven through Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland, New England, and parts of Quebec and England. We love the freedom to be in the moment that a road trip gives. We've been known to travel without hotel reservations or even the next town in mind. I'm so appreciative of mom for her sense of adventure and love of spontaneity.

7. Where's the most memorable or unique place you've visited? 

One of the most unique experiences mom and I have had together was visiting Turkey when I was young. Although Istanbul, in and of itself, was unlike anything I'd seen to that point, what made it truly unique was the event to come shortly after we left. While we were visiting, I'd noticed the military presence. For a very young girl from California, seeing a truckload of soldiers with guns was disconcerting. Though mom assured me not to worry. Then, a week after we left, there was a military coup and the civilian government fell. It's not every day you're in a country right before a coup! Thankfully, we'd already left. And we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Istanbul. I'd never seen anything quite like Hagia Sophia. It possesses a stunning beauty and grandeur—a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. It's one of the most memorable sites from all of my travels.



8. Have you had any culinary experiences that forced you out of your comfort zone? 

I'll go back to childhood for this. On one of our trips, Mom told me to take a bite of her dish, which I of course did. It tasted pretty good, and I asked what it was. Her reply stunned me. "Brains." This was way out of my comfort zone, especially at such a young age. "What?? How could you give me brains without telling me!" I was not happy. Mom didn't think it was a big deal. The end result: I'm a big proponent of not tricking kids into eating things. 



9. What's next for Vacations with Mom? 

Mom would like to do a road trip through New Zealand, possibly in February. We've also talked about going to Switzerland and taking the Rhaetian Railway's Bernina line through the Swiss Alps. It is one of the few trains in the world to have UNESCO world heritage status. And who knows, we may pop back to Northern Ireland again. Mom simply loved it and would go back in a heartbeat. Perhaps we'll even stay local and do some U.S. road trips.

10. Where can people find you on social media? Anything you'd like to add? 

My twitter is @vacations_w_mom and Pinterest is www.pinterest.com/vacations_w_mom and, of course, the website is www.vacationswithmom.com 


I'll close with: dream big, follow your passion, and create the life you want.


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Thank you again Mara (and your Mom!) for gracing us with your presence on my blog today. It was so fun interviewing you and discovering more about you. I hope all of you enjoyed getting to know them as much as I did! 

Want to read other interviews? Click here.

The next spot available for features is January! Interested? 
Send me an e-mail: hello@lifeinwanderlust.com 

♡♡♡

30 comments

  1. What a beautiful idea for the blog. Sadly, I haven't seen my mom in months now and this really made me miss some of the vacations we have taken together. xoxo, nano | www.travelwithnanob.com

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    1. Thank you so much Nano! Aww, I hope you get to see your Mom soon! Thank you for stopping by! xo

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    2. Hi Nano! So happy we connected on Twitter. I look forward to hearing about your adventures with your mom!

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  2. This is such a nice concept. I enjoyed the photos and the feature information as well.
    I'd like to invite you to join the weekly photo linkup at image-in-ing. It opens weekly as Tuesday dawns "down under" and remains open all week long. Here's how to find this week's party:
    http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-man-in-moon.html

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    1. Thank you so much Sue! Oh fun, I'll definitely look into that! Thanks for stopping by! xo

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    2. Thanks Sue. I'll check it out!

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  3. I absolutely love this! I can't believe your mum is in her late 80s - what a trooper. I travel a lot with my mum and we drive each other mad, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything in the world. Thank you for sharing your story!

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    1. Hi Flo! Yes, mom has quite the sense of adventure! So happy to hear you have escapades with your mom too! It's the best. If you ever want to share, let me know! We'd love to have you on the website.

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  4. It's a lovely idea - I don't travel much with my Mum now (she is living in a different country) though I do with my daughter. The 3 of us travelling together would probably make for a disaster! Love the idea though so may give it a go! I recently took my niece on a trip through Italy and onto and we took the Bernina Express from Tirano to Chur - highly recommend it! Will be posting the trip on my blog soon 😊

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    1. I hope we take the Bernina Express. It looks breathtaking! I look forward to reading about your trip and seeing the photos!

      Definitely try to do a big trip w/ your mum and daughter. Haha, it'll be a beautiful disaster! Memories you'll forever have. ��

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  5. Wow - what an inspirational lady! I hope I can aspire to be even a little like that when I'm her age. #flyawayfriday

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    1. Hi Alex! You can do it! It's all in the attitude (and lots of exercise helps). Mom simply wants to do and enjoy as much as possible and is determined not to let age stand in her way. So I say go for it!

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  6. I want to be this kind of mother! What a great concept & inspirational lady. My grandmother travelled around Europe in a van with her son when she was in her 70s! I always thought that was an incredible trip to do and I'd like to be her when I'm that age.

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    1. Hi Juliette. Your grandmother sounds pretty inspirational, too! How wonderful that she road tripped across Europe in her 70s! Set the intention and I'm sure you'll be just as fabulous! ;)

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  7. I would love to travel more with my mom. She's one of my best friends and we both love to explore new places. I'm really impressed with the concept of Mara's blog. I hope to be that capable when I am that age. #FlyAwayFriday

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    1. Hi Allison. So lovely that you and your mom are so close! Sounds like you'll be having some new adventures together, soon! I look forward to reading about them. :)

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  8. This is a heart warming travel blog! It made me think of my mom. We live on different continents and don't see each other often. I am going to tell my mom about this blog and see if I can convince her for a trip together. Very inspirig and kind idea.
    #FlyAwayFriday

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    1. Thanks so much for you kind words. I'm so happy to hear you found our blog inspiring! I hope you and your mom plan a trip soon! I'd be happy to help convince her. ;)

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  9. This is great that you've been able to travel so much with your Mom! It sounds like you have some unique experiences together! #FlyAwayFriday

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    1. Thanks for reading, Ava! We've been lucky to have some amazing adventures.

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  10. This is very cool! I have to congratulate Mara for starting a blog so unique and inspiring. It would be wonderful to see all families travel together. For the longest time, I have wanted to do a trip with my mom (it doesn't have to be long).

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    1. Thank you for the congratulations, Ruth! Definitely do a trip with your mom! Even if it's for a weekend. So many memories. I'm sure your mom will have the biggest smile!

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  11. What a great post and a great insight into a fab and unique blog from Mara. What an amazing experience for them both and wonderful that they can travel so well together, think I would struggle to do this with my family! New experiences at any age is inspiring #flyawayfriday

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    1. Thanks for your kind thoughts. Maybe try it someday with your family. It can have its challenges, but if you all really want to make it happen and agree to compromise and be patient with each other, it can be worth it! Give me a shout if you ever do it. ;) Though I totally get that w/ some families it might be too challenging.

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  12. Oh I love this so much! Me and my mum have been on several trips together in the past few years and have had the best time. I feel so lucky to have a travel buddy in her and it's lovely to see others having adventures with their mums too! #FlyAwayFriday

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    1. Aw, thanks, Kat. I love that you love it! Awesome that you travel with your mom, too! If you ever want to share about some of your old or new trips with your mom on the website, we'd love to have you!

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  13. Love this! It also makes me so happy seeing people who travel with their family members <3 #FlyAwayFriday

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  14. I'm happy we made you smile! Thanks, Anna!

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  15. I love this!! This is so cool to see families traveling together. So inspiring because more families should take trips together!!

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    1. Thanks, Chloe! It's always a fun adventure with mom! I agree, more families should do it.

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