A Mother’s Role in Family Travel

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mothers role family travel

A Mother’s Role & My Spectacular Wife

When my wife, son and I left on our around the world trip in April, 2007 I wasn’t quite sure of the roll my wife would play. I was the one planning every little detail of the trip, which made sense considering it was my vision and dream. She sat on the sidelines in support for the 9 months I planned before our departure.

Living on the road isn’t easy and before long I realized that the planning was only a small part of what was needed everyday. The logistics of living on the road with a six year old can be quite overwhelming. Or I should say they can be overwhelming for me, because Jasmine turned out to be a pro.

After our long days of sightseeing, I would spend long nights researching, planning and blogging about our trip. It was exhausting for me, but that was just half of the battle. My wife would do our laundry, take care of my son’s lessons and do whatever else was needed. No matter how tired she was, things got done.

mothers role family travel
Always smiling and brightening our day. Taken in Coban, Guatemala 2007.

Not that I had any doubt, but I quickly realized how essential Jasmine was to the trip. She kept everything working properly. She kept both my son and me in line when we were too tired or unreasonable. She dealt with hotels & service providers when I didn’t have time and energy to do it. She was nothing short of amazing.

I remember one time when we were getting on a bus in the middle of a random city in China. There were three seats available. Two seats were together near the back and one was in the front of the bus in a seat where someone had vomited nearby on the floor. Knowing that I was exhausted and otherwise overwhelmed, she agreed to take the unwanted seat. How blessed am I?

Since our huge year and a half long trip in 2007 & 2008, we have traveled quite a lot more. From smaller road trips around the U.S. to our three month backpacking adventure in Europe, she continued to play her part. Her presence, energy and love drove us out of bed in the morning and made every experience better.

mothers role family travel

My assertions here aren’t simply made to impress my wife on Mother’s day. They are fact. My son and I have traveled alone a few times over the past couple of years. While the trips have still been wonderful, they just weren’t the same. We didn’t have Jasmine to help with logistics and she wasn’t there to share in the memories. Her smile and loony sense of humor wasn’t there to brighten the stressful moments.

In the realm of family travel, the mother is the glue that keeps everything going. We have been able to spend three of the past seven years on the road because of her. Sure I planned where we were going (with her input) and chose how we would get there, but she provided the magic sauce that was the most essential part of it all.

As we begin our new journey in life with our baby Elizabeth, I can’t help but wonder what amazing travels our now family of four has in store. No matter where we go or what we do, I know that having Jasmine by my side makes me the luckiest husband in the world.

Happy Mother’s Day to Jasmine and all of the other amazing mothers out there!


  1. Shawn, one of the reasons I enjoy your blog is the family perspective. My wife manages many details I don’t even think of and I’m very grateful for it. Thanks for all the articles and I look forward to reading about many more family trips!

  2. Great post.

    She’s definitely the glue that holds everything together. Also, I think it’s great that you have a healthy relationship and two great kids. In this day and age that means a lot.

    Over the past year I’ve had to be that glue person as well and take on roles that I was otherwise not used to. It It is A LOT of logistical work that for the most part isn’t glamorous and goes unnoticed but is quintessential towards maintaining that higher quality of day-to-day life. If you want to have a good life, grow together in a healthy relationship and also have kids, it’s necessary and a worthwhile pursuit.

    I believe that the things that take the most work are what we’ll cherish more than anything else when we look back on our life. It’s probably why planning trips and earning the miles and points towards free trips means so much as well. You can’t put a value on such things, especially when done with those that you love.

  3. Hope your wife is having a great Mother’s Day, especially with her newborn girl. Sounds like you guys have a great partnership and friendship. That’s great for you guys and your kids! Thanks for sharing your journey’s (and deals!) with us.

  4. You are a lucky man indeed Shawn! As readers we appreciate you sharing a glimpse of your private life and thoughts. It reminds me of how parallel most of our lives run. Nicely done Shawn! Happy Mother’s Day to all the awesome moms and welcome baby Elizabeth!

  5. Happy Mothers Day, however I would have taken the seat up front on that bus in China. That’s more relaxing for me.

    • Thanks Nathan! Well I still had stress too in the back of the bus. We had two old ladies sitting behind us who had never seen a Western child before. They touched my son’s face for the entire three hour bus ride! That was one long crazy day. I should write about it at some point.


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