Since I was little, my mom has embraced and encouraged my free and adventurous spirit. She’s helped me live the life I have always dreamed of, pushed me to be my best self, supported me when I’ve failed, and believed in me and my dreams since day one. Eileen Musich isn’t just any old Wanderer of the Week or a person I’ve met on the road, she’s my mom, and she’s the one of the reasons I am who I am today.
Growing up, my mom was tough on me, but as I’ve grown older, she’s become one of my best friends and I can’t imagine life without her. Over the years, we’ve taken our share of trips together, although lately my dad is her travel partner in crime. Over the past few years she’s traveled all over Europe and to New Zealand and with each year, she sets her sights on more exotic destinations. It’s easy to see where I got the travel bug from.
The reason I choose my mom as this week’s Wanderer of the Week is because later today, we’ll be embarking on a little adventure of our own, as we’ll be traveling with Viking Cruises in France. We’ll get to cruise the Saône, a part of the country neither of us have traveled to. Before we head out on the road tonight, I thought it would be fun to let you know a little bit more about my travel buddy. I hope you’ll follow along with us on social media and with the hashtag #VikingSocial.
What was the first trip you remember?
When I was four years old, my family decided to move back to Ireland and we went transatlantic from New York to Cobh. I remember talking the deck with my father and feeling like I was going to get blown away, and the thick, red velvet curtains on the boat.
I know it’s hard to narrow down, but what are your three favorite places in the world?
Ireland and Croatia are my top two, as my family has strong connections to those countries. My parents were born in Ireland and my husband’s father was born in Croatia. For the past few summers, we return to visit our families and our roots.
The third would be a tie between Italy and New Zealand, where we also have family ties. Although we no longer have family in Italy, it is where my husband’s mother was born. Since it’s close to Croatia, we try to visit each summer, as well, mainly because we just love it there. New Zealand is where my father’s brother lives, and I just visited for the second time in April.
What’s the scariest moment you’ve had while traveling?
While in Ireland in January 1982, I was driving to Dublin Airport during an ice storm and lost control of my car. The car flipped into a ditch on the side of the road. Before I opened my door, there were two men helping me out, luckily, I was fine. We left the car and they took me to Dublin. The airport was shut down because of weather conditions and Aer Lingus put us up in a hotel. I wound up running into two of my dad’s friends at the bar and a great time was had.
Who is your favorite person to travel with? Why?
I can’t pick just one, so I would choose my husband and two kids. My husband, Perry, is funny and loves to discover new things, and my kids, well, it’s always just a good time with them! On a side note, I loved traveling with my cousin, Anna B, to New Zealand a few weeks ago.
Based on food alone, which country could you live in forever?
Italy! The wine helps too.
If you’ve ever spent a holiday abroad, which was it and how did you celebrate?
My family and I spent Thanksgiving 2001 in Ireland. We spent it in Roundstone, Galway with friends who had moved back to Ireland from the United States.
What’s your favorite airline? Why?
Air New Zealand – it’s all about the service and they are fantastic.
Why do you travel?
I travel because I love to see new places, especially places I’ve heard or read about. I also enjoy meeting new people, experiencing the culture of a place, and indulging in local food and drink.
What are your favorite accommodations while traveling abroad? Why?
If I’m not staying with family or friends, I prefer a luxury hotel.
What’s the best road trip you’ve ever been on?
In the summer of 2006, the family drove all over Ireland and then headed off to Germany. We had a great time, but the real fun began when we drove from Munich through Austria and Slovenia to Croatia, and then up to Italy and back to Munich. Traveling for hours in the car led to singing, storytelling, crazy faces, pictures, and lots of road stops. I would do it all over again.
Can’t wait to add another travel adventure to our list this coming week! I hope you’ll follow along with us as we spend a day in Amsterdam and then cruise from Lyon to Provence with Viking Cruises. You can follow the hashtag: #VikingSocial and then on the usual spots: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat: WanderingErin. Mom and I will be together until June 5th, and then I’ll be in Paris and off to Portugal while she heads home.