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Every August, my mother would take me “home” to Glasgow. My earliest memories include the scent of the cool Scottish air (so different from the muggy heat of Toronto we’d left behind just 7 hours ago), spending a few minutes deciphering the accent, and feeling so disoriented driving home from the airport on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. To this day, when traveling to countries where driving is on the left, I always look the wrong way before crossing the street.
We wouldn’t stay put in Glasgow for the whole 3 weeks, though. Every year we’d hop on the train and head somewhere new for a few days. Often it was Edinburgh, and a trip to Edinburgh Castle (map). A few times it was London, and I vividly remember climbing the lions in Trafalgar Square (map), and idyllic afternoons in Hampstead Heath (map). And every year we’d always do the same day trips: a romp and lunch at the lovely Loch Lomand (map), exploring the ruins of a 14th century castle and running along the windswept Seamill Beach (map) near Paddy’s Milestone, or just drives through the countryside for lunch in a tiny pub and to delight in the Highland Cows (coos).
This time with my mother was special. As a single mom working full-time, she worked hard to make our yearly trip a success. Even though we mostly stayed with family and friends, I recognize now how expensive these trips must’ve been as well. Of course, as I entered my teen years, I was reluctant to leave my friends and the hot sun behind every August. But as an adult, I’m grateful she persisted. The love of travel has never left me, and I’ve graduated from backpacking through Europe solo to lugging my own brood around.
My daughter went on her first trip at 11 months. My son came along for his first trip when he wasn’t yet 11 weeks. For better or for worse, for us it’s not “Are we there yet?” it’s “When are we going?”
Photo credit: Have Baby Will Travel
AEdinburgh CastleEdinburgh Castle Castle Hill Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH1 2NG, UK 0131 225 6685View Details and Book
BTrafalgar SquareTrafalgar Square, Westminster, London WC2N 5, United KingdomView Details and Book
CYHA Hampstead Heath4 Wellgarth Road, London NW11 7HR, United KingdomView Details and Book
DInkeepers Lodge Loch Lomand (Balloch)Balloch Road, Balloch, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire G83 8LQ, United KingdomView Details and Book
ESeamill, West Kilbride, AyrshireSeamill, West Kilbride, Ayrshire, UKView Details and Book