As the cold and dark Midwest winter settled in, my thoughts drifted to vacation. I craved somewhere bright, sunny, warm, with a sandy beach next to an ocean – the opposite of Indianapolis.
For years, my husband talked about returning to Brazil. I have to admit, I was lukewarm to the idea. We had visited Salvador de Bahia seven years earlier. It was a good trip – not a great trip – and I was really nervous about bringing our six-year old son.
My memory of Salvador was a loud cacophony of sights, sounds, and serious stress with a couple of good beach days sprinkled in for good measure. Could our six year old really handle it? Could I really handle it again?
After a few weeks of discussing our options, I agreed to return to Brazil. We decided to stay in Itacimirim, a small fishing village on the Atlantic Ocean just over an hour away from the city of Salvador.
At this point, my husband is clearly excited. He starts to share details about the trip with our family and family. His excitement is so intoxicating that I start to get excited as well.
It is all going so well until the day I learn that his mother wants to join us. In Brazil. For our vacation. (Cue all of the air getting sucked out of the room now.)
Like many women, I have a dynamic relationship with my mother-in-law (MIL) with all of the good, bad, and ugly wrapped up altogether.
My immediate reaction was no, NO! I was not about to share this vacation with anyone except for my husband and son. Besides, I had barely said yes. And, our first trip was only a good trip, not great trip.
After a few sleepless nights, too-many glasses of wine to count, long runs, and a couple of yoga classes later, I decide to say yes.
What changed my mind?
First, my MIL is aging. She is in her mid-70s and has not returned to Brazil (her homecountry) in 7 years.
Second, this could be her last trip to her homeland.
Finally, and more importantly, this could be her only trip to her homeland with her son, grandson, and me.
So why not? It could be fun – for all of us – and maybe I could use the time to get to know her better.
Well, we did it, we all went to Brazil together. And you know what? It was one of the best trips I have ever had. It opened up my eyes to the possibility of having an amazing and rich experience of traveling as bigger family – a multigenerational family.
My goal is that Squirts and Seniors will be a space to share what we are learning and we have have learned during our multigenerational trips so that other families will have the confidence to travel as a bigger family as well.
Thanks for stopping by.
Dorothy Hoffman is the creator of the travel blog, Squirts and Seniors. She is a Gen X-er who writes about traveling at home and abroad with her young son and aging parents.