Hi, I’m Mara
I’m a writer with a passion for travel, bacon, skiing, gelato, history, cocktails, art, and my husband and two sons, Tommy and Teddy.
Stories are what truly excite me, especially because there are so many ways to hear, read, or tell them. Paintings tell stories. Food tells stories. Mountains tell stories, and so does the sea. Objects that have been left behind tell stories. For me, travel is all about these narratives and how they join with my family’s story and my own.
This very website starts with a story, of course. Between June of 2003 and July of 2004, my husband Matt and I took then one-year-old Tommy on a trip across six states, three countries, and two continents. While we were away he learned to walk, talk, and throw tantrums; dipped his toes in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; and ate everything from bangers and mash to sushi.
When we returned to our home in Delaware I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t done with having children or with traveling. Teddy came along in 2005 and we headed on a family road trip a few months later. In 2008 on the eve our first trip to France as a family of four, I decided that I wanted to start sharing my family travel stories online and this blog was born.
The stories I have to share have changed over time, as of course they are bound to do. When I started writing here I had a preschooler and a first grader; they are now a tween and a teen. I used to write about strollers and kid-friendly restaurants; Tommy is now taller than I am and subscribes to Saveur. Everyone in my family has become a passionate downhill skier since I wrote my first post. And as my boys gotten older, I’ve started to make occasional forays into the world without them.
But one essential thing about me hasn’t changed: I love the world and I love to explore it with my boys. I loved it when they were babies, I loved it when they were school-age kids, and I love it now that they are headed (faster and faster it seems) toward a time when they will travel without me.
About this blog
The Mother of all Trips is part travelogue, part memoir, part meditation on motherhood, with just a dash of how-to. I write about trips I’ve taken with my children and those I hope to take. My goal is always to entertain and inspire. I hope it’s a lot of fun to read (and that maybe the pictures are nice to look at too).
But I have something else in mind as well – to offer wisdom and insight about how to travel mindfully that you’ll find useful when planning your own trips either with or without your kids.
My quick definition of mindful family travel is that it is the act of slowing down and fully enjoying where you are with your kids – and who they are as people – in the moments while you are on the road with them. Even the briefest of outings takes us out of our familiar context and routine and gives us the chance to pay attention.
You might have noticed that my tagline is “bringing the world to your kids and your kids to the world.” That’s because the goal of this site is to offer you inspiration for your own adventures, whether they may be large-scale trips or adventures in the next town. I believe that any journey that takes you out of your day-to-day routine counts as travel whether it’s up the block or around the world.
And I believe that anyone can travel mindfully with children. That’s right – even you.
First time here?
Please allow me to suggest a few posts you might enjoy:
- How to pack only carry-on bags for airline travel
- Seeing Philadelphia through the eyes of its murals
- Taking kids out of school for family travel
- Visiting the Louvre with kids
- A few family road trip tips
- Two scenes from a family ski vacation
Like what you see? You might also enjoy The Family Traveler’s Handbook, which distills the stories and wisdom you’ll find on my site into an easy-to-read book. Or perhaps you’d prefer to subscribe to my bimonthly email where I share highlights from my website, special stories for my subscribers that I don’t publish here, and an Ideas, Inspiration, and Deals section.