Living abroad has been a fantastic opportunity (and one that without my mum’s influence, probably wouldn’t ever have happened) but the excitement of living away is often tinged by the sad reminder that we’ve left close family and friends (plus our much loved cats) back home in Aotearoa.
As Mother’s Day approaches and I reflect back on the recent week with Mum and Pete here in Abu Dhabi, it’s fair to say I’ve been reminded of how much I miss having them close by.
My parents have always been my travel inspiration. For as long as I can remember, I enjoyed hearing stories of their travels through Europe in a converted van and love looking back on photos of the three of us travelling Australia in our caravan when I was only a year old (most of which featured me covered in rust-coloured dirt from the Outback, or cooling down in buckets of water).
Neither of my parents were ever afraid of taking a travelling risk and have always been supportive of my own aspirations to see the world. At 18 I was encouraged to head off to the US to spend a summer abroad and, more recently, my desire to relocate to the UAE was never questioned. Sadly my dad passed away just over a year ago (knowing of our plans to move but not seeing us touch down in Abu Dhabi), but Mum and Pete, my step-dad, have supported me every step of the way.
My mum, Sue, worked as a flight attendant for many years, hanging up her uniform only when she had me. Over the years she’s travelled to more places than most, many of which would have been considered relatively risky at certain points in time. Mum’s always had an adventurous spirit, a tremendous amount of strength and courage and a genuine interest in seeing the world; thanks to her, there’s no doubt that travelling is in my blood.
I am aware of the privilege I experienced growing up in a family that was able to travel and, to this day, am grateful for the sense of adventure and independence that my experiences have helped instil in me.
Thank you, Mum, for showing me what it means to live a life without fear or regret and for your on-going love and support. Happy Mother’s Day!
Lots of love, Sarah