When you became independent, you were eager to enjoy your newly acquired autonomy. You focused on building your career, family, and new routines, and the time you spent with your parents was greatly reduced.
Today, you might share some holidays with them or visit them occasionally and help them with certain daily chores, but your quality moments together have become increasingly rare. It’s for this reason that we suggest you travel with your parents as an adult and enjoy all its associated benefits.
It’s quite possible that your last shared experience of this nature dates back to your younger years, perhaps even to your childhood. Since then, it’s been your friends or partner who’ve become your travel companions.
Therefore, discovering new cultures, exploring new cities, and visiting different landscapes hand in hand with your parents may seem strange to you. They may not initially even be keen to do so themselves. However, there are several reasons for doing so. We’re going to share them with you.
Why travel with your parents?
If you’re a confirmed traveler, you’ll already know all the benefits of small or large getaways. But, experiencing them with your parents can be even more enriching. Here are the main reasons:
It increases the well-being and happiness of both parties
Traveling makes us happy. Indeed, this has been proven on numerous occasions. Getting out of your routine and having new experiences helps you reduce everyday stress and experience more positive emotions. As a matter of fact, this happiness arises even before you leave home. In fact, research has found that planning and anticipating a trip improves our subjective well-being and feelings of satisfaction with life.
This extra dose of excitement can be especially beneficial for older adults. That’s because certain events that take place at this stage (such as retirement, empty nest syndrome, or the loss of those close to them) can increase the risk of apathy, dysthymia, or depression. So, the anticipation of traveling with their children can be a real boost to their mood.
But it’s not only parents who benefit from these experiences. They can also be a great source of gratification for their children. In fact, although it’s often perceived as an obligation, traveling with parents is a great opportunity to talk with them, increase camaraderie, do things of shared interest, and enjoy each other’s company. The whole experience can be extremely enjoyable, stimulating, and satisfying.
It fosters a feeling of belonging and purpose
One of the hardest aspects of growing old is feeling that we’re no longer needed. Indeed, when children become independent, parents can experience a real shake-up in their identities that for so long have been closely built around fatherhood and motherhood. Gradually, they begin to feel more distant from their offspring, less useful and necessary to them, and even almost invisible.
For this reason, proposing a shared trip with your own parents is an excellent way of expressing how important they continue to be in your life. After all, despite the fact that you no longer depend on them, you continue to need and value their support, advice, experience, and company.
It allows you to strengthen the ties between you
As we mentioned earlier, the quality time you share with your parents in adulthood is usually increasingly scarce. The work, family, and personal obligations of both parties can make it difficult to find moments to be together. Therefore, if you want to continue nurturing the ties between you, traveling is an excellent way to achieve it.
Traveling together is an experience in which there’ll be no schedules or pressures. Consequently, you’ll be able to talk together, feel closer, rediscover yourselves, and, ultimately, dedicate quality time to each other. Furthermore, it allows you to improve communication between you, strengthen ties, and increase your overall satisfaction with your relationship.
It’s never too late to learn
Despite the fact that older adults are in the last third of their lives, this doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy some personally enriching and transformative times. As a matter of fact, this stage of life is conducive to reflection, analysis of values and priorities, and broadening of personal perspectives. And nothing is more suitable for personal growth than traveling.
Contact with other cultures, places, and realities can help people (of any age) to develop tolerance, empathy, and critical thinking. It’s also interesting and enriching on a personal level to discover and experience the history, traditions, and ways of life of other places.
Moreover, traveling with your parents as an adult will allow you to generate healthy conversations and debates with them on various topics.
Travel with your parents in adulthood and create lasting memories
Finally, as well as all the above benefits, if you travel with your parents as an adult, it’ll be an excellent opportunity to generate memories that’ll eventually prove to be a gift.
Understandably, your daily obligations or the distance between you can make frequent contact difficult. However, when age-related deterioration eventually prevents your parents from having any further new experiences, or when they’ve eventually passed on, these shared moments will be a true treasure for you that you’ll be extremely grateful to have experienced.
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