How My Grandparents Inspired Me to Travel

by Joanna E
How My Grandparents Inspired Me to Travel

Today is the celebration of National Grandparent’s Day. I honestly didn’t know it existed, but it has been celebrated in the US on the first Sunday after the Labor Day holiday since 1978. With all of the acknowledgments and praises were shown on my social media feeds, it made me realize how much of an inspiration my own grandparents have been to me in regards to travel.

Travel Inspiration from My Grandfather

I never met my paternal grandfather, but from hearing stories, I know he was a hard worker. Like me, he worked and went to school at the same time; going from a stock boy at a local pharmacy to becoming one the head pharmacists in Trinidad and Tobago.

Even though he worked and took care of his children, my father often mentions that every four years my grandparents took 6 months off for travel. These trips started as 2-3 week cruises to Europe stopping in The Canary Islands, Santander, Spain and other ports, eventually docking in Southampton, England. Taking six months to travel is a bit much due to the nature of my full-time job, but his past practices of vacationing confirm that taking time off is necessary; even for the hardest worker.

Traveling in Trinidad and Tobago

Travel Tips from Nan

My maternal grandmother left Trinidad in her early twenties with my aunts and her husband to live in London. She lived there well over 50 years but made frequent trips to the US for weddings, births, anniversaries, and graduations. I always remembered my Nana being out of the house early and back late in the evening, mastering the NYC transit system and the Greyhound Bus to visit childhood friends, family members and do lots of shopping.

Nan traveled within Europe, the Caribbean, and the US; It wasn’t until her later years that her health prevented her from traveling. Her actions showed me that there is no problem with solo travel and she often encouraged me to do so after I graduated from college. Since I am in good health and have ‘no chick nor child’, there shouldn’t be anything to stop me.

Family Trip in Kissimmee

I hope my travels are an inspiration to my nieces and nephews to see the world differently from what they’re used to. As young as they are now, I’ve already been asked to come on a trip. I still have a lot of places to go; one day I’ll bring them along.

What inspires you to travel more?

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26 comments

AC Mims September 21, 2015 - 3:10 PM

Wow, 6 months every 4 years is amazing. Now I have a new goal. Thanks for sharing your grandparents with us!

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Joanna E September 22, 2015 - 8:13 PM

I’ll try my best to accomplish that one day.

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Kasi September 21, 2015 - 7:39 PM

That’s so nice your grandparents were able to inspire you like that! My friends and family inspire me to travel as well.

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Bree September 21, 2015 - 10:18 PM

This is so special! For me it was my aunt and uncle – they travel to at least two new countries a year and have been for at least 20 years. As I have gotten older, and a little more resources I have made sure to see the world too. My good friend inspired me to take it up a level, I now have a travel plan that I hope to fulfill by age 30.

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Joanna E September 22, 2015 - 8:14 PM

That sounds awesome. My list keeps on growing. With all these flight deals, I’m sure you’ll accomplish them.

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V. Dotter September 22, 2015 - 4:02 AM

That’s so great for you to listen and reach out to your heritage. family is very important to me and I believe it resonates with you so – and this is such a tribute to your parents as well as your grandparents, to acknowledge their presence in your endeavors. We all live to be remembered.

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Joanna E September 22, 2015 - 8:14 PM

Thank you. 🙂

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Sanura September 22, 2015 - 4:54 PM

Lovely post! My dad inspires me to travel. Not because he traveled but because he always encouraged me to make the most of life and to take advantage of all the world has to offer. So whenever I go somewhere new I feel like I’m taking him with me 🙂

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Joanna E September 22, 2015 - 8:15 PM

Yes! My mom is ALWAYS telling me to go out and see the world. I’m glad my parents are so encouraging.

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Kiwi September 22, 2015 - 5:42 PM

My aunt and grandmother also inspired me to travel. I have been traveling with them since I was two years old going on roadtrips. I am the traveler I am today because of them!

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Rachee September 22, 2015 - 5:44 PM

There are a few friends who always seem to be on the go. One does races as she travels around the country! I love that idea and think that’s something I would like to do.

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Joanna E September 22, 2015 - 8:16 PM

That’s pretty cool.

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Valerie September 22, 2015 - 6:25 PM

I’ve inspired myself to travel. So often, people get in a comfort zone, not realizing that there is so much more of the world to see!

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Joanna E September 22, 2015 - 8:16 PM

Exactly! I get bored so easily. I need to get out and explore! lol

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Christine @MomsNCharge September 22, 2015 - 6:38 PM

Awww what an amazing story! That’s the kind of life I want to build with my husband and children. I would love for this story to be one that my kids are telling their kids down the road.

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Tyra September 23, 2015 - 1:33 AM

This is an amazing goal! Such an amazing inspiration! I love to travel and I love these types of stories.

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Tanay September 23, 2015 - 2:54 AM

6 months every 4 years? #travelgoals lol.. That’s amazing! I’ve done barely any traveling but I want to even more now WITH my son. I want him to be able to experience all kinds of things that I didn’t.

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Joanna E October 3, 2015 - 4:06 PM

That sounds awesome. I’m sure you both will love it.

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Kimberly Bolden September 23, 2015 - 6:36 AM

There is so much of the world to see and so much life lessons to learn. Continue to travel the world my friend.

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Joanna E October 3, 2015 - 4:05 PM

I plan to! Thanks Kimberly

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Yaya September 23, 2015 - 7:24 AM

Your grandparents sound amazing. I love that travel was important to them and they made sure they included it in their lives.

I would love to be able to take 6 months to travel but thatshe probably not practical for me either, but if I could get up to 3 months, I would be good

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Joanna E October 3, 2015 - 4:05 PM

Girl a weekend is good for me. As long as I go somewhere or do something fun! lol

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Jonna September 23, 2015 - 4:11 PM

I can’t say a person has. But my blog has definitely inspired me to travel more. I always took road trips as a child; my parents made it a point to explore different cities and visit people. As I got older, I was less motivated to take trips. But wanting to attend different events, and being a brand ambassador for EDEN BodyWorks has definitely put me on the road more. Now the vacation part of traveling – that’s another story.

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Joanna E October 3, 2015 - 4:03 PM

That’s still great! I can’t wait to use my Technical skills to travel full time. That’s my ultimate goal. Have them pay and me enjoy the experience. 🙂

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Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green September 24, 2015 - 12:18 AM

I love this, Grandparents are so freaking amazing. Some of my most treasured moments are with my grandparents. I would love to take off 6 months just to travel.

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Joanna E October 3, 2015 - 4:01 PM

They really are! My grandmother lived in London, but I miss her so much more now that she’s really gone. I wanted to do a year after I graduated school, but adulthood. lol

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