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Traveling as Mother and Daughter

by Gail Mooney
June 23 2010

Before my daughter and I left for our 3-month odyssey around the world we got a lot of questions and remarks about our upcoming trip. Most men asked me what my husband thought about me taking off for 99 days and most of the women I told remarked that they would love to do something like this with their own daughters. Erin got consistent comments from her friends and colleagues – “You’re going on a trip with your mother for 3 months!!!”

When I was 23 years old, I probably would have reacted the same way so I feel quite fortunate that my daughter Erin was anxious to take on this journey and project with me. When originally planning this trip and documentary, I was planning on doing it solo. Now that we are about a month into our adventure, I can’t imagine doing this without Erin – but coming along, had to be her idea. I’m also very lucky that I have an understanding husband that knew this was something I needed to do and supported me in every way.

We are opposites in many ways. I’m extroverted – Erin’s introverted. I’m impulsive at times and ready just to jump into things, like a train in the Moscow Metro without knowing if it’s the right one, or take part in an impromptu gathering. Erin is more patient and accesses the situation before acting on it. I’m more flexible and if the situation warrants it, I’ll roll with the punches, while Erin gets a bit more stressed when things don’t always go according to plans. So, we complement each other – me providing a bit of adventure and Erin keeping us in check.

Erin navigated us around the Moscow Metro and I can honestly say, I have no idea how she did that. I put my trust in her and we never got lost. I pushed her out of her comfort zone a bit – in fact every time we walked through a market or bazaar, Erin was a good sport and wore a little video helmet cam

Erin with helmet camera in Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

and got a great insight into the experience and provided the viewer with the feeling of being there.

We’ve seen a lot of the world’s great landmarks, had a lot of laughs and some tears when we encountered problems in Belarus and have already collected a lifetime of memories with a lot more to come. We’ve approached our subjects from the eyes of two different generations and they’ve responded accordingly. In fact, I believe that our mother/ daughter approach to this documentary has been very advantageous as far as the rapport we’ve had with our subjects.

With two more months to go – so far so good – at least from my perspective and I hope Erin agrees. I know one thing – the day Erin sent me an email saying that she wanted to do this with me, has proven to be the best day ever. I can’t imagine doing this without her.

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