So, how many of you, travelers, regularly go on an adventure with your mother-in-laws? 🙂 No matter how much I favor traveling solo, having a reliable, witty and easy going companion proves to be very rewarding. I was lucky to discover such a partner in my mother-in-law. She never actually traveled much, but she always wanted to. That’s why she was more than happy to join me in those one day escapades of mine I keep telling you about on this site.
We’re both busy moms and earning members of the family (and she’s also a loving and caring granny to my three kids), and both of us get pretty fed up with domesticity from time to time 🙂 So, we just leave the kids with the men of the family, give the instructions to our loyal and trusty maid Anju, and go on a new adventure. These journeys are a great opportunity to see more of the country we live in, and also to refresh our minds.
So, what makes my mother-in-law such a great companion?
1) She’s fit and full of energy
Thanks to an active lifestyle and good genes she remains exceptionally strong and physically fit in her late 60s. She always keeps up with me walking around and exploring new places. When she does get tired, she takes a break and lets me take my time. Yes, she didn’t climb all the way to the top of the Golconda fort, whereas I did.
2) She’s an educated, intelligent and well-read person
If I mention a literary character, she won’t give me a blank look, and this is extremely important to me.
3) She’s the one who takes photos of me
To be honest, as much as I enjoy photography, I dislike being photographed. However, as a responsible travel blogger I realize that my readers would appreciate a human element on the photos 🙂 After all, it’s interesting to see who the voice behind the stories and trip reports is. So it’s my mother-in-law who takes most of the pictures of me you see over here, and she’s always patient and tolerant when I ask her to click one more time (well, five more times 🙂 ), “just in case”.
4) She’s interesting to talk to and comfortable to keep silent with
I’m a rather introverted person, and it’s important for me to have a quiet time now and then. My mother-in-law understands that and doesn’t insist on being continuously entertained.
5) She has versatile interests and adventurous spirit
Museums, palaces, archaeological parks, ancient caves, mosques, cathedrals and temples, step-wells and national parks – we’ve seen them all! She’s always open to new experiences and enthusiastic about destinations I choose.
6) She always makes sure we don’t starve
Brimming with impressions, I often forget about food when traveling. Or I find it a waste of time and would do with a quick snack. However, thanks to my mother-in-law we always a proper meal when it’s due.
7) An older person’s company is an excellent men repellent
Although the majority of people in India are friendly and reasonable, a foreign female traveler does attract a lot of unwanted attention. A couple of times trouble definitely was coming my way. I think I would have been able to deal with that alone, but my mother-in-law’s interference made it so much easier and less unpleasant.
8) She handles communication matters
I know, after all these years in the country I should speak better Hindi, but it still leaves lots and lots to be desired. Thanks to my mother-in-law’s excellent Hindi (and personal charm!) we never experience misunderstandings of any sort or communication issues. At least the auto rickshaw drivers take us exactly where we want 🙂
Am I not lucky? 🙂 Who is your favorite travel companion?