My earliest memory of traveling is visiting my parents’ home country of México when I was six years old. Because they were unable to afford airfare for our family of six, we caravanned with four other families, making a 36-hour pilgrimage from Los Angeles to my dad’s home state of Colima.
For this trip, my parents saved all year, took unpaid time off work, and sacrificed their sleep. In the more than 20 years since, I’ve taken approximately 25 flights to 10 countries and three continents. My parents, on the other hand, have been to five countries in total between the two of them, if you include both México and the United States.
In her 40s, my mom (who is now 58) traveled to Canada, Italy, and El Salvador—all trips for which she used a significant sum of her life savings, spent time away from her family, and ate mostly sandwiches to save a buck. My father, on the other hand, has only traveled to México and El Salvador, always to visit friends and family rather than to relax or enjoy a vacation.
It’s been almost 20 years since either of my parents has gone to a country other than their homeland, where they now visit primarily when a family member is ill or has passed. Their travel has always been out of sacrifice or necessity—but mine? Always for leisure or in luxury.
My parents’ travel has always been out of sacrifice or necessity—but mine? Always for leisure or in luxury.
You see, I’m a well-being and lifestyle writer who covers travel. As a result, I am often invited on press trips, which are all-expenses-paid trips to new and noteworthy hotels and other destinations