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A Gift into the African Wild

— Dana Ladzinski, Hydro Flask customer

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“This is the first time in my life I felt like me, and I can’t wait for what’s next.”

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Let’s never forget, our moms have done an amazing job raising us. It may not have always been easy, but we would not be where we are today without their love. From our trip to Africa, here are the best things about traveling with mom:

• MOMS HAVE LIFESAVING POWERS IN THEIR HANDBAGS

• YOU REALLY GET TO KNOW HER

• YOU’LL LEARN MORE ABOUT YOURSELF

• SHE DOESN’T GET OFFENDED WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY OR TIRED

• MEMORIES

• YOU TREAT HER, SHE TREATS YOU

• YOU CAN TEACH HER NEW TRICKS

• QUALITY BONDING TIME


  • Giving Back to the Mom who Gives so Much

    My mom is a caretaker. She spent most of her life working, raising my brother and me as well as her students while she was a teacher or her staff while she was a Camp Director. For her, there’s never been a lot of me-time, but she’d never complain. She’s still working—very hard, in fact—and is the hardest working woman I know. And, like so many moms out there, she did a lot for my brother and me growing up. In hindsight, I realize we gave little thanks. I owe her.

    This year, with the passing of her husband, I was hoping to give her what she’s given to so many other people, but not herself: travel.

  • A Warm Welcome

    South Africa was the perfect spot simply because I have never felt more alive than being amongst wild animals in their natural habitat. I wanted to give her an opportunity to feel this exhilaration. Additionally, on a nostalgic level, one of my earliest memories from childhood was my mom reading me the Babar series. Selfishly, I wasn’t sure what I was more excited about: watching her see an elephant for the first time or seeing the elephants with her. Turns out it was the latter. Our first animal encounter was actually an elephant charging our car. Of course, my sweet mother’s response was, “What a nice, warm welcome.”


  • Our Differences

    Our differences are often our strengths. My mother is an introvert; I am an extrovert. On this trip, though, I saw her breakthrough her shell and her interests manifested in striking up a conversation with anyone and everyone she met.

    She made a point to get to know all of our lodge hosts and made little connections with each of them. Her joy was beginning to shine and bubble out in the interactions she had with others and I loved seeing that in her on this trip.

  • Feeling Like Me

    I have a newfound appreciation for my mom. Time with our parents isn’t infinite and I realized this even more on our trip. My mom has taught me so many things in life, such as having a positive attitude in any situation; being kind to every person you encounter no matter who they are; and that experiences are more important than things. In our days traveling together, I saw her display each of these teachings in full.

    On one of the last days of our adventure, we shared our top ten moments from the trip. She turned to me, looking radiant, and then began to cry. When I asked her what sparked the tears, she simply said, “This is the first time in my life I felt like me, and I can’t wait for what’s next.”

    Is traveling with mom the easiest way to travel? Of course not. But the thought of not traveling with her breaks my heart. I’m already thinking of Japan next summer. What do you say, Mom?

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Giving Back to the Mom who Gives so Much

My mom is a caretaker. She spent most of her life working, raising my brother and me as well as her students while she was a teacher or her staff while she was a Camp Director. For her, there’s never been a lot of me-time, but she’d never complain. She’s still working—very hard, in fact—and is the hardest working woman I know. And, like so many moms out there, she did a lot for my brother and me growing up. In hindsight, I realize we gave little thanks. I owe her.

This year, with the passing of her husband, I was hoping to give her what she’s given to so many other people, but not herself: travel.

Giving Back to the Mom who Gives so Much

My mom is a caretaker. She spent most of her life working, raising my brother and me as well as her students while she was a teacher or her staff while she was a Camp Director. For her, there’s never been a lot of me-time, but she’d never complain. She’s still working—very hard, in fact—and is the hardest working woman I know. And, like so many moms out there, she did a lot for my brother and me growing up. In hindsight, I realize we gave little thanks. I owe her.

This year, with the passing of her husband, I was hoping to give her what she’s given to so many other people, but not herself: travel.

A Warm Welcome

South Africa was the perfect spot simply because I have never felt more alive than being amongst wild animals in their natural habitat. I wanted to give her an opportunity to feel this exhilaration. Additionally, on a nostalgic level, one of my earliest memories from childhood was my mom reading me the Babar series. Selfishly, I wasn’t sure what I was more excited about: watching her see an elephant for the first time or seeing the elephants with her. Turns out it was the latter. Our first animal encounter was actually an elephant charging our car. Of course, my sweet mother’s response was, “What a nice, warm welcome.”


Our Differences

Our differences are often our strengths. My mother is an introvert; I am an extrovert. On this trip, though, I saw her breakthrough her shell and her interests manifested in striking up a conversation with anyone and everyone she met.

She made a point to get to know all of our lodge hosts and made little connections with each of them. Her joy was beginning to shine and bubble out in the interactions she had with others and I loved seeing that in her on this trip.

Feeling Like Me

I have a newfound appreciation for my mom. Time with our parents isn’t infinite and I realized this even more on our trip. My mom has taught me so many things in life, such as having a positive attitude in any situation; being kind to every person you encounter no matter who they are; and that experiences are more important than things. In our days traveling together, I saw her display each of these teachings in full.

On one of the last days of our adventure, we shared our top ten moments from the trip. She turned to me, looking radiant, and then began to cry. When I asked her what sparked the tears, she simply said, “This is the first time in my life I felt like me, and I can’t wait for what’s next.”

Is traveling with mom the easiest way to travel? Of course not. But the thought of not traveling with her breaks my heart. I’m already thinking of Japan next summer. What do you say, Mom?


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DANA’S TOP PICK

“The 10 oz Wine Tumbler was the perfect treat for the end of the day. Nothing beats sipping on a cool glass of wine with the African sun setting while the lions play.”

DANA’S TOP PICK

“The 10 oz Wine Tumbler was the perfect treat for the end of the day. Nothing beats sipping on a cool glass of wine with the African sun setting while the lions play.”

Hydro Flask Blue Bottle

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