Amy had always dreamed of travelling with her son and father, but when her son had a traumatic accident in 2020, their plans were put on hold. After a gruelling recovery, they finally got the chance to take their ‘trip of a lifetime’. They flew all the way from their home in Red Rock, Texas, to join our Italy Bellissimo tour in summer 2022.
“My teenage son had a traumatic accident and nearly passed away in 2020. He had to relearn how to walk, breathe and talk again. After a really difficult recovery, we were able to finally go on this trip with his beloved grandpa (and myself). It was a trip of a lifetime and we absolutely adored every second of it but especially all of the seconds in Venice,” Amy said in her Trafalgar Unlocked Awards entry.
We reached out to past guest Amy to find out more about her special family trip to Italy, why it’s important to travel together, and where she’s off to next.
You can read more inspiring stories and entries from our past guests, received as part of the Trafalgar Unlocked Awards on The Real Word blog.
Why did you choose the Italy Bellissimo tour as your dream trip with your family?
My mother’s family is originally from Lucca, Italy, and it has always had a piece of my heart. I went to Italy with my parents as a young girl, and I’ve been in love with it ever since. My mother and my son’s beloved grandmother passed away from cancer and I know that she would have really wanted my dad and me to show Alex (my son) the country that she had loved so much.
What are some of your favourite memories from the trip?
There are countless memories. Some of the highlights are of course showing my son, a history buff, the actual landmarks in Italy that he has studied for years in books. When we went to the Colosseum in Rome, I watched him touch the ancient stones, marveling at them, and I knew that he understood the significance. Being able to show him that and see him react to the living history that Italy holds was incredible.
The first day we arrived in Venice, as we took the first turn into the Grand Canal, I watched my dad and my son both react with awe at what they were seeing. It brought tears to my eyes. And, of course, I can’t forget our amazing tour guide, Pippi and our tour mates. They were all so kind to us and it felt like a family by the end of the trip.
EXPERIENCE IT: Italy Bellissimo
Why was it so important for you to take this trip together?
My history professor dad had planned to take my history-loving son on this trip prior to Covid. The tour got canceled twice. During this time, my son had a tragic freak accident where he nearly lost his life. He had to relearn how to walk, talk and even breathe. He suffered from crippling PTSD. And he had gone from being the president of his school’s student council to not being able to look at people due to trauma-related PTSD.
We didn’t know if he’d be able to take this trip. We didn’t know if he would be able to walk well enough. But he fought to get there. He worked so incredibly hard that we had to take the trip. When we were on the flight, we all looked at each other, like oh my goodness this is actually really happening now. My son won. My dad won. It was beautiful.
RELATED CONTENT: Family on tour: Trafalgar guest Sandy on the joy of exploring Italy with her daughters
What did you love most about travelling together?
I was an only child and incredibly close to my parents. When my mom passed away my dad and I became even closer. My son has a lot of the same interests and loves as my dad. To be able to share these travel moments with them, especially knowing what we lost and knowing what we’ve overcome, was truly magical. The time in Italy was the best gift I could have ever received. I love that my son will be able to hold these memories for his entire life. Travel is truly living and that’s what my son realised he was doing.
RELATED CONTENT: Have you taken our most popular Italy tour? Let’s dive into 8 epic highlights
What other destinations are on your bucket list?
There are so many places, it is hard to pick. But Ireland may be next. My “bucket list” place is Paris. My mom toured there numerous times and adored it. I’d love to see it for myself.
Have you ever taken any other Trafalgar tours? Do you have a favourite destination?
Italy was my first Trafalgar trip, but I know it will be far from my last. My dad has taken numerous Trafalgar trips and spoke so highly of them, we knew we had to take this very special trip with Trafalgar. To be honest, looking at the Trafalgar tours that are offered it is so difficult to decide on just one. But I’m looking forward to seeing as much of Europe as possible.
Thank you Amy for sharing your beautiful story!
Head to The Real Word blog to read more inspiring stories from our past guests, received as part of the Trafalgar Unlocked Awards