by Lindsay Colip

In my opinion, one of the best perks in life is being able to take a romantic vacation with the one you love. These little getaways essentially bring you closer together and remind you why you’re in love. You have plenty of alone time without work or family bothering you and you get to see each other happy and relaxed. Perfect, right!?? Let’s get on a plane right now to St Barths and enjoy life to the fullest!! Wait, what if you don’t have a significant other? What if the love of your life has left? Or you left them? What if you’re single and broke and broken hearted? What then? Well, I have a solution. Travel with your parents!

I know, I know. This must sound ridiculous, but hear me out. I just spent 10 days on vacation with my parents and it was the best decision I’ve made in a while. Let me back up. My parents participate in “Euro Bike” adventures every year with people their age (50s-60s) in various European countries. They have raved about these trips for years now and have always encouraged my older brother and I to join. In the past my reaction has always been “um, thanks but no thanks” but this year was different. I was single, I was restless, I felt claustrophobic in Los Angeles and I was determined to shake my life up. So when that yearly phone call came in and they asked if I wanted to join, my answer was “YES YES YES!” And then I regretted it almost immediately. What was I thinking? 4 couples in their 60s and ME? Traveling to France alone? A big concern I had was that everyone would be going to bed at 7pm and what was I supposed to do for the next 5 hours until I fell asleep? Ambien myself every night? And sit down dinners every night with strangers? Again, in their 60s?

Well, I decided that the good outweighed the bad. A free open-ended flight to Paris courtesy of my dad, biking through the Loire Valley in France (I’ve taken French since 1st grade so I was excited to see all the castles I’d heard about for years), gorgeous 5 course dinners every night, beautiful hotels, and all the French wine I could guzzle. Done and done! So I traveled to Paris a week before my parents arrived, just to get my fix of my favorite city in the world, and then I meet them in Versailles to start the adventure. I won’t bore you with how amazing the trip was in terms of what I saw, what I ate and drank, and how great I looked in my bubble shorts. What I will tell you about is how amazing it was to spend a week as a 28 yr old with my parents.

First of all, they still think I’m 12. Every night when I’d leave their hotel room and walk 5 feet to mine, either next door or across the hall, my mom would say to me “Good night, be safe.” Now, I don’t know what kind of trouble I’m going to get in walking across the hall but she made sure to tell me to be safe every single night. But on the flip, because they still think I’m 12, they paid for everything. This isn’t something that would necessarily happen on a romantic getaway with your significant other. You’d pay for 1/2 or all or part, whatever. But not when you’re with your parents. They seemed to be so happy I was actually there that they treated me to everything. Additionally, my dad used to give me these fantastic foot rubs growing up that unfortunately none of my boyfriends seem too excited to give. Well, to my delight and surprise, those resurfaced in France too!

It was also incredible to be with my parents without a stressful holiday engulfing our visit. We didn’t have to cook Thanksgiving dinner, decorate a tree, or shop for and wrap 45 gifts. We just got to be, for 10 days. I didn’t have anywhere else to be or have anyone else to see whereas being back home for the holidays demands loads of visits. Let the bonding begin! We had adult conversations, talked candidly about life and love, discussed politics, etc. It was fun finding out who my parents were as humans and not just as ‘mom and dad’. I was bummed my brother didn’t join us, but in all honestly it was incredible to have all the attention from them for a week. Not that he and I ever competed or anything, but it wasn’t even an issue.

This trip was full of the loving attention I had been needing so desperately. Full of the movement and the momentum that I was craving. Full of love, good food, better wine, everything I had been longing for over the last few months. I can’t believe I even thought about not going! It renewed my spirit and made the bond between my parents and I rock solid. If you have the opportunity to travel with your parents for even just a weekend, do it! And even if they embarrass the living daylights out of you, and they just might, try to really enjoy every second of it. I feel really blessed to have both of my parents, healthy and adventurous, and even more blessed that we have this incredible memory that we’ll be talking about for years. No, I didn’t get to cuddle with anyone or kiss under the stars, but what I did get was pretty great. I got a weeks worth of French wine and foot rubs! And mom, so you know, I made it back to my room safe and sound every single night.