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 acknowledgements and praises 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.
I never met my paternal grandfather, but from hearing stories, I know he was a hard worker. Much 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 time off is necessary; even for the hardest worker.
My maternal grandmother left Trinidad in her early twenties with my aunts and her husband to live in England. 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 college. Since I am in good health and have ‘no chick nor child’, there shouldn’t be anything to stop me.
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?