My mom had a fear of flying in an airplane. She loved to learn about places outside of Ohio, but there were very few places she ever actually went. She went to Florida (via car of course) as a child to visit her grandma. She took a group of her Spanish students to Mexico when I was younger. She went to California to watch the 1968 Ohio State National Championship game. She snuck off to Washington D.C. to attend the events after President Kennedy's assassination (apparently sending a postcard to your parents when they do not know you have left the state is not a wise decision). She and I took a road trip in 1998 to New Orleans to watch Ohio State play in the Sugar Bowl. Besides her fear of airplanes, she was also a creature of habit, so that meant going to Indiana to visit family or to surrounding states to watch Ohio State play was what she enjoyed doing.
When Matt and I moved away from Ohio in 1998 it meant mom had to expand her traveling horizons a bit more. For nine years she drove to visit us in Illinois. When we moved to North Carolina she realized it was easier to face her fear and fly rather than driving through the mountains. She also started to fly every winter to visit her friend and her sister in Florida. When we moved to Japan at the end of 2008, I begged her to come visit me, but between her stubbornness and fear she adamantly refused every time. I even tried to bribe her with a deal that I would take her to Ireland, her dream, if she just came to see me. It's funny what you learn after someone has died. My mom and dad were in the process of getting their passports to come and see us in Japan. It was supposed to be a surprise.
My mom had a red suitcase that she used when she would go anywhere. It wasn't a big one, but it was exactly what she needed when she would travel.
The red bag has finally visited Japan. We took the bag with us when we went on fall break to Boracay in the Phillippines.
I am taking the red bag with us on our Christmas holiday to Singapore and Cambodia. My hope is to take the bag to places Mom never experienced herself. I am planning to travel more of the United States after our assignment in Japan is finished, and the bag will come with me. And someday, in the smallest way, I will makes mom's dream come true and the bag and I will go to Ireland.