There was never a dull moment growing up with a woman who lived life with passion and craved adventure. I inherited these qualities from her, and I am forever grateful.
I never realized until I embarked on my most recent adventure that my mom has always been my go to for travel inspiration. Growing up I loved hearing her stories of backpacking through Europe in the 70s, and living in Nigeria in her early twenties. She’s a woman who has always taken the road less travelled and truly believes we must create our own opportunities. That’s exactly what she did and what she has taught me to do.
One of my favourite memories is from when I was in elementary school, when once a year she would call my school to tell them I would not be coming in that day – she called it our mental health day. We once went to a local Children’s Festival that was put on every June in my hometown, where we would spend the day in the sun, dancing, singing and making crafts with new friends. Each year I looked forward to the sunny morning in June when she would tell me it was our mental health day; it was an adrenalin rush for an eight-year-old.
When I got older we planned annual mother-daughter canoe trips that often ended in disaster, like the one time my mom decided she was a fairy nymph and would bathe in the waterfall directly beside our campsite – only to fall down said waterfall and break her elbow. Or the time we had just finished our last day of paddling and were pulling up to the dock, only to find three feet of mud between us and the dock. By the time we made it to shore there was mud everywhere, but instead of getting mad we just looked at each other and laughed until our bellies hurt. It’s these moments that created some of my favourite memories.
There was a never a dull moment growing up with a woman who lived life with passion and craved adventure. I inherited these qualities from her, and I am forever grateful. Mom always jumped at the chance to show me the world, and somewhere along the ride I found myself craving to see more.
I finally took the leap and left on my solo adventure last September. Ten countries later, here I am living on a farm in eastern Australia with no return ticket home. Unfortunately, this means this Mother's Day I will not be able to thank my mom for one of the many gifts she has given me – my sense of adventure. But I will call her this Mother's Day and we will laugh together, just like we always do, about my new job as a farmer and how I cannot get the mud out of my hair. And I will say "Happy Mother's Day mamma, thank you for giving me my wings."
Author - Benicia Campbell- Acevedo
Benicia Campbell-Acevedo is a Canadian currently living in Australia on a working holiday visa. She has been traveling for the past seven months throughout the Middle East, Europe and Southeast Asia. She’s hoping to do a road trip all around Australia once she has completed her farm work, as she might decide to stay for another year!