Honoring Moms with Our Favorite Travel Memories Together

ies abroad logo
IES Abroad

No matter how much time or distance goes by, we'll always have the memories with the mom-figures who've shaped our lives.

This Mothers' Day—more than ever before—we're reflecting on more normal times spent together with our moms, grandmothers, host moms, and those who've stepped into a maternal role in our lives. Whether this year had you spending too much time with mom or the total opposite and not enough, we invite you to get a little nostalgic with us and check out some of our coworkers' (some of whom are IES Abroad alums!) favorite travel mems with their moms.

“My parents visited me when I studied in Dublin with IES Abroad in 2016. We had so many favorite days on this trip. I loved showing them around my little world I had created away from home. This is us on the Bray to Greystones cliff walk where we got an uncharacteristically sunny Irish day which, among other things, made this hike one of my favorite memories with them.” – Alyssa Byrne, Lead Global Enrollment Management Specialist (IES Abroad Dublin, Fall 2016)

“Traveling to Morocco and Spain with my mom in 2019, a first time for us both, is one of our favorite memories together! Experiencing new foods, language, culture, all while finding similarities to her own Jamaican culture was a once in a lifetime opportunity but we hope to do it again. During the pandemic we have reminisced about getting lost in the Medina, ferrying across the Strait of Gibraltar, and eating breakfast on La Plaza Nueva! Without my mom’s support and love I wouldn’t have embarked on my own independent travel journey confidently, so it’s incredible to now share these travel adventures together and watch her do the same!” – Noelle Baldwin, Senior College Relations Manager

“I spent my junior year at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.  My parents came to visit me in the spring and we did a day trip from Aberdeen to Dunnottar Castle.  Here’s a favorite moment from that trip.  I remember my mother being so happy and emotional during their visit.  Now that I’m an adult and a parent I understand that she was just so proud of me, traveling, making friends from all over the world, and living my life fully and independently that she couldn’t stop tearing up.  I returned with my family to this spot a few years ago to honor my mother and this happy memory of my time studying abroad.” – Michael Green, Senior Associate Vice President for College Relations

“After my study abroad program ended in London, my mom and my aunt spent a month traveling around Europe with me. We were lucky enough to go to Germany, Italy, Greece, Croatia, and Spain! It was amazing to share so many memories with the two women who made me love and appreciate travel in the first place. I owe so much to them and aspire to be as adventurous, strong, and hard-working as them every day. Here's us at THE Park Güell in Barcelona!" – Delaney Pepper, Marketing Project Coordinator & Executive Assistant (IES Abroad London, Spring 2018)

“My mom and I have not traveled abroad together but she's always been a huge supporter of my travels and my absolute lifeline when I was homesick during study abroad! I hope in the next few years I'm able to bring her somewhere that takes her breath away like my travels have done for me. In the meantime, we're perfectly content spending time in Maui together. 🌴” – Kiah Zellner-Smith, Video & Social Media Manager (IES Abroad Rio de Janeiro, Spring 2013)

"My mom and I went to Spain in 2017 and spent some time in Granada where I had studied abroad with IES Abroad. It was incredible to revisit a city that had such an influence on me—and to go back with my mom, no less! She’d studied abroad in college, too, but we’d never gone on an international trip together, and that experience and quality time with her is something I’ll treasure forever." – Anna Egan, Director of Digital Marketing (IES Abroad Granada, Fall 2011)

“This is my Mom, Lois, and I on our balcony in Hong Kong, with the view of the South China Sea in the background. My mom taught me to be kind, thoughtful, and open-minded before I knew what it really meant, and I’m forever grateful that she (and my dad) moved us to Hong Kong and changed the entire trajectory of our lives. We haven’t stopped traveling since!” – Amy Ruhter McMillan, Senior Associate Vice President of Marketing

“I travel a lot with my family, but my mom and I took our first trip for just the two of us to see the Biltmore Estate and explore Asheville, NC at the end of 2019. I loved the opportunity to spend some quality time together, and really plan a trip that was exactly what we wanted! Especially after the last year of staying home, we’re especially grateful for the time we got to spend together.” – Becca Yount, Senior Program Advisor

“My mother majored in French as an undergraduate, but had neither the money nor the family support to study abroad in the mid-1960s. The Merrill Scholarship made it possible for me to live my mother’s dream, as well as my own.” – Gretchen Cook-Anderson, Associate Vice President, Assistant to the President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Antiracism (IES Abroad Nagoya, 1988-89)

“At the end of my study abroad program in Chile in 2009, my parents came to visit and see the sites! We wandered the steep, muraled streets of bohemian Valparaiso before jetting off to explore Buenos Aires. It was amazing to spend time showing them places that became so formative to me even though no one talked me out of that haircut! I'll forever be indebted to my mom for pushing me to ‘fly like a bird; knowing there is a branch to land on even if you can’t see it just yet.’” - Matt Simson, Global Enrollment Management, Manager

“My mom doesn’t like to travel, and isn’t sure where I got it from, but she’s the biggest supporter of everything I do, and wouldn’t miss my graduation from the University of Edinburgh in 2006! We had a great time and she loved experiencing my life in Scotland, but the trip in no way prepared her for 10 years later when I dragged her to India for my wedding! Sorry mom, I’ll stay closer to home for a while.” - Nicole Granacki, Senior Customized Program Manager

“My mom couldn't afford to study abroad in college, but she always wanted to travel. After my study abroad program ended, my mom came to visit me in Brussels for her first trip to Europe! I owe my mom so much for all of the support she's given me, and for always encouraging me to step outside of my comfort zone. It was fun to kind of pay her back by planning a really fun trip around Europe for us!” – Sydné Cook, College Relations Manager, Internship Programming

“My mom, Maridell Rabbitt, and I outside Zakopane in southern Poland. My mom first traveled abroad to visit my dad when he was stationed in Germany during the Vietnam war. They bought a Volkswagen and traveled Europe. My mom even camped, which she absolutely hates! I'm grateful to her for instilling my love of travel and appreciation of different cultures.” – Katie Burke, Associate Director, Customized & Faculty-Led Programs at IES Abroad

"My mom never had the opportunity to visit me in Spain when I studied abroad. We got a second chance in 2019 when my wife invited my mom to travel with her to Barcelona. I ended up joining them in Madrid in front of the palace. Here's my mom hiding from the pollen!" - Martin Garcia, Regional College Relations Manager (NY/MA)

"My parents weren’t able to visit me when I spent my year abroad. However, in the summer of 2001 I was able to take my mama on her first international trip. My husband and son, also pictured here, joined on the trip to England and Ireland. I knew we were making memories at the time but my mother passed away just a few years later and I now realize just how special it was, being that it would be my only chance to show her 'the world'. What makes this photo even more precious to me is that my son was six months old at the time and now will study abroad next spring! Even though I have made many international trips, I can’t wait for him to show me the world." - Hope McClelland-Young, Associate Vice President of College relations and Advising

If you're up for it, we'd love to see some of your favorite travel memories with a maternal figure in your life! Post them to social media and tag @IESabroad so we can see.

Ready to make some new travel memories with us? We're currently accepting applications for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. Learn more about our plans for this fall, including health and safety guidelines, and more.

IES Abroad News

Read More

IES Abroad regularly publishes news stories, articles, student stories, and other helpful study abroad content. Stay up to date on the latest from IES Abroad by reading our recent posts.

View All IES Abroad News