Have you ever traveled with only one of your kids? One of my favorite ways to travel is to take one-on-one trips with my kids. I love the quality time, experience and creating unique memories together. I recently traveled with my 14 year old son to Amsterdam for a few days, and guess what happened when I traveled with my teen?
Over the last couple of years life has brought a lot of changes to my already weird family. One of them being the bittersweet thing of my kids growing up in a big way.
My daughter is 8 and my son is now 14. Yes, it is crazy to even write that I am the parent of a teenager. I have been thrown into the world of watching the boy I thought would always be mine turn into a young man.
Between high school, sports, friends, dating and more, I felt like my son and I weren’t as close as we always were. I decided it was the perfect time for a new mother/son adventure. So off to Amsterdam we went!
Now that we are back and I have had time to reflect on our trip, there are so many things I want to share.
So guess what happened when I traveled with my teen?
I learned, immensely.
I learned so much about both he and I and how far our relationship has come.
I learned to stop worrying about him getting the perfect grades in school after watching his displays of empathy while walking through the Anne Frank House. I stood back and watched as he marveled at how lifelike the Rembrandt paintings at the Rijksmuseum were and wanted to explore the whole museum. We went to the Van Gogh Museum and I was impressed with how he soaked up all the art and knowledge he could, without being told, about the artist’s life and work.
I learned my son is a lot more capable and confident than I often give him credit for. He was able to navigate us around Amsterdam after my phone died and I couldn’t access my maps or sadly even remember our way back to the hotel. He was also able to talk to the hotel staff and concierge without me when he needed something.
I learned that despite his eyerolling and teenage attitude, he truly is grateful. Grateful for the opportunities he receives, grateful for his unique family situation and grateful for the chance to travel while experiencing different countries, cultures and more.
I learned that he understands how to appreciate the simple things in life.
I learned that he takes after his mom and realizes that not everything in life has to be planned. Some of the best things we discovered together in Amsterdam were unplanned. I taught him during this trip how to just go with the flow when traveling in order to truly soak up all the things around you.
I learned that even though I don’t get to see or spend as much time with him like we used to, he still loves me and cherishes the quality time we do get together.
Guess what happened when I traveled with my teen?
We strengthened our bond and created unforgettable travel memories together that neither of us will ever forget.
I learned to step back, put down my camera and phone and see the world through my son’s eyes for a little while.
Want to know more about our incredible trip to Amsterdam? Check out this post on where to stay for the best experience.
* This post may contain affiliate links but all parenting and travel opinions are my own.