Interview with a Traveling Mother
What’s the best part about being a mom?
“Oh man! (laughs) It’s constantly exhausting and trying, but at the end of the day it’s so rewarding and incredible. You have these little humans who are a part of you, going out into the world and becoming their own individuals and you get to see that and shape that. It’s amazing.”
When did your love for travel begin?
“There wasn’t a specific moment. My family didn’t have a ton of money growing up, but we would always take road trips. I’ve been going to the north shore [of Lake Superior in Minnesota, USA] since I was tiny. So when I think of travel, that’s where my mind goes. Not necessarily big, exotic trips but those family times up north.”
What do you hope that your children gain from travel experiences?
“I think the biggest thing is (and I think this applies to parenting in general, not just travel) but teaching them that the world is bigger than them. It’s bigger than all of us. Not just in the sense of the world itself, but the people outside of their community. People who are different, landscapes that are different, understanding the environment around them, and I think travel is such a great way to help instill those values.”
How do you help your kids become more culturally aware?
“I think there are sort of macro ways we’ve gone about that like where we’ve chosen to live and send them to school, life decisions that have that ripple effect in terms of informing their world view. Also, just talking to them about it. Raising a white, middle class family - it’s important for them to understand their priveledge and their place in the world and how they can use their priviledge for good. We’re constantly having discussions about what the things we do, mean.
Nora’s favorite holiday of the year hands down is Pride. She loves going to the pride parade, but it’s important for her to understand that it’s not just about the floats and the dancing, but knowing the history behind it and what pride really means. My chief parenting moment where I wanted to do the parenting equivalent of a mic drop was when Nora and I were in her room about a week before Pride and when Julian came in Nora said, “this is a girls only space!” and Julian replied, “Nora we’re going to Pride and that’s all about breaking down gender norms” and I was like okay I’m done.”
What was one of the most important things your mom taught you growing up?
“It’s funny, our general rule at home was to just be a kind human which sounds really simple but has had a lasting impact.”
Anything you have to say to the other moms of the world?
“One thing that comes to mind is we’re all in this together. No matter how different moms are, or how different their parenting views are, we’re all just doing the best we can to raise these little humans and hopefully raise them in a way that they become kind. We got each others back.
Interview with traveler, mother, photographer Rita Farmer.
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