When Traveling Styles Collide

Even though we came to Romania to settle down, if you look at the rest of our year, it isn’t very “settled.” Part of that is because Romania has become a bit more difficult to get residency in, so we’re still working on a situation that would give us the best chance of getting approval.

At the same time, if we’re going to have to jump through hoops, we’re thinking it might be better to do so in a country that would not only provide EU residency but also Schengen. Or to go to a country that gives us much more time on a visit.

To be honest, we’re also operating out of two very different lifestyle viewpoints. While I do enjoy having a home base, having a home to come back to after travels, having local friends, etc., I’m still very much a nomad at heart. After about 2 months, I find it hard to not want to take a trip.


The boy has other ideas. He is a typical teenager and is very happy to just stay in one spot. Literally. While I get excited at the idea of going somewhere for 1-3 weeks (or longer), he’s not that interested.

We leave Romania in 2 days and will be traveling for 3 months before we return (due to Romanian requirements for non-EU foreigners). While I’m extremely excited, Tigger isn’t as thrilled, even though he has agreed with my proposed plans.

If we didn’t have to leave Romania, his attitude would be quite different.

This was one reason I wanted to travel so much when he was younger. As he’s entered adolescence, we definitely are often on different ends of the spectrum when it comes to travel. Thankfully, he’s sweet enough that he will still do some things with me, but it’s definitely a different experience from when he was a little kid.

Which I expected.


So what do you do when travel styles collide? Well, one benefit of him being an independent teenager is that he can take care of himself quite well. In March, I actually went on a trip to Thailand for about a week while he stayed home. We had some local friends who were on standby in case he needed anything, and we were easily able to keep in touch via Skype. Right before I left, we went shopping and made sure the kitchen was well stocked for a teenage appetite, and I left him some money as well.

I don’t plan on leaving for a week at a time very often, but I definitely can see myself taking a few unaccompanied 2- to 3-day trips on my own. This fills my need to travel while giving Tigger the opportunity to stay rooted. And we each get more independence. A win-win in my book.

I absolutely adore traveling with my son, and at the same time I also enjoy doing some solo travel.


As he doesn’t really feel a need to thoroughly explore a place, I arrange some tours that include him and some that don’t. This also comes in handy for some food experiences. He remains quite finicky, while “You’ll eat almost anything,” as he says about me.

I’m looking forward to eating a multi-course dinner at a villa in Tuscany and having a wine tasting. “That sounds really boring” to him.

This way he gets to stick with foods that don’t challenge him, and I can feel free to be more adventurous without having to be concerned whether or not we’ll be able to find something he’ll eat. And I don’t have to always stick with his boring (to me) palate.

I gush when I see a wonderful patisserie or chocolaterie, or when presented with a huge display of fruits, cheeses, and so on. I’m looking for Roquefort or a wonderfully savory Stilton while he’s asking “Do they have Cheddar?”


He is “over” castles and churches, while I still find them awfully interesting, especially from a photography aspect.

In many ways, I’m the kid in the family. I get very excited about things while he’s generally “meh.” But he’s very tolerant of my exuberance.


While his interests shift as he progresses further into adolescence, I’m very thankful that spending time with his father hasn’t shifted to a low priority. He’s perfectly happy with his laptop as he watches YouTube videos and does gaming with his friends, but I also don’t have to beg him to go on a simple walk with me.

Our traveling styles may be shifting in opposite directions, but thankfully we still have enough commonalities that it works well.

How have you dealt with differing travel styles?

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  1. Awesome post. It must be challenging to travel with a kid who’s literally changing right before your eyes. I travelled with my sister who was 19 and I was 26 and it was a CHALLENGE. She was party party and I was relax relax. Least Tigger sounds flexible!

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    • Thankfully, he’s incredibly flexible which definitely does help. And if you keep throwing food at him as you walk, he’s even more flexible about it. lol

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  2. Great, honest article about the difficulties of travelling with others. From the other side of the spectrum, I recently travelled with my parents so understand your sentiments. Despite them being very fit and active 50 years olds, there are just some things I want to do as a 30-year old that don’t interest them. That said, a little time apart when you are travelling with someone is no bad thing. Indeed I think it can actually help to ensure that the memories you are making are as worthwhile and valuable as ever.

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    • I’m sure that would be a very different experience. Luckily, he’s pretty flexible, but I miss those younger years when everything was cool and exciting. Which is why I started traveling then rather than waiting until now. 😉

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  3. I think it’s difficult to travel with another person no matter the relationship, but it must be especially tricky when its a parent-child relationship and the child is growing up! I’ve noticed that many of the long-term travelers with children who are around Tigger’s age have expressed the same thing: they would like to keep moving, but their child wants to stay put somewhere more permanently. It’s great that you and Tigger have managed to reach a compromise for now; I know it can’t be easy for either of you!

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    • I expected it before we even left the States the 1st time. It’s just a normal thing for teenagers. Luckily, he’s a very flexible person so it still makes things easy.

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  4. It will be interesting to see if he goes full circle and returns to wanting nomadic travel, or as he reaches adulthood – 18+ – will he want to settle more permanently, as in get a job or some sort and live on his own. They grow up way too fast no matter the lifestyle. 😉

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    • They sure do grow up way too fast!

      I’m curious to see that as well. He really is kind of a homebody, so I have the feeling that he’ll probably settle somewhere and put down roots.

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